Cream of mushroom soup, parmesan croutons

I woke up this morning, went through my usual rush of a routine and left for work. I felt the first chill of autumn, which can only mean one thing – soup season. I craved cream of mushroom all day. I came up with this simple but rich soup and the peppered croutons add a cheesy crunchy dimension.

Cream of mushroom soup

Serves: 2 large bowls, 4 small bowls as a starter

Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:
25g unsalted butter (or you could use oil)
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 tbsp of thyme leaves
400g chestnut mushrooms, halved (or quartered if any are particularly big)
875ml good quality vegetable stock
200g creme fraiche (I used the lighter version)
Chives
Truffle oil

25 g unsalted butter
Ciabatta role, cut into 1 cm cubes
Pepper
Parmesan

Method:

Melt the knob of butter in a deep heavy bottomed saucepan, add the onion and fry gently for 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, don’t allow to brown. Turn up the heat to medium, add the mushrooms and cook until the shrooms soften and turn a glossy brown colour, about 5-6 minutes.

Add the stock, stir, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile pre-heat your oven at 180 degrees centigrade. Melt the second knob of butter in a frying pan and fry your ciabatta cubes until golden. Dry on kitchen roll. Put a sheet of greaseproof or parchment paper on a baking tray and season with a generous amount of pepper. Then grate over some parmesan.

Stir in the creme fraiche, bring to a simmer for a few minutes then blitz with a stick blender until lovely and smooth. Season if necessary.

Bake your parmesan croutons for 4-5 minutes until nicely golden. Ladle your soup into bowls, sprinkle over some freshly snipped chives, a drizzle of truffle oil and your croutons on the side. It’s definitely soup season.