Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Plain Mushroom Soup

A basic mushroom soup. I made it chunky simply because I could not fit the blender into the pan, and clumsy as I am (and lazy), am averse to pouring it to blend in a food processor. This probably affected the flavour, making the broth blander with intense mushroomy hits when you chomp a piece of mushroom; it's up to you how you do it. It's big pan time!

Mushroom soup

Serves 4-5

Total time taken around 40 minutes

500g strong, tasty mushrooms, such as chestnut or portobello, wiped clean

1 pint milk (full fat is best)

1.5 pints of stock

1 onion or 2 large escallion shallots

A couple of teaspoons of thyme (optional)

4 generous tbsp plain flour

Oil or butter for frying

Salt for seasoning

* Chop the onion and put aside, because you'll need room for all the shrooms

* Chop the mushrooms as small as possible

* Heat some oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. When heated, add the onions and fry for a few minutes

* Add the mushrooms (probably in batches) and cook until the final lot is reduced, about 5 minutes after the last fresh pieces are added.

* Add the flour, stirring in so any lumps dissolve, until the mushrooms are well coated. Add the thyme, if using.

* Pour about half the stock in and stir until thickened. Add salt.

* Follow this with half the milk, stirring as you go, followed by the rest of the stock and milk.

* Simmer for about 20 minutes.

* At the end blend if desired.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

On Thai curry

I don't make Thai curry very often, for the simple reason that it's so hard to find a vegetarian Thai curry paste in my local shops! But finally I have found a brand that does do it - Thai Taste.
They do pastes and ready-made sauces as well as other Thai miscellany (not all vegetarian) so finally I can start making Thai curries. For now I thought I'd try the ready done sauce above, so I don't waste a tub of paste if I don't like it.

Another thing - Thai curries seem awfully heavy to me. Even using a 1:1 ratio of stock and coconut milk, it's still pretty creamy so I think these will be occasional treats. I do love Thai curries though, so I hope that this solitary vegetarian brand is a good one.

Thai Taste: http://www.thaitaste.co.uk/home.html

Note: Waitrose also do a frozen Thai herb selection. It doesn't have the full range of paste ingredients and I have no idea whether it's in paste form or rough leaves, but it might be something to look into.