Mushroom Soup

I have been super busy this week with Riverford Lunches. This is when a customer hosts a lunch in their home, invites up to 10 friends, who they think would be the kind of people who may also be interested in getting a weekly Riverford veg box, and I come along and cook lunch. The idea is to inspire everyone with how good fresh, organic vegetables can be. Then everyone sits down to a three course lunch and I hopefully I sign up a few new Riverford customers.

Anyway, I managed to fit in three lunches this week but it did not leave me a huge amount of time for much else so I thought I would share with you some of the recipes that I have been cooking this week. I ordered a small veg box less roots which came with mushrooms, carrots, flat beans, leeks, a cauliflower and red Russian kale. Straight up I made the soup of this week’s menu, and it couldn’t be much easier or more seasonal than mushroom. You can add more to your base than I do, such as onions or celery if you have them to hand, but just to say, you don’t need to, just lots of mushrooms will do. You will need a couple of punnets.

Mushrooms in a punnet
I always wrap my thyme into a little bundle rather than chopping it or even more time consuming – removing all the tiny leaves. Tie it up well so no twigs escape. All the flavour will infuse whilst cooking and then all you have to do at the end is squeeze out all the remaining juices. Finally, don’t forget plenty of freshly ground black pepper. If your pepper grinder is not up to much, grind some up in a coffee grinder. I am very happy to have a big bowl of Mushroom Soup for dinner with nothing more than a chunk of good sourdough bread.

If you are interested in hosting a Riverford lunch then just let Simon know. We will be taking bookings soon for January 2016 onwards.

Mushrooms Soup

Mushroom Soup
Serves 4 as a starter, 2 as a main
Good glug of olive oil
800g mushrooms, (two large punnets) sliced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
Small bunch fresh thyme, tied tightly into a little bundle
2 pints (1 litre) milk
250 mls cream (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt

Sweat the mushrooms and thyme bundle in the oil for about 30 minutes. All the liquid should cook away and the mushrooms will begin to fry. Add a little more olive oil is necessary. Cook until golden brown. Add the garlic and fry for a minute more. Pour over the milk and bring to a gentle boil. Cook for five minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the cream if using. Remove the thyme. Squeeze as much juice from it as possible. Blend in liquidizer of with a hand blender until smooth. Season with plenty of salt and black pepper. Adjust constancy with a little extra milk or water.


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