Wednesday, 4 March 2015
Mushrooms have a very strong flavour so it is really easy to make a little go a long way. Here I am using whole mushrooms but did you know that you can make a bowl of soup from just the stalks? Yes that's right... just the stalks. If you are the kind of person who habitually chops off the stalk and chucks it away then you might consider trying this in the future.
Chop up your mushrooms (or your mushroom stalks). Here I have taken the dirty bit off the end but kept most of the stalk on. I haven't peeled them either... you lose a lot of vitamins if you peel them. A wipe with a damp kitchen towel should be enough to dislodge any dirt that is clinging to them.
Chop up some onion and fry it gently in a little vegetable oil - or whatever you have in the cupboard. When the onions are soft add the chopped mushroom (or mushroom stalks) and sweat them down a bit with the lid on. When the mushrooms are cooked but not mushy add some stock (veggie, chicken beef ... whatever) or plain water if you don't have any stock to hand. How much? Well it depends upon how many mushrooms or mushroom stalks you have ... if you are only using stalks you might want to just make enough for one bowl of soup... so you will have to judge.
Put the lid back on and simmer it for about 20 minutes on a low heat. Remove from the heat and whizz it up in a liquidiser or using a hand whizzer until it is creamy and smooth.
Finally add some single cream or the top of the milk (do we get the top of the milk these days?... you don't here in Spain - at least not where I live, but you do get a uht cooking cream which works a treat). Season to taste, if it has cooled then warm it through again but try not to let it boil. Remember a soup boiled is a soup spoiled!
PS. If you made a very small amount using the stalks, instead of turning it into soup you can use it as gravy or as an enhancement to a meat gravy... added to a casserole, pie... whatever you fancy. Leave out the cream but add a dash of Lea and Perrins or even a splash of ketchup or brown sauce - delicious vegetarian gravy!