We have teamed up with our friends from The Mushroom Bureau who are responsible for the generic publicity of all fresh cultivated mushrooms sold in Britain. October is officially the Month for Mushrooms!
The Bureau is funded voluntarily by its members who are predominantly mushroom growers and trade alliances to the industry in the UK, Ireland and continental Europe.
Mushrooms offer a variety of health benefits:
- Mushrooms are a natural source of B vitamins and minerals, with an 80g serving counting as one of your 5-a-day
- Mushrooms are a natural source of selenium which is part of the body’s antioxidant defence system
- They are naturally low in calories and fat
- They are a good source of vitamin B5 which works in the body to help release energy from the food we eat
- They are a natural source of folic acid
The following is a vegetarian recipe form Materchef finalist, Jackie Kearney:
Preparation and cooking time: 30-40 minutes
Equipment needed – Large soup pan
- 750g selection of any mushrooms (white, button, chestnut, flat, portabello, etc)
- 1½ – 2 pints of good quality vegetable stock
- 50g butter (for vegan option, you can substitute good olive or vegetable oil)
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
- 1½ tbsp of chopped fresh tarragon (can be substituted with dried tarragon)
- 2 tbsp crème fraîche (optional)
- Salt to taste
Divide the mushrooms into three mixed piles. Keep one pile whole and roughly chop the other two piles.
Take the whole mushrooms and simmer them gently in a good vegetable stock. If you’re using dried tarragon add this to the stock so that its flavour infuses. Simmer gently until the mushrooms are soft and have absorbed as much liquid as possible. Take them off the heat and leave to stand in the stock.
Take one of the piles of chopped mushrooms and fry them vigorously in the butter and garlic (and the chopped tarragon if you are using fresh) until mushrooms start to brown. Set aside.
Add the fried mushrooms and any remaining oil or butter from the pan to the stewed mushrooms and blend with a hand blender until smooth.
Bring to simmer again and check seasoning, adding salt to taste. Add the uncooked mushrooms and pulse blend to ensure that some texture of the raw mushrooms remains. Add further vegetable stock if necessary to achieve suitable consistency.
Add one or two tablespoons of crème fraîche (if using), and if desired, sprinkle with crispy croutons.
Jackie Kearney said:
This rich and flavoursome soup incorporates a range of mushroom varieties, and by keeping some of those raw, increases the vitamin content of the dish (raw mushrooms hold onto more of their B vitamins than cooked). Tempura is a popular Asian snack or starter, and mushrooms work very well with this dish. The salad incorporating spicy, sweet and sour flavours provides an excellent contrast to the tempura.
More to Mushrooms YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/moretomushrooms
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