The above title may sound like a contradiction. Surely ‘gourmet’ can’t be achieved in 30 minutes?! Wrong.
Yes it can and my gourmet tasting, wild mushroom soup can be made by even the culinary inept among us.
Of all of the soups I make, this is the one that is the crowd pleaser. My ‘picky eater’ middle child despite a hatred of mushrooms will always ask for seconds and I can find no better way to fool my children into eating vegetables than this. But the really great thing about this soup is that it tastes so impressive it makes a delicious way to start a dinner party or Supper for guests.
My mantra as an embracer of a ‘greener’ life is “less is more” and that extends to spending less time cooking. Cooking from scratch can be time consuming so I am always on the hunt for delicious tasting, nutrition packed ways of speeding this up. This soup is a perfect example. Mushrooms are low in calories, fat-free, cholesterol-free, gluten-free, and very low in sodium, yet they provide important nutrients, including selenium, potassium, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin D and are a good source of B vitamins.
Leeks are a good source of folic acid and vitamin A and are also a good source of fibre but having said all of that this soup definitely does not taste of leeks which is a god-send to my leek phobic children!
250g wild mushrooms (chestnuts are a good substitute too)
30g dried porcini (lidl sell great quality dried porcini for under €3!)
2 good sized leeks,
cleaned & finely sliced
1 onion, diced
1.2 litres of stock
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh thyme or parsley to garnish
First of all place the porcini in a shallow Pyrex dish and pour over 100ml of freshly boils water. Leave to soak.
Next, gently heat the oil and butter in a heavy bottomed pot.
Once the butter has melted and has started to foam add the sliced leeks and onions. Stir and cook over a gentle heat until the onions and leeks have become translucent. Stir frequently to avoid burning or sticking to the base of the pot.
Now combine the sliced mushrooms, again stirring to avoid sticking. Place a lid on top and allow to cook gently for 5 minutes. It is time to add the litre of hot stock and half of the porcini. Allow the mixture to simmer gently for another 10 mins before blending with a hand held blender. Finely chop the remainder of the porcini and stir through along with the liquid. Heat through for another 2 to 3 minutes before serving, garnished with flat leaf parsley.
Enjoy. Foolproof, healthy and utterly scrumptious.
Tip: add 150ml of fresh cream if you are looking for something a little more luxurious but trust me, it’s great without it!