A rich, intensely delicious soup that makes a good first course for a dinner party.
75 g (¾) stick butter, plus a little extra for frying the mushrooms
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
500 g (18 oz.) chestnut mushrooms
2 tablespoons Madeira or Oloroso sherry
1 teaspoon dried porcini powder (optional)*
1 litre (4 cups) mushroom or vegetable stock*
1 medium potato, peeled and sliced
2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard
Sea salt and freshly
Ground black pepper
Lemon juice, to taste
Double/heavy cream, to serve
Heat the butter in a large saucepan or casserole and add the chopped onion and garlic. Cook over a low heat until soft.
Wipe the mushrooms clean, trim the stalks and thinly slice, reserving a good few slices for the garnish. Tip the remaining mushrooms into the butter, stir and cook for about 15 minutes until the mushrooms are brown and the liquid has all but evaporated. Stir in the Madeira or sherry and the porcini powder if using.
Add the stock, bring to the boil then add the sliced potato. Simmer until the potato is soft. Strain, reserving the liquid and blitz in a blender or food processor, gradually adding back the reserved liquid until you have a smooth soup. Return to the pan, add the mustard and reheat gently without boiling. Check the seasoning, adding salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste.
To serve, fry the reserved mushroom slices briefly in a little butter. Ladle the soup into warm bowls, top with a swirl of cream and scatter the mushroom slices over the top.
*If you use vegetable stock I’d add some dried porcini powder to the mushrooms to intensify the flavor.
Pairing: A glass of Amontillado sherry is perfect with this or you could drink a rich Chardonnay.
Excerpted from Wine Lover’s Kitchen by Fiona Beckett, published by Ryland Peters & Small, $37.50. Copyright © 2017. Photography by Mowie Kay. Used with permission by the publisher.
This original food article first appeared in the Fall 2017 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.