Mushroom, Thyme & Nori Soup

Takes 30 mins – Serves 4

A good ol’ mushroom soup can be a thing of pure beauty, and in the colder months an almost religious experience. This rich and complex recipe has been a favourite of mine for years. I think it might become one of yours too.

- 500 grams mixed mushrooms
- 2 garlic cloves
- 4 Tbsp. butter, separated
- 1 medium white onion, diced
- 1 celery stalk, sliced
- 1 Tbsp. Fresh thyme
- 1/3 cup madeira (or port)
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup water
- 1 large nori sheet, roughly torn into 1-inch squares
- ½ cup 35% cream
- 6 inches of fresh baguette
- 50 grams goats cheese
- ¼ cup finely chopped parsley
- Truffle oil (optional)

In a large pot over medium/high heat add a splash of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of butter, mushrooms, garlic, ¼ teaspoon of salt and cracked pepper. Sauté off mushrooms for 3 to 5 mins or until tender, be careful not to let garlic burn. Remove 4 tablespoons of mushroom mixture from pot and set aside.

To the pot then add onion, celery, thyme, remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and an additional pinch of salt. Sauté vegetables until onions and celery become soft but not brown. Then add madeira and simmer for 2 to 3 mins to burn off alcohol. Then add stock, water, nori and place lid on. Simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add cream and puree with a hand held immersion blender or regular blender. Check seasoning and serve each bowl with slice of toasted baguette topped with a smear of goat’s cheese, warmed sautéed mushrooms, parsley and 4 to 5 drops of truffle oil (optional).