I love mushroom soup and have made many of them over the years, but think this one is my best so far. If you don’t have celery to hand, or don’t like it, you can use extra onion. Mushrooms soup traditionally has a splash of wine in it, but I try not to keep it in the house at the moment – if you wanted to add some and it’s the kind of thing you have kicking about, do feel free, but I think it’s perfectly luxurious and delicious without. This cream is a delicate golden colour – or it was when I made it – which is a relief from the minky greys of mushroom soups gone by! I use full fat coconut milk here as you get more bang for your buck, but if you only have the reduced fat version available, double the quantity and reduce the water accordingly.
Serves two, from 48p each
1 small onion, 9p (80p/1kg, Farm Stores at Asda)
2 stalks of celery, 10p (50p/500g, Asda)
4 fat cloves of garlic, 8p (69p/3 bulbs, Growers Selection at Asda)
1 tbsp oil, 2p (£1.09/1l, Asda sunflower oil)
300g mushrooms, or thereabouts, 41p (54p/400g, Farm Stores at Asda)
1 rounded tbsp flour. <1p (45p/1.5kg, Smartprice at Asda)
1 tsp mixed dried herbs, 2p (30p/18g, Asda)
1 stock cube, 3p (39p/12, Asda)
100ml coconut milk, 18p (69p/400ml, Summer Pride at Asda)
Plenty of black pepper, 1p
First peel and slice your onion as finely as you possibly can. Dice your celery nice and small, and peel and chop your garlic. Warm the oil in a large nonstick pan on a medium heat, and add all of these. Cook on a medium heat for a few minutes to soften, taking care not to let the onions catch or brown.
Slice your mushrooms, as thickly or thinly as is personal preference – I prefer some of each in a soup like this one. Add to the pan and stir in for a minute, then add the flour and herbs, and stir quickly to evenly coat the vegetables in a fine dusting of it.
Add a splash of water and mix well and quickly, then add a splash more. It’s important to add it a splash at a time so that the flour from the mushrooms forms a roux-style base, rather than a puddle with some floury lumps in, so don’t try to rush this step – it’s the work of a moment, but makes all the difference.
When the base liquid is smooth, crumble in your stock cube and add the coconut milk. Remaining coconut milk should be transferred to a glass or plastic jar, bottle or other container and stored in the fridge.
Stir well to incorporate the coconut milk and stock, and continue to cook on a low-medium heat for 15 minutes, adding the water gradually until your desired consistency is achieved.
Season with plenty of black pepper to taste; I find the stock makes it quite salty enough for my liking, but you may wish to add a little more.
You may serve it as is, or remove half and blend it to smooth, then return it to the pan and stir through – both are excellent.
Leftovers can be cooled and stored in the fridge for 3 days, or the freezer for 3 months. Some separation is normal when stored in the fridge, simply whisk or beat back together with a wooden spoon to combine when reheating.