Is it a stew? Is it a soup? Not even Notch seems to be sure. What we do know is that mushrooms are awesome. Why, you ask? Because mushrooms are the very foundation of the gaming industry. Without the iconic ‘1-UP’, perhaps gaming wouldn’t have become as popular as it is today. It’s a sobering thought, but from Mario to Minecraft, mushrooms have appeared in innumerable titles across the years. I’m also a personal fan of the fungi, as a vegetarian they feature a lot in my diet. They’re incredibly delicious, but mushroom soup is probably one of the most foul things you can ever taste, especially when it comes from a can. So change your mind, and follow in the footsteps of gaming heroes by enjoying some real, fresh mushroom stew. (No Mooshrooms were harmed in the making of this recipe).
This recipe serves 4.
What you will need: A large and deep frying pan/skillet, kitchen towel and a small pot.
For the Croutons:
4 Slices White Bread
For the Mushroom Stew:
Truffle Oil (Optional)
Salt & Pepper
300g / 4 Cups Mushrooms (Chopped)
- Pink Oyster
- Yellow Oyster
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 Small White Onion (Chopped)
1 Clove Garlic
500ml Vegetable Stock (Or use 250ml Vegetable and 250ml Mooshroom/Beef stock)
1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme (Chopped)
1 Tablespoon Fresh Parsley (Chopped)
110ml / ½ Cup Single Cream
Making the Croutons:
1. Using a sharp knife, cut out the shape of the pixelated mushroom. You can use this image as a template. Cut out some squares too and set aside.
2. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil and a dash of truffle oil in a large frying pan. Add a little salt once heated, then carefully lay the bread shapes into the pan.
3. Once they are golden on one side, flip them over. Remove the croutons from the pan when crisp and lay them on some absorbent kitchen towel to drain any excess oil. Set aside for garnishing later.
Making the Mushroom Stew:
1. Heat the olive oil in a deep frying pan on a medium high heat. Once hot add the mushrooms and fry for one minute.
2. Next, add the butter, onion and garlic and stir. Season with a little salt and pepper, drop in the thyme and allow to cook.
3. Once the moisture in the pan has reduced and is almost gone, add the stock. Bring it to the boil, then allow the soup to simmer for about 5 minutes.
4. Once simmered, pour the soup into a bowl and blend for a few minutes. You can blend it to be very smooth, or leave it a little chunky – whichever you prefer. Once blended, pour the soup into a clean pot and warm through.
5. Add the cream and some parsley and stir well. Serve the soup up, and garnish with the croutons, some thyme, parsley and a drizzle of truffle oil.
I was really pleased with how this turned out, and by some stroke of fate I managed to pick mushrooms at random in the store that just so happened to be perfect for soups! There’s a great depth of flavour that’s light and warming, and the croutons add a delightful contrast in texture and taste. I will make a warning though, this stew/soup certainly wont be for everybody.
I think you’d probably have to love mushrooms to like this. And I mean really love mushrooms. You’d have to be, like, a spore away from being one yourself – or maybe just a fun guy or gal (that’s right, I went there). For those of you that do like it, however, just make sure not to gobble the bowl while you’re at it.
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