Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Mushroom Soup

I was telling someone I that I was thinking about putting up a mushroom soup recipe on the blog, and they said that you couldn't beat a tin of Mushroom soup with white sliced bread.  That got me thinking about comfort food - the best kind of food in my opinion - and I have to admit that tinned soup is always something that I fall back on when its raining outside and I want something to cheer me up.

I think that this goes back to when I was a kid and I always had soup for lunch - either mushroom, chicken or cream of celery.  My mother, not being one to tolerate fussy eating always told my brother - a budding fussy eater - that the mushroom and celery soup that he refused to eat was chocolate or seaweed respectively, and for some reason, he found these flavours much more acceptable, and he ate the soup.  And now every time I think of tinned mushroom soup I can't help but think of it as chocolate soup.

The reason I mention this is that as much as tinned soup is a comfort food, once I tasted this recipe I don't think I can ever go back.  I'd love to know what other people's comfort foods are and wether you prefer to make them from scratch or use the tinned / shop bought versions (I love making home-made baked beans, but can't stand the tinned ones...)

You can use any mushrooms you want, but chestnut, oyster or anything like that are much better than just plain white mushrooms.  I managed to get hold of some king oyster and black trompette varieties to go with my chestnut and oyster mushrooms.

It goes without saying that be very careful if you use freshly picked wild mushrooms, and always check anything you aren't 100% sure about!

600g Mushrooms
25g Dried Mixed Mushrooms
10g Butter
1tbsp Olive Oil
1 Leek
1 Onion
3 Garlic Cloves
2tsp Fresh Rosemary
2tbsp Tomato Ketchup
1.5l Stock
75ml Sherry
100g Pearl Barley

First open the dried mushrooms and soak them in 250ml of hot water for 20-25 minutes.

Finely chop the leek, onion, rosemary and garlic.  In a large pan, heat the butter and olive oil, then add the vegetables, and sweat for 5 minutes, until the onion and leek start to soften.

Remove the soaked dried mushrooms from the liquid and chop finely, remembering to save the rich brown mushroom liquid for later.  Also chop all the other mushrooms and add them to the pan, letting them sweat down for 10-15 minutes, until they are soft and the juices start to flow from the mushrooms.

Now add the stock, sherry, barley tomato ketchup and the liquid that came from the dried mushroom,  season to taste and cook over a low heat for 30 minutes.  When it's cooked through, if you want a smoother soup, transfer half of it into a blender and blend until smooth, then return to the pan.

Serve with home made bread
The soup is now ready to serve. The smell of this soup is wonderful, but not half as wonderful as the rich mushroomy taste - a perfect soup now the winter nights are drawing in, and much better than cream of mushroom soup of of a can, I think you will agree!

You can garnish with parmesan, chopped fresh parsley or a swirl of double cream.  Enjoy



  1. This made me drool. I should try this some day.

  2. Glad you like it - I really need to work on my photography, but when taking pictures of soup, it's hard to make them look exciting!

  3. Like the sound of this recipe. Interesting you use Tomato Ketchup. Will definitely give this a try :)

    1. Just adds a little bit more depth to the flavours. It's lovely on a cold winters night!