Enough for two (or three at a stretch). You could substitute fresh mushrooms for dried mushrooms, but dried mushrooms add a lot of extra flavour:
- a handful of dried mushrooms (porcini have great flavour) soaked in a mug of hot water for about 40 minutes, squeezed dry (strain the liquid and keep to add to the stock), chopped
- 1/2 onion (chopped)
- 200g fresh mushrooms (washed and sliced)
1 tsp vegi-stock powder
leaves from 4 sprigs of thyme or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 600ml hot water
- a small slug of sherry
- 2 tbsp double cream
- freshly ground black pepper, lemon juice, salt to taste
- croutons (see final para Sweet potato and red pepper soup) and chopped parsley (optional)
Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and fry gently for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the fresh mushrooms, turn up the heat, and stir-fry fir about a minute. Add the chopped ,soaked mushrooms together with the stock powder, the thyme, the hot water and the liquid used to soak the dried mushrooms. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Purée the soup using a hand blender (or a liquidiser). Add the sherry and cream, and reheat the soup until just about boiling. Turn off the heat. Add seasonings to taste.
Serve with croutons and chopped parsley (if available).