The lazy days of summer are well and truly over and everyone in our Irish home is moving back into life lived at warp speed.
The kids are busy with school, sports practices/games, clubs, and homework. Our eldest daughter recently added an after school job to her schedule, which brings great opportunities for personal growth and some very welcome pocket money! My husband is traveling a lot again. And, as for me, I’m holding the whole show together.
On those days when I need a meal that’s quick and easy to make, I am thankful to have Irish Mushroom Soup as one of my go-to recipes. This particular recipe, from Myrtle Allen of Ballymaloe House, is delicious and wholesome and takes all of about 20 minutes to make. What’s more, I don’t feel the need to make anything else to call this supper: a loaf of bread and lashings of good Irish butter make it totally complete.
I’ve adjusted Myrtle’s recipe ever so slightly, God forgive me! I use a yellow onion rather than a load of spring onions and I don’t make a roux (I just pop everything into the soup pot and give it a good, stiff, stir). This soup is absolutely no fuss but it tastes like you’ve slaved over a hot hob (stove) all day.
Myrtle’s Mushroom Soup
4oz/1 cup onions, finely chopped
2 oz/4 tablespoons butter
8oz/2 ½ cups mushrooms, finely chopped, (I use a variety of mushrooms)
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons plain flour
8oz/1 cup milk
80z/1 cup chicken stock
1. Sweat the onions in the butter until soft (5 minutes approximately).
2. Stir in the mushrooms and seasoning and cook for 1 minute.
3. Add the flour and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring well.
4. Remove from the heat. Blend in the milk and stock. Return to the cooker and bring the mixture to the boil, stirring all the time.
5. Adjust the seasoning (my two cents here: using a hand-held blender, blend until you have a consistency you like) and serve.
Additional Notes, Related Articles & Credits:
* If you have a few minutes, watch this interesting interview over at the Irish Food Channel with Myrtle Allen regarding Irish food production and why Irish food is so delicious.
** Read the Wall Street Journal’s article on how Myrtle Allen helped transform “fine Irish cuisine” into a bona fide culinary movement.
**** The Northern Ireland Fungus Group has lots of advice on which mushrooms can be eaten and organises annual fungal forays. See http://www.nifg.org.uk for details.