We love a smooth mushroom soup, but we also love the meaty texture of whole mushrooms, so here we've gone for both. For the mushrooms to top the soup, use whatever variety is best on the day - flat mushrooms or Swiss browns, or, if you're lucky enough to find them, pine mushrooms or trompettes work beautifully.
- 20 gm dried porcini
- 60 gm butter, coarsely chopped
- 70 ml olive oil
- 1 leek, thinly sliced
- 10 garlic cloves, 2 finely chopped, and 8 bruised with the flat of a knife
- 750 gm flat mushrooms, coarsely chopped
- 12 thyme sprigs, plus extra to serve
- 1 litre chicken stock (4 cups)
- 200 gm crème fraîche
- Finely grated rind and juice of ½ lemon
- ½ baguette, thinly sliced diagonally
- 300 gm pine or other mushrooms, halved or quartered if large
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- Roquefort or other blue cheese, to serve
- 1Soak porcini in 100ml boiling water in a bowl until softened (10-15 minutes).
- 2Meanwhile, heat half the butter and half the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until butter foams. Add the leek and chopped garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally, until translucent (4-5 minutes). Stir in flat mushrooms and half the thyme sprigs and sauté until beginning to soften (6-8 minutes), then add stock and season to taste. Bring to a simmer and cook until well flavoured (10-15 minutes). Discard thyme, add crème fraiche and purée with a hand-held blender (or in batches in a food processor) until smooth. Stir in half the lemon rind and keep warm.
- 3Preheat grill to high and toast baguette slices, turning once, until golden brown (2-3 minutes).
- 4Heat remaining butter and remaining oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add pine mushrooms cap down, then add the bruised garlic. Season to taste and fry until golden brown (2-3 minutes). Turn mushrooms, add remaining thyme and cook for another minute. Remove from heat and add vinegar and lemon juice.
- 5Ladle soup into warm serving bowls and top with pine mushrooms and garlic and buttery pan juices. Scatter with extra thyme and serve hot with croûtons spread with Roquefort.
Drink Suggestion: Golden late harvest pinot gris Drink suggestion by Max Allen