Sunday, April 12, 2009

Truly delicious mushroom soup

Mushroom soup

50 g butter
2 leeks, cleaned and chopped
400-500 g large swiss brown (flat) mushrooms, cleaned and chopped (reserve a few slices for a garnish)
2 potatoes, scrubbed and chopped in pieces
salt and pepper
1 litre home made chicken stock
sprig of fresh thyme
dollop of cream
100-200 g fresh ricotta

In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter and cook the leeks, slowly, until they are start to soften.

Add the mushrooms, stir and continue to cook until the vegetables are all softened. Now season with salt and pepper, tip in the potatoes and give it all a stir to coat the potatoes in the buttery juices. Cook for 1 minute.

Pour in the chicken stock and add the sprig of thyme. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes are soft.

Remove the thyme sprig if you can (I couldn't find mine), and blend the soup roughly with a hand-held blender. We like our soup quite coarse, so this was a quick splurt, not a long process. It's up to you!

Stir in the cream and break in the ricotta (if you want, do the rocitta before blendin, and it will not form little white lumps. Again, we like it that way, so we have chunky rough soup with ricotta in it). Check the seasoning.

Serve with the mushroom garnish, a few small snipped chives or parsley, and bread on the side. It's very filling!

The recipe above is based on the excellent soup-making advice in Xanthe Clay's cookbook, Recipes to Know by Heart. Thanks, Xanthe!

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