September 16, 2012 by Bloke In A Kitchen
Suddenly Autumn is upon us, and up here in the drizzly Pennine hills, that means some good, honest and warming food is required. And what could be more comforting than a steamy bowl of home-made soup, served with a stack of good bread?
Soup is really cheap and very easy to make, and much tastier and more substantial to anything pre-made. This recipe makes enough to almost fill a large-ish saucepan, and can be stored in the fridge, or frozen.
90g / 3oz salted butter
2 medium sized onions, peeled and finely chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
1 large potato, peeled and finely diced (the starch in the potato helps to naturally thicken the soup a little, without having to use flour / cornflour)
1 bay leaf (optional)
Approx. 500g / 1lb of mushrooms, roughly chopped
A splash of olive oil
1 litre of vegetable stock, preferably organic (I used 2 stock cubes, dissolved in hot water).
Large bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped (leave some of the parsley to one side to garnish the soup)
Level tablespoon of dried oregano or fresh thyme (optional)
1 or 2 tablespoons of fresh double cream
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Firstly, before cooking, prepare all the ingredients that need chopping (the onions, garlic, potato, parsley and mushrooms).
Add the butter to a large saucepan, gently melt, and then add the onions, garlic, potato and bay leaf (if using). Place lid on the saucepan and reduce the heat to its’ lowest temperature. You want to gently ‘sweat’ down the onions and garlic for about 10-15 minutes, not fry them as such, or colour them.
Add the chopped mushrooms, give a good stir, add a splash of olive oil. Cover with the lid, and gently cook for about 10 minutes until the mushrooms are cooked down.
Add the stock, chopped parsley, and the oregano or thyme if you’re using them.
Bring to a gentle boil, and then simmer for a few minutes.
Have a taste, and add some sea salt and black pepper accordingly.
Add some 1 tablespoon of double cream, stir well, taste again, and add a little more if need be. Not too much though, as cream can over-power the taste/texture of the soup.
Allow the soup to cool a little for 10 minutes, and then ladle about a fifth of the soup into a blender*, and whizz until smooth (I much prefer to keep this soup fairly ‘rustic‘. You could blend up more of the soup if you wish). Return the blended soup to your saucepan, and mix well.
Serve hot in large bowls, stir and swirl in a little double cream, and sprinkle with some of the reserved chopped parsley. Ideal with some good crusty bread rolls.
Variations I’ve seen some recipes with lemon juice or a little chilli powder. You could add these whilst cooking, or to an individual serving.
* Remember to remove the Bay Leaf before putting soup in the blender.