My need for deeply warming comfort-food continues unabated, to the point where I am dreaming about mushroom soup. I now know that I must dream in tastes, because this one was so delicious that I positively *had* to make it the very next day.
Soups are a boon to the thrifty cook. If you have an onion and some stock, you've got yourself a delicious meal for a few pence in the form of a sweet, golden onion soup. Pretty much anything else you have to hand can go in: pulses, pearl barley, some pasta and every imaginable vegetable. The possibilities are endless and will be instantly doubled if you have a liquidiser or blender.
Surgically attached to your handheld blender? Come and sit by me. Haven't got one? There's really no excuse now that you can get one for under a fiver in Argos. Considering that this would buy you approximately 1.73 cartons of that upmarket, 'fresh' soup from the supermarket, you'll practically be in profit by the end of the week.
Creamy mushroom soup:
250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
1 medium Spanish onion, sliced
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
Olive or sunflower oil
A handful of flat leaf parsley
Cream or soya cream
Salt and pepper
Fry the onions until transparent. Add the mushrooms and garlic and fry until lightly browned. Add the parsley and stock and blend thoroughly until very smooth. Stir in a splurge of cream and season to taste.
The secret to the deliciousness of this one is the browning of the mushrooms. Somehow this changes their flavour and really brings out the umami taste - that savouriness that is sometimes hard to get in veggie cooking, but which mushrooms have in abundance.
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