This post has been updated as of July, 2013 to include instructions for using either freshly grated nutmeg or fresh thyme. In summer I prefer the latter whilst during colder months I use nutmeg.
This is another recipe I’ve been making for years. In Summer I cook this with fresh thyme. In Autumn and Winter, instead of thyme, I use finely grated nutmeg from whole nutmeg rather than ground or powdered. It’s grated into the Mushroom Soup after it’s cooked and liquidized, allowed to infuse for several minutes, then the soup is tasted again for any needed seasoning. I wouldn’t recommend any more than four fine gratings as the taste of freshly grated nutmeg is pungent. If you have to use already ground nutmeg then perhaps add a pinch, taste and add another pinch if needed.
Mushroom Soup, with a hint of freshly grated nutmeg or fresh thyme
- oil, either rapeseed or olive
- 250g (8.81 oz) closed cup or chestnut mushrooms, wiped, medium size cut in half and sliced 4 times, small cut into quarters
- 2 – 3 x garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 x tablespoon oil, or enough to coat the base of a small saucepan
- 1 x tablespoon plain flour
- 1 x organic very low salt vegetable stock cube, less if using regular
- 500ml (1.05 pt US Liq) water
- 1 x dried bay leaf, ripped
- 1/4 x teaspoon of cayenne pepper OR 1/4 x teaspoon red pepper flakes – optional
- 4 x fine grates of whole nutmeg, more to personal taste OR 1 x sprig fresh thyme
- single cream, to serve – optional
Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.
- Put a large heavy-based saucepan on electric heat No 4 (out of 6) with enough oil to coat its base.
- Prep the mushrooms, and when ready add to the saucepan when hot enough. Stir through the occasional time. Don’t worry too much if the mushrooms start to leach a brown liquid. This will be reabsorbed, eventually. When that starts to happen then stay with the pan and stir through every 20 – 30 seconds or more to prevent the mushrooms from scorching. Continue to cook until the mushrooms are a nice golden colour.
- Prep the garlic, and when the mushrooms are golden take them off heat and add the garlic. Stir through, turn heat down to No 2, put back on heat and allow the garlic to cook through, without burning. Take off heat if necessary, allow the saucepan to cool, then put back on heat again. This will help to prevent the garlic from overcooking and turning crisp.
- Pour in the tablespoon of oil into a small saucepan and put on heat No 1, then add the flour. Stir through to prevent any lumps from forming. Any sign of bubbling then take off heat and allow to cool. Put back on heat to cook out the flour for another minute or so. If the flour turns brown DO NOT USE! You’ll have to start again.
- When the flour and oil has cooked for around 5 minutes pour in the water. Add the stock cube and bay leaf (if using thyme add it as well), then up the heat to No 4. Bring the stock to near boiling point, stirring constantly, which will thicken the stock sufficiently.
- When the garlic has softened add the cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes and put on heat again, at No 4 if the stock is ready. Allow the cayenne pepper to infuse, but be careful of it burning.
- When everything is ready simply pour in the stock to the mushroom mixture. Bring this to near boiling point, stirring through the occasional time to prevent the stock mixture from sticking to the base of the saucepan. Reduce heat to No 2, add a lid and simmer for about 15 minutes to make sure the garlic is cooked. Take off heat.
- When ready to liquidize remove the bay leaf and discard! And the stem of fresh thyme (the leaves can be left in the soup) if that’s been used.
- When cool enough to do so pour the soup into a suitable liquidizer and blitz until smooth. Pour back into the saucepan. Grate the nutmeg into the soup, stir through and allow to infuse for several minutes before tasting again for any needed seasoning. Put back on heat if necessary and keep at a simmer until ready to serve.
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