Rich Mushroom Soup





























My mum was extolling the virtues of mushrooms soup and how much she loves it, so good daughter that I am, I make some mushroom soup for her next visit. Sods law steps in and mum breaks her glasses, so her trip is cancelled and instead she makes a pricey visit the opticians. Not knowing when we would see her next, Graham and I did the noble thing and tucked into the soup ourselves. I wouldn't say it is my favourite soup, but heck it was rather good.

Rich Mushroom Soup

1 tbsp olive oil,
a small knob of butter
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
5 large portabello mushrooms, sliced
15 medium closed cup mushrooms
1 heaped tsp dried thyme
1 heaped tsp dried parsley
2 tbsp plain flour
½ glass white wine
2 pints vegetable stock
a splosh of single cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper


In a large pan, saute the garlic and portabello mushrooms in the olive oil and butter. Saute for a few minutes before adding the closed cup mushrooms. I like to season the mushrooms at this point with black pepper as they really soak up the flavour.

Once the mushrooms are lovely and juicy and brown, reserve a few to serve as a garnish on top of the soup.

Next add the herbs. If you have fresh herbs, then so much the better, but this was a bit of a store cupboard soup for me.

Pour in the wine and allow the mushrooms to start absorbing the liquid. Stir in the flour which will absorb the juices from the mushrooms and help to thicken the soup.

Next, add the stock and leave the soup to simmer gently for 20 minutes.

Whizz the soup until smooth and season to taste before adding a splosh of cream. This is optional and it is up to you how much you would like to add.

Serve topped with some of the reserved mushrooms

Serves 4-6
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Mum's Trifle




It's a simple dessert, but one filled with comfort and joy. My mum adds a good glug of sherry to her cake base, but I have left that out. Although I love it, Graham is not so keen, but the choice is yours. The jelly really moistens up the cake, so you don't need to add any extra liquid, although saying that, a good boozy trifle can go down a treat.

I'm not going to lay this out as a traditional recipe, this is more of a case of layering and you can't go wrong. If you want more custard and less cream, just adjust it to suit yourself. It's all about plunging your spoon through the layers and the taste sensation as your taste buds tingle.



Mum's Trifle

1. Start off with a nice large bowl, a clear one is good so you can see all the lovely layers.

2. Your first layer is sponge. You have a choice here. I used a few slices of my Jaffa Drizzle Sponge Cake, without the chocolate drizzle. I sometime use a Madeira cake. Homemade cake is a good choice, but bought cake works just as well.

3. Fruit next. I used blackberries and clementines in my trifle. Unfortunately the clementines I had were a bit bitter, so I used tinned clementines in fruit juice, instead of fresh. Fresh berries such as strawberries and raspberries are lovely in a trifle, again you choose.

4. Now we add the jelly. Jelly can be a problem for vegetarians, but there are alternatives out there. I used a sachet of Hartley's Quickset Raspberry Jelly, which uses pectin instead of gelatin. It's easy to use, just follow the packet instructions. Don't be alarmed when it doesn't set as firm as regular jelly, this is normal. Leave the jelly to cool slightly before pouring over the sponge and fruit. Leave to cool and set in the fridge.

5. Now for the custard. If you can find a good fresh custard to buy, then why not save some time, but if you have some time to potter about in the kitchen and want a more deluxe trifle, then make your own. You can find my recipe for fresh custard here. It is the custard recipe I use when I make ice cream and it is filled with lovely specks of black from fresh vanilla. I would leave out the cinnamon for this dish however.

6. Our last layer is cream. I whipped double cream with a little sugar until it was lovely and thick and then spread it across the top of the custard.

7. Decoration. I sprinkled my trifle with chocolate flakes, but many of you will remember childhood trifle sprinkled with hundreds and thousands, those colourful little sugar sprinkles. It depends how nostalgic you are feeling. A dusting of cocoa powder is rather nice too.

Dig in! How can you resist?



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