Homemade mushroom soup is a treat, and needs few ingredients to make it special. Choose full flavoured chestnut mushrooms, and for real luxury add some dried ceps or porcini mushrooms. Soak them in hot water
for ten minutes or so to reconstitute before using.
2 tbsp olive oil
25g (1oz) butter
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 fat cloves garlic, crushed
250g (9oz) chestnut mushrooms, roughly chopped
15g (½ oz) dried porcini mushrooms and ceps, optional
leaves from 2 sprigs fresh thyme or ½ tsp dried
2 tbsp Amontillado sherry or vermouth, optional
700ml (1¼ pints) vegetable or chicken stock, can be made with bouillon powder or a cube
300ml (½ pint) milk
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
salt and freshly ground black
a little chopped fresh parsley, optional, to serve
Heat the oil and butter in a medium saucepan until hot then stir in the onions, garlic, mushrooms (including the porcini
and ceps, if using) and thyme leaves.
Cover and cook on a low heat for 5 minutes. Uncover and mix in the sherry or vermouth, if using. Cook for a minute then stir in half the stock and some seasoning.
Bring to the boil then simmer for 15 minutes. Using the Dualit hand blender, blitz the ingredients in the saucepan until smooth.
Rub the purée of mushrooms through a sieve using the back of a ladle.
Return the liquid to the pan. Stir in the remaining stock and milk then reheat to a gentle simmer.
Cook for another 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and check for salt and pepper.
Give the soup a little froth by plunging the blender up and down in the pan on the turbo setting, and serve immediately
with some chopped parsley sprinkled on top.