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Mushroom, Black Garlic & Sage Soup

There are some foods that manage to be both comforting and hearty, yet elegant and sophisticated at the same time. To me, a good mushroom soup is one of those dishes that I’d be equally happy to order as a starter in a fancy restaurant, as I would be eating in front of the tv on an autumnal evening. I’ve tried and tested a lot of mushroom soup variations and is this is the best I’ve come to so far – it’s utterly yum!

The secret to this beautiful soup is a long slow caramelisation of the onions and dry sautéing the mushrooms, to unlock their maximum flavour. The combination of the intensely earthy flavours of mushrooms, sweet, umami-packed richness of black garlic and the herbaceous fragrance of sage makes this a truly cosy dish.

Read up on what dry sautéing is and the flavour benefits of it here. If you can’t get hold of black garlic then substitute with ordinary garlic instead and sweat it at the same time as the onions. I would say though that using black garlic really adds to the charm of this soup, giving it another layer of intrigue and layer of flavour. Swot up here on what black garlic is and how to use it in other recipes.

Mushroom, Black Garlic & Sage Soup

Mushroom, Black Garlic & Sage Soup

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Course: Lunch, DinnerDifficulty: Easy
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

35

minutes

With the combination of the intensely earthy flavours of mushrooms, sweet, umami-packed richness of black garlic and the herbaceous fragrance of sage, you know you’re already onto a winner with this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 500 g mushrooms, wild if possible. (I used here a mix of chestnut, cremini, white button and oyster).

  • splash olive oil

  • knob butter

  • 1 large onion, finely sliced

  • 2 large bay leaves

  • 2 sticks celery

  • 1.5 litres chicken stock of vegetable stock

  • 75 ml single cream, plus extra to serve

  • 4 cloves black garlic, sliced

  • squeeze of lemon or few drops of balsamic vinegar

  • Garnish, including sage crisps
  • large knob Salted butter

  • small bunch sage, leaves picked

  • crème fraîche or cream

Directions

  • To begin, place a large pan on a medium heat, then add the mushrooms to the hot pan. Ensure that you don’t overcrowd the pan as you’ll just end up steaming the mushrooms, instead of browning them. You may have to cook the mushrooms in batches if your pan is not big enough. Watch, toss & turn often.. The heat of the pan will help to work the moisture out of the mushrooms. A sprinkling of salt will help to draw the water out. The mushrooms are done when they look brown and nutty in colour. Turn the heat off and set them aside to use in a bit.
  • Heat a splash of oil and knob of butter into a separate large saucepan over a medium heat. When the butter has melted and frothing slightly, add the onion, celery and bay leaf, then cook gently until softened. Turn the heat down and pop the lid on, stirring occasionally so that they don’t catch.
  • Add the browned mushrooms to the pan on onions and celery, mix well and cook for a few more minutes to incorporate the flavours.
  • Pour the stock into the pan and bring to a the boil over a medium heat. Add the black garlic and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Remove and discard the bay leaf, then add the cream and whizz with a stick blender until silky smooth.
  • Taste then season with salt, pepper, lemon juice/ balsamic vinegar to your liking.
  • Sage butter crisps
  • To make your sage crisps, melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat. When the butter is melted, throw in the sage leaves, cook, stirring occasionally until they stop sizzling. Remove from pan and cool on a plate. 
    You’ll be left with sage brown butter in your skillet, save this deliciousness and drizzle over your soup a garnish.
  • Garnish with a dollop of crème fraîche or cream, the sage crisps, safe butter and a crack of black pepper.

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