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potato soup with mushrooms

Thu, 12 November, 2020

⯆ JUMP TO RECIPE

Potato soup is the simplest comfort dish for when the nights get long and rainy. A few dried wild mushrooms will turn it into an exquisite meal.

potato soup with mushrooms cuisinefiend.com

Potato soup and I go back

A potato soup might sound boring and basic but this one is anything but. I used to cook it before I knew how to cook – that’s testimony to how easy it is – and I still cook it – that’s how good it is.

I cooked it when I was a student and my flatmate loved me for it. I’d cook a big great vat because I knew that as if by magic, the doorbell would ring and hungry mates would turn up – because they always did.

chunky potato soup cuisinefiend.com

What goes into potato soup?

Back then it was an affair of spuds, carrots and maybe a parsnip or a swede, whatever was going for free at the end of a vegetable market.

Fancy stuff like dried mushrooms only appeared in the recipe much later. Back then, I wouldn’t know what to do with stuff like that, and by no means spend good beer-buying money on it.

Diced onion and a little butter was an essential garnish though – to be fair, without them I might as well have dissolved a stock cube with some instant mash. I was skint, but I had my food standards even then.

Since those days, I’ve made my potato soup a thousand times.

I like the addition of soy sauce; I make a point to always add some fresh thyme and I no longer consider dried mushrooms an outlandish, but rather an essential ingredient.

old fashioned potato soup with dried mushrooms cuisinefiend.com

Soups should be chunky

I am very much against blended, creamed or pureed soups. It seems like a completely wasted effort of peeling and dicing the vegetables and other ingredients if a master blaster with a blender comes in and blitzes it all into oblivion. Very, very wrong. Also – blended soups are baby food; grown ups have teeth.

potato soup cuisinefiend.com

So no ‘creams of’ this or that will hold my attention on the menu of a restaurant or on a supermarket shelf – because yes, it’s perfectly all right to open a can of soup every now and then – and I don’t even own a stick blender.

Chunky soups are far more interesting and actually require some skill: you can’t just let it all cook itself into oblivion since it’s going to be blended anyway. The textures are important.

How to cook my potato soup?

Very simply: carrots and celery take a little longer to cook so they go into the pot first. Potatoes need only a few minutes to soften while the onions are turning golden in a skillet. A little flour to create rudimentary roux, to thicken the soup slightly – or just because my Grandma always sprinkled flour on her soups.

warming potato and wild mushroom soup cuisinefiend.com

And whatever you don’t eat on the day can be frozen and make it a better and easier meal on another day than opening a can!


potato soup with mushrooms

Servings: 4Time: 40 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 10g (13 cup) dried wild, porcini or shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 3 celery sticks
  • 2 tbsp. dark soy sauce
  • 1 beef or vegetable stock cube
  • 300g (10 oz.) potatoes
  • 4-5 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. plain flour
  • salt and black pepper


METHOD

 

1. Place the dried mushrooms in a large pot and add about 2 litres water. Bring to the boil.

2. Peel the carrots, trim the celery and chop both into small dice and add to the pot with the soy sauce and stock cube.

3. Peel and dice the potatoes, add them to the pot; strip the leaves off the thyme sprigs and add in.

4. Peel and finely dice the onion. Melt the butter in a small pan and add the onion when foaming. Cook over medium heat until lightly browned. Sprinkle the flour and stir it in. Take the pan off the heat, dilute with a splash of water and pour into the soup.

5. Bring to a simmer, check a chunk of potato to see if it’s soft and taste for seasoning. Add salt and black pepper to taste.

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