Kay’s Covid Cookery Course. No. 2. A ridiculous amount of mushrooms.

Don’t get too excited. Just ordinary mushrooms. (Although in these times, perhaps something more magical is called for…)

I walked to Chapel Market to buy vegetables this morning, partly because now more than ever I want to support independent food retailers, and partly because the stallholders always call me “young lady”. They didn’t have much; apparently the bigger supermarkets are snapping up many of the supplies and paying higher prices . But one thing they did have was a huge amount of mushrooms which they were selling at £2.50 for a big tray full.

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I chopped about 6 of them into small pieces and added those to the tomato sauce I made yesterday (see yesterday’s page), heating it through and simmering for about 10 minutes. So, it has now been miraculously promoted to mushroom sauce, and it’s going to be even better with your hoarded pasta than the plain tomato version.

The rest of the mountain of mushrooms went into making enough soup for about 8 people, or to feed someone self-isolating for an (admittedly rather monotonous) week.

Here’s how:

Ingredients:

About 20 -25 large mushrooms (yes, really!)

2 medium sized onions

4 cloves of garlic

1 cup fresh parsley

1 cup fresh thyme

1 tablespoon *Henderson’s relish (or Lea and Perrins if you must)

1 veggie stock cube

salt and pepper to taste

Boiling water

What to do:

Peel the mushrooms, chop the tips off the stalks, chop into thumb-sized pieces.

Chop the onion, garlic, thyme and parsley very finely.

Heat some oil in a large saucepan, drop in the chopped onion and fry for a minute, then turn the heat down, add the garlic and herbs, place the lid on the pan and fry all this gently for another 5 minutes.

Add the mushrooms and Henderson’s and fry, (still on a low heat) stirring for a couple of minutes.

Add enough boiling water to just cover the mushrooms, add the crumbled stock cube (or a couple of teaspoons of powdered stock, or a cup of your own homemade stock. You don’t want to overdo the stock because mushrooms have quite a delicate flavour which is easily masked.)

Add a little salt and pepper, mix it all up and leave to simmer on a very low heat for about 30 minutes.

Blend with a wand blender, leaving some of the mushroom pieces whole for a more interesting texture. Taste and add more salt and pepper if you like.

If you’re a cream fan, drizzle a little single cream over the top of the soup to serve.

*I’m from Yorkshire. Henderson’s is the only relish.

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