Delicious Mushroom & Thyme Soup

Serves 3-4

Dairy free, Gluten free, Refined sugar free, Vegan, Vegetarian

The Magic of Mushrooms
Neither plant nor animal, the mysterious fungus is a class, or kingdom, of its own, and has fascinated cultures around the world for centuries.

Mushrooms (such as portobello, shitake and porcini) can provide us with unique immune system support. In a remarkable way, particular phytonutrients found only in mushrooms actually change the way your white blood cells (the basis of our immune system) go about their business. In fact, the list of immune-impacting properties of mushrooms are both unusual and lengthy – but trust me – they are a true immune superfood!

Mushrooms are also low in fat, a good source of fibre, selenium, copper, vitamin D and B vitamins. This mushroom is also recognised in present day science as having anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antibiotic and anti-tumour properties (in fact nutritional science is now just tapping the surface of their ability to combat one of the biggest killers – cancer). Behold the mighty mushroom!
This soup is so delicious, so easy and so comforting. You must try it!

 

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Ingredients

1 1/2 cups chestnut mushrooms, quartered

1 1/2 cups portobello mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup dried shiitake mushrooms (or 1 cup fresh shititake, if you can get them)

2 leeks, sliced and diced (white and light parts only)

1 medium yellow onion, diced

3 cloves garlic

4 -5 cups vegetable stock

6 sprigs thyme

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Parsley to garnish (optional)

*optional: Slice 5 – 6 chestnut mushrooms and fry with olive oil in a frying pan for 3-4 minutes until cooked through and slightly crispy. Serve these on top of the soup as an extra garnish.

Method

Soak the dried mushrooms in hot water for at least 10 minutes, do not discard the water after use (if using fresh shiitake, simply follow the same guidelines as the other mushrooms, below).

Sauté the leeks, onions, thyme sprigs, garlic and a good pinch of salt with some olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat for 5 minutes, until transparent.

Add all the mushrooms (if using dried mushrooms, be sure not to discard the soaking water  and use this in addition to the stock to add great flavor*) and sauté for a further 10 minutes until the mushrooms have released their liquid and have become soft.

Add the veg stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove the thyme sprigs and blend the mixture with a hand blender or food blender until completely smooth.

Return to the heat, season with salt and pepper, serve hot with fresh chopped parsley and fried chestnut mushrooms.

*sometimes dried mushrooms contain some grit which will be leftover in the soaking water, be sure to discard this before adding the soaking water to to the soup.