This is my favourite winter soup. Earthy and meaty, it’s hearty enough on its own and it warms the cockles of my heart (and our tummies)! I have successfully tried various recipes for mushroom soup, as there are several by well-known chefs. My favourite ones are by Marcus Wareing and Tana Ramsay (Gordon Ramsay’s other half), and this recipe is a hybrid version.
The truffle oil isn’t essential, but if you have a bottle, this is a perfect way to use it. White or black truffle oil both work.
I found after making this soup over the years, that some shitake mushrooms in the mushroom mix add a lovely meaty richness to the soup. Shitake are rich in “umami”. You can do without them, but if you can get your hands on some, do add them.
If using shitake, you need to discard the tough stalks and only use the tops. This is also a great way of using up little bits of mushrooms lying your fridge. Use a larger quantity of portobello (also called field or flat mushrooms) mixed with other varieties. I don’t bother washing mushrooms, just a quick rub with kitchen paper does the trick.
Adding the little bit of sherry vinegar at the end adds a little dash or acidity that’s imperceptible but cuts through the richness of the soup.
Heston Blumenthal, has a fabulous, if somewhat complex, recipe for mushroom soup in his “at home” book. That recipe is infinitely richer than this one, but what I love about it is the mushroom powder that he sprinkles on top. He makes the powder by roasting dried mushrooms and them pulverising them. The powder keeps well, and a little of it on soups or risottos does give the finished dish a Michelin star oomph!