Tag Archives: soup

The Next Best Thing To A Duvet Day: Velvety Mushroom and Chestnut Soup


Winter is dragging on, my mood is as gloomy as the weather, and I feel like I am going to be cold forever.

I wish I could just burrow under the duvet and wait for the temperatures to start climbing again before venturing back out, but I can’t do that because I would most probably get sacked. Unfortunately, my job cannot be done from home, and it definitely cannot be done from under a duvet, so like most other people I have to suck it up, leave my bed and wrap up in a lot of layers in order to go to work. And it sucks.

Sadly, taking your duvet to work isn’t normally very practical either. So, what to do? What could make up for having to get out of bed?

In my opinion, the next best thing to a duvet is probably soup. It is warm, comforting and satisfying, and unlike a duvet you can take it to work to enjoy during your lunch break, without having to endure being stared at by your co-workers as if you have suddenly grown a second head. If you agree with me, then this recipe is definitely for you.

This mushroom and chestnut soup is very tasty and warming. The chestnut purée is optional, but the texture wouldn’t be as smooth and velvety without it. Use any mushrooms you want; if you are lucky enough to have access to wild mushrooms then don’t hesitate to use them. I usually go for a mixture of chestnut mushrooms and (rehydtated) dried porcini.

You will need (for 4 servings):

800 g mixed mushrooms (rehydrated weight if using dried mushrooms), quartered
1 onion, finely chopped
1 stick celery, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
30 g butter
3 tbsp olive oil
2 pinches dried thyme
3 tbsp brandy
1 litre hot chicken stock (or vegetable stock for a vegetarian version)
Salt, pepper
4 heaped tbsp unsweetened chestnut purée


In a large, heavy-bottomed pan, heat the oil and butter together on a medium heat. Add the onion, celery, garlic and thyme and cook until soft but not coloured (about 3 to 4 min).

Add the mushrooms and cook for about 5 min, then add the brandy and cook for 1 or 2 min to evaporate the alcohol. Add the stock, season, and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 25 min.

Transfer about 2/3 of the soup to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour it back into the pan with the rest of the soup, and stir in the chestnut purée. Check the seasoning.

Serve with plenty of crusty bread, and crème fraîche if you like.



Filed under Mains, Soups, Starters, Vegetables, Vegetarian

The Fourth Emergency Service (aka Chicken Soup)

I came home tonight to a sick husband. Not sick enough to see a doctor, but decidedly under the weather, and feeling rather sorry for himself.

Initial offers of food were declined, Mr Greedy Frog did not want any food.

At the suggestion of chicken soup though, he perked up and confirmed that such a meal would be very suitable indeed.

Which suited me fine, as I had leftover meat from yesterday’s Barbecued Chicken to use up.

After a bowlful of soup, Mr Greedy Frog declared himself to feel “much better”.

So there you have it: Chicken Soup IS the fourth emergency service. Fact.

You will need (for 2, with a bit extra):

2 tbsp olive oil
2 celery sticks
2 carrots
4 spring onions
1 garlic clove
1 litre hot chicken stock
About 200 g cooked chicken meat, shredded
1 bay leaf
1 small handful vermicelli or other small pasta
Chopped parsley, to serve.


Roughly chop the spring onions and celery. Slice the carrots. Cut the garlic in half.

In a large pan, heat up the olive oil, then add the chopped vegetables and the garlic. Stir, then cover and cook gently for a few minutes to soften.image

Add the stock and bay leaf, cover, then simmer for about 15 min.

Add the chicken, return to a simmer then add the pasta and leave to cook for the time stated in the packet.

Pour into bowls, top with the parsley, and prepare to witness a miraculous recovery or two.image


Filed under Meat dishes, Soups