The best bit about a stroganoff is the lovely creamy sauce you get in the pan when you make it – the inspiration for this rather self-indulgent soup. The other idea I borrowed from a stroganoff was adding a bit of rice to thicken the soup nicely. The plan was to put all the mushrooms in the soup, but when I fried them they looked and smelt so fantastic that I just had to have a few on a little crostini on the side.
TO DRINK (F&HE): Go for Steenberg Nebbiolo 2006, the undisputed king of Italian reds.
Mushroom stroganoff soup
- 30ml (2 tbsp) butter
- a clove of garlic, peeled and sliced
- 800g mixed wild mushrooms
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 red onion, peeled and diced
- 2 sticks of celery, trimmed and finely chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 litres chicken or vegetable stock
- 100g white rice
- 150ml sour cream
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 4 slices of ciabatta bread
- extra virgin olive oil, to taste
- 50ml fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- freshly ground nutmeg, to taste
Melt half the butter in a deep saucepan and stir in the garlic. Add the mushrooms and fry gently until softened. Season to taste. Scoop out a third of the cooked mushrooms and put to one side.
Add the onion and celery to the saucepan and cook gently until softened. Add the bay leaves, stock and rice, bring to the boil and simmer gently until the rice is well cooked, about 20 minutes.
Remove the bay leaves and blend the soup in a food processor or with a hand-held blender. Taste and season if necessary.
Mix the sour cream and lemon zest together. Stir in a few drops of lemon juice and season. Ladle the soup into bowls and swirl a spoonful of the lemony sour cream into each one.
Grill the ciabatta slices and drizzle them with olive oil. Place a slice on top of each bowl and top with some of the reserved mushrooms. Scatter the soup with the parsley and a pinch of nutmeg before serving.