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Churchmouse Altarmousefinal copyThis mushroom soup recipe is unlike tinned cream of mushroom soup!  It is also very rich and satisfying.

Churchmouse’s Rich Mushroom Soup

(prep time: 30 minutes and overnight to set; serves two as a main course or four as a starter)


4 Portobello (large, flat) mushrooms, chopped in small pieces

100 – 120g (10 – 12) chestnut or white mushrooms, chopped in small pieces

25g dried porcini mushrooms, crumbed

3 tbsp chicken, duck or goose fat (alternatively, use good butter)

1 pint (450 – 500 ml) whole milk

2 – 3 tbsp flour

1 tbsp pressed garlic or garlic purée

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/ 4 tsp cayenne

Dash of Old Bay and/or chicken seasoning to taste

When serving:

2 tsp heavy or double cream

2 tsp truffle oil

2 tsp chopped chives


1/ Melt the fat in a large, deep saucepan.

2/ Add all the mushroom pieces and gently saute until tender. This takes about 10 minutes.

3/ Once the mushroom pieces are soft, add the garlic and the dry seasonings. Stir well and leave to simmer for another five minutes.

4/ Add the flour. Start with two tbsp and add a third if necessary. Mix well with the mushrooms and fat. Cook for five minutes or so until you have a roux.

5/ Gradually add the milk a little at a time, stirring well and continually after each addition. The first one or two will cause the mix to seize up. Don’t panic. Keep stirring and adding milk, a little at a time. Eventually, the mixture will begin to turn into a white sauce then a soup. This takes five to ten minutes over medium heat.

6/ After you have a soup, taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. The predominant flavour should be that of mushroom, but additional salt, pepper and special seasonings will round it out.

7/ Stir well, take off the heat and cover, preferably with a saucepan lid. Leave overnight so the flavours marry fully. Place in the refrigerator, if necessary, once thoroughly cooled. I left mine on the stovetop, French-style, but my kitchen is quite cool.

8/ The next day, remove from the refrigerator and let the soup warm up to room temperature. This takes about an hour.

9/ With the lid still on the pan, warm the soup at a low-medium heat until hot but not boiling. Stir occasionally so that nothing sticks to the bottom.

10/ Serve with a sprinkling of chopped chives and a circular drizzle of heavy or double cream and truffle oil. Top with croutons and/or serve with crusty bread.

(Graphics credit: Dr Gregory Jackson of Ichabod)



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