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!
25g Dried Mixed Mushrooms
1tbsp Olive Oil
3 Garlic Cloves
2tsp Fresh Rosemary
2tbsp Tomato Ketchup
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|
You can garnish with parmesan, chopped fresh parsley or a swirl of double cream. Enjoy