28 August 2012

* Porcini and Chestnut Mushroom Soup

Porcini and Chestnut Mushroom Soup Recipe
Yesterday was the August bank holiday in the UK so some of us were lucky enough to get a paid day off. Not that we could do much with it - the rain was absolutely chucking it down.

The cat kept wandering in and out and leaving little muddy footprints, like graffiti all over the place - *Archie Woz 'ere!*.

The dog was sulking in her basket because we had dared to take her out in it and GET HER WET... something that wouldn't have bothered her a couple of years back... and we were pretty much in the mood to curl up indoors and finally have a 'do nothing' day. A rarity, and not one that we always appreciate. Well...

Not one that I always appreciate. I get stir crazy while Neil just laps up the laziness of it. He's good at it. I could kill him.

I didn't kill him.

I made soup and pottered... but mostly I made soup... aaaaaaaaand painted my nails.

Shoot me.

Shoot me now.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
Porcini and Chestnut Mushroom Soup Recipe

Serves 3

Prep time - 30 minutes
Cooking time - 40 minutes

You will need
A saucepan with lid

15g dried porcini mushrooms
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium onion - finely diced
1 large carrot - peeled and finely diced
1 clove garlic - crushed
1 tsp dried rosemary (or 1 tbsp fresh)
250g chestnut mushrooms - finely chopped
700ml vegetable stock (from a cube is fine)
3 tbsp sherry or Marsala
1 tbsp tomato puree
50g pearl barley
fresh grated cheese (Parmesan or strong cheddar) to serve (optional)

Soak the porcini in 125ml of boiling water from the kettle for 30 minutes.

Heat the oil in the pan and add the onion, garlic, carrot and rosemary and soften for 5 minutes. Drain the porcini, reserving the liquid and finely chop. Add the porcini and chestnut mushrooms to the pan and soften for a further 5 minutes. Add the stock, sherry, tomato puree, pearl barley and porcini liquid.

Bring to a rolling simmer, put the lid on, simmer for 30 minutes or until pearl barley is cooked. Check the seasoning. Season to taste.
Serve scattered with the Parmesan or cheddar - I prefer cheddar 'coz it's gooey.

Also lovely with Sour Cream Cornbread for an even heartier meal.

NOTE: This freezes incredibly well so it's very easy to double up the quantities. 

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