A health­ier heart

The Irish Times - Tuesday - Health - - Health Nutrition -

WILD MUSH­ROOM SOUP

This soup freezes re­ally well, so you can make it ahead of time. If you can­not source wild mush­rooms, white but­ton mush­rooms will suf­fice. Just use the same weight. Serve with home­made brown bread.

In­gre­di­ents (serves 6-8) – 50g but­ter – Dash of olive oil – 1 medium onion, finely diced – 3 cloves gar­lic, finely grated – 1 leek, finely chopped – 1 small cel­ery stalk, finely diced – 1 heaped tbs thyme leaves, chopped – 4 medium pota­toes, diced small – 1 litre home­made veg­etable stock or 2 Kallo veg­etable stock cubes in one litre of boil­ing wa­ter – 20 dried mush­rooms (mix of any: porcini, oyster, Shi­itake, chest­nut), soaked in 400ml boil­ing wa­ter for at least 30 min­utes – 500g fresh chest­nut mush­rooms, finely sliced – 200g fresh Por­to­bello mush­rooms, finely sliced – 100g fresh Girolle/Chanterelle mush­rooms, finely sliced (save a few for gar­nish) – 300ml re­served mush­room liq­uid from soak­ing – 20g fresh pars­ley, finely chopped – 200ml crème fraîche – Juice of ½ small lemon – Udo’s Oil to driz­zle

Method Place dried mush­rooms in a small bowl, cover with boil­ing wa­ter and leave for at least 30 min­utes or overnight. Drain and finely chop mush­rooms, then set aside along with re­served soak­ing liq­uid. Fold lemon juice into the crème fraîche, set aside in the fridge un­til ready to use.

Melt one third of the but­ter and all of the olive oil in a saucepan at a low heat. Add gar­lic and cook for one minute, then add the onion, cel­ery, leek and thyme and gen­tly cook for five-10 min­utes. Add the diced po­tato and dried mush­rooms and cook un­til soft (10 min­utes).

While onion mix­ture is cook­ing, pre­pare and cook mush­rooms: in a sep­a­rate pan, melt the re­main­ing but­ter, add the sliced mush­rooms in batches and quickly fry off on a medium heat un­til lightly coloured. Sea­son as you go. Trans­fer mush­room plus any liq­uid from them to a bowl.

Add the cooked mush­rooms to the onion mix­ture along with hot veg­etable stock and re­served mush­room liq­uid, bring to a gen­tle sim­mer for about 15 to 20 min­utes, then re­move from heat. Pour half the soup into a blender (or use a blender stick), whizz into a purée then pour it back into the pan and re­turn to a sim­mer. Add chopped pars­ley and sea­son to taste.

Serve soup in warmed bowls, top with crème fraîche and driz­zle with Udo’s Oil just be­fore serv­ing.

Mag­gie Lynch is a nu­tri­tion and health coach, and di­rec­tor of cook­ing at the Ir­ish In­sti­tute of Nu­tri­tion and Health

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