Real Mushroom Soup

9:35 pm on 31 August 2007

The perfect mushroom soup is as elusive as the perfect chocolate cake. One thing is essential - lots and lots of mushrooms. For this recipe you need a large processor and also, if possible, a hand-held processor.

(Serves 4)


  • 500g large flat brown mushrooms
  • 2 rounded tablespoons butter
  • 2 shallots or small onions, finely chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 375 ml tetrapak beef stock
  • 375 ml water
  • 1 thick slice good quality French or Italian white bread, including crust
  • 500 ml standard milk
  • half teaspoon marmite
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce


Roughly cut up the mushrooms and put in a processor. (You'll probably need to do them in two batches.) Process to form a rough paste. Set aside. Put the butter in a large frying pan, melt over medium heat and add the chopped shallots and garlic. Fry gently until starting to colour, then add the mushroom paste. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the mushrooms have lost most of their liquid and the paste is starting to stick to the pan. Add the beef stock and water. Tear the bread into pieces and add. Simmer for 20 minutes. Use a hand-held processor to whiz the thick soup until smooth. (Or return the soup to the processor or blender and pulse until smooth.) Add the milk and bring back to the boil. Taste and add a little marmite and soy sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes.

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm

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