Mushroom Soup forms part of the traditional 'Holy Supper' eaten on Christmas Eve in Russia (6th January), and here I've added that classic Russian ingredient, vodka, for an added kick. This is a faily thin broth-like soup that is packed with flavour, so ideal for a starter before a fairly substantial meal so as not to fill up your guests!
Wild Mushroom & Vodka Soup
- 1 onion finely sliced
- 15 g butter
- 1 garlic clove crushed
- 80 g dried wild mushrooms porcini or mixed mushrooms are fine
- 3 fresh portobello mushrooms finely chopped
- 2 tbsp puy lentils
- Boiling water
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 1 tbsp mushroom ketchup or soy sauce
- 4 tbsp vodka
- 2 tbsp double cream
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
- Put the dried mushrooms into a bowl or heatproof jug and cover with boiling water.
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the onion. Cook gently for 10 minutes until translucent, and add the garlic and chopped portobello mushrooms. Cook gently for a further 5 minutes.
- Pour the dried mushrooms' soaking liquid into the saucepan through a fine sieve to remove any dirt. Tip the soaked mushrooms onto a chopping board, chop roughly and add to the saucepan.
- Add the puy lentils, 500ml boiling water and stock cube, and simmer for 20 minutes.
- To serve, stir through the vodka, spoon into bowls, drizzle with a teaspoon of double cream and sprinkle with parsley.
Make it vegan: Just substitute the butter for dairy-free margarine, and either leave out the double cream or use soya or cashew cream instead.