Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Earthy Chestnut Mushroom soup

I’ve never really enjoyed eating mushrooms, especially button mushrooms. I find them bland. The only time I will compromise using them is when they are combined with other ingredients. The one mushroom I can just about eat because it has depth and an earthy flavour is the chestnut mushrooms. I especially use it when I make mushroom stroganoff.

I picked some up to enjoy at the weekend, but never go to eating them for breakfast. So I decided make some more soup. Yes I know, more soup already, but you will understand and forgive me, it ‘tis the season of soup. Now I must admit I was a little wary, as I have never liked mushroom soup from a tin, always finding the texture creamy, thick and a little sickly. But I do recall having had mushroom soup from scratch before and remember it being very light and deeply flavoured, so had no doubt this one would be satisfying, especially as it had a red chilli to spice it up. Ooh just the thought of it is warming me up and I was not disappointed.
Oh before I rush off, please don’t substitute the mushrooms in this recipe with another, clues in the title.
Chestnut Mushroom and brown lentil soup
Serves 3, maybe 4
Splash of olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 fresh red chilli, de-seeded if you wish, then finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
200g chestnut mushrooms, thickly sliced
A few sprigs of fresh (lemon) thyme, pulled of the stems or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons of tamari (or soy sauce)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
75g brown (or green) lentils
2 pints vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste
MethodIn a large saucepan, add the oil with the onion, chilli and garlic. Cook until the ingredients are soft.
Add the mushrooms, thyme, tamari or soy and lemon juice. Cook until the mushrooms are just starting to soften.
Add the lentils and stock, and cook for approximately 20 minutes or until the lentils are soft. Season to taste if necessary and serve. Adapted from New Food for Thought by Jane Noraika


  1. Looks so good!!!!!!!!! Mushrooms and lentils ... wow!
    I promise I won't substitute ;)
    I ate marvellous mushrooms in a B&B in Scotland. Even the kids (who are not very fond of mushrooms) loved them!
    Have a nice day.

  2. Chestnut mushrooms are my choice as well, I find they have much better flavour. I also really like oyster mushrooms, they are great in a stirfry and have a lovely texture and flavour. Do you like them? :)

  3. Now, I've just come back from Rome with a big bag of dried porcini mushrooms... and was thinking of all the lovely things I could do with them. Your timely blog post has just inspired me. Thanks!

  4. I love the look of this, its my kind of meal. Really like how earthy and healthy it looks.

  5. ah, chica, have you had maitake or chanterelle mushrooms? saute them and mix with some eggs and feta, or make a mushroom bread pudding, and i promise you will change your mind about mushrooms tasting bland...

  6. I saw this last night, bought the chestnut mushrooms this morning, now I can't decide between the soup or the stroganoff. Did you ever get a dog by the way (you talk about it in your stroganoff post)?

  7. mmm, chunky chestnut mushroom soup, looks delish.
    I picked up a box of large flat mushrooms once at the end of market day and decided to make a soup with them. G called it 'black soup' (which it was) and while it tasted nice it was hard to get past the resemblance to something you'd find in a puddle under a car!

  8. Thank you spécialiste de l'éphémère.
    so pleased to read that you have some good food memories of being in Scotland.

    Thank you so much green ink.
    I should have mentioned that i like wild mushrooms too and often use oyster mushrooms in Thai dishes, thought the texture is acquired.
    :) I do like them, as well as shiitake.

    Welcome back Matron.
    Dreiod porcini from Rome. You lucky lady.
    Make a mushroom risotto too will be packed with flavour!

    Hello Emma.
    Thank you so much. You right, it certianlyfelt healthy eating it too.

  9. EcoGrrl.
    I have to admit, I have had chanterelle mushrooms but only the dried form in a risotto. Tasty I must admit, but never fresh. I've never heard of maitake mushrooms. So will keep my beady eyes out for them. I am happy to try different varieties esp. if they will convince me to change my mind about them being bland...but what about texture... :)

    Oh Kath.
    So which did you dcide chestnut mushroom soup or stroganoff?

    Unfortunatley, we did not get a doggie. We are so conscious that our flat is small and it would be so unfair. Things will hopefully change in the future. We would both love to give a dog a home, oneday :)

    Thank you nic.
    I am lost for words with your comment on your 'black soup'. I can only imagine :)

  10. Well in the end I used you as inspiration and created something entirely different. I made a stroganoffy type stew and topped with mushrooms that had been fried in butter, with a generous glug of sherry added and then double cream - a heart attack waiting to happen!! Not good enough to appear on the blog as it needs some tweaking but thank you ever so much for being the catalyst.I hope you find yourself in the position to get that dog one day too. x

  11. Thanks Kath.
    Shame your version was not good enough to appear on the blog, but I am sure it was flavour-packed.
    Yes, hopefully - one-day we will have a doggie of our own. Thank you so muchx


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