I’ve been going back to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Veg Every Day cookbook. In the soups section was a recipe for cream of mushroom soup. Now when I was growing up, the sovereign remedy for all childhood illnesses was a bowl of soup and a slice of bread cut into quarters. The soup came from a tin and the bread was white, but it was certain to help bear any cold or sniffle. My favourite was cream of chicken, and now I’ve gone veggie, chicken is off the menu, my comfort food to end all comfort foods is a tin of condensed cream of mushroom soup served over a packet of microwaved rice.
Now Hugh’s recipe involves cream, naturally enough, but I rarely have it in the house. I thought a bit and decided that potato would add body to the soup without overpowering the mushrooms. I think a couple of courgettes might work as well – they are brilliant blended in soups.
Like most soups this is quick and easy to make. I would recommend closed cup mushrooms in this for their lighter colour in the bowl. The dark-gilled field mushrooms will blend to something that looks like you might want to make breeze-blocks from.
I also really recommend the chopped tarragon. It completely lifts the soup to a different level. If you can’t get it, I suggest a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
1 leek, chopped
1 medium baking potato, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
750ml vegetable or mushroom stock
grating of nutmeg
1 tbsp sherry
chopped tarragon to garnish
Sweat the leek in a little oil until they have gone bright green and a little translucent.
Add the garlic and give it a few stirs.
Add the potato, mushrooms and vegetable stock.
Cover and leave to simmer for 20-25 minutes.
Blend the soup until smooth.
Season with salt and pepper.
Stir in a few gratings of nutmeg and the sherry.
Serve with the tarragon as a garnish.