Earlier this month, I was approached about a fun campaign. For during June, ACT residents are being urged to “buy local” and support mushroom growers located on the doorstep of Canberra.
Not long after, a beautiful box of mushrooms from Majestic Mushrooms in Murrumbateman was delivered to my door. I was even more excited when I realised that these mushrooms are sold at my local greengrocer too – meaning that I never really have to go far to support out local growers.
I’ve actually been to a mushroom farm before (here) and what magical little places they are. For open a door inside, and you will be bound to find shelf upon shelf of mushrooms just waiting to be picked.
Although given the health benefits of mushrooms (low in sodium, low in kilojoules and a good source of selenium and vitamin D) it’s not hard to see why they are so popular. And even better that we have not one, but two local growers supplying the Canberra market (Canberra Mushrooms at Yass and Majestic Mushrooms at Murrumbateman).
But what to do with this delicious bounty I received?
It is not unusual for me to add mushrooms to a stir-fry or salad, or perhaps through some atop a pizza. And there are a lot of recipe ideas at www.powerofmushrooms.com.au .
But I wanted to create, at least initially, a recipe in which mushrooms would be the star. And given the temperatures outside were far from balmy, a mushroom soup sounded just perfect.
I’m not the biggest fan of creamy soups, so I left out the cream. But, instead, I threw in a couple slices of good sourdough to aid with thickening.
Simmered for 20 minutes or so, then pureed into a luscious soup. Topped, simply, with a dollop of natural yoghurt and a sprinkle of thyme leaves.
The mushroom flavour shone through, but was not overpowering. Making it a soup that was hearty, flavoursome but not too heavy.
One that we enjoyed on a cool Canberra evening, but equally one that would make for a fine lunch too.
A big thankyou to Australian Mushroom Growers for inviting me to participate in this campaign, and – of course – to Majestic Mushrooms for providing the all-important ingredient inspiration! I can’t wait to try out more recipes over the next few weeks.
Mushroom & Sourdough Soup (serves 3-4)
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 leek – sliced
- 1 tbs garlic paste
- 500g mushrooms, sliced
- 4 cup low salt chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 slices sourdough – crusts removed
- thyme leaves + extra to serve
- natural yoghurt to serve
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the leek and garlic and cook, stirring, until the leek softens.
- Add the mushrooms, stock, sourdough and thyme, and stir to combine.
- Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Use a stick blender to puree into a smooth soup. Season to taste.
- Spoon into bowls, and top with a dollop of natural yoghurt and an extra sprinkling of thyme leaves to serve.
Also – this month – Australian Mushroom Growers are running a campaign on the health benefits of mushrooms on Radio 2CC along with a competition to win a $500 dining voucher AND a year’s supply of mushrooms. The competition runs from 9-22 June 2014, and you can enter via the website at www.2cc.net.au .Check it out!
What about you? What is you favourite way to use mushrooms?