A Food & Travel Blog

Warming up Winter with Mushrooms

10/07/2015 | By

Discover some of the health benefits of mushrooms & warm up your winter with my simple, tasty soup recipe.

Mushrooms

On a cold, wintry day a couple of weeks ago I found myself wandering in the wilds of Woodcroft, one of Adelaide’s outer southern suburbs, searching for a large mushroom farm which, I was told, was unmissable. While I was born with many useful qualities – nice curly hair, the constitution of an ox and a half-way decent brain – an adequate sense of direction was, sadly, not included on the list of things I carry through this life meaning I saw much more of Woodcroft than I had intended. However, after pulling over and speaking firmly to my phone’s maps app I finally found myself at P&L Rogers, a local mushroom growing concern.

Some years ago I was part of a tour of a huge mushroom farm a little closer to home, so I was interested to be able to join another tour to met another local producer. Phil Rogers has been in this business in one form or another for 26 years and bought this farm with his wife, back in 2006. They are now at the helm of an enterprise that produces a massive 35,000 kgs of magnificent mushrooms a week, selling to outlets all over the country.

P&L Rogers Mushroom farm.

P&L Rogers Mushroom farm.

P&L Rogers Mushroom farm.

After a tour of the facility, we were treated to a marvellous mushroom morning tea while Phil chatted to us about some of the remarkable nutritional facts regarding these interesting little fun guys. There’s no doubt that mushrooms are tasty and full of the delicious umami flavours that we love, but there’s a whole lot of well-researched, scientifically supported health reasons to get more of them into our diets, too.

1.  Did you know that mushrooms don’t photosynthesise like other plants (although technically they are a fungus, not a plant) but, like humans, share the ability to be able to manufacture vitamin D? Vitamin D is essential to our health and is something that we often run short of in the winter months. A tray of mushrooms left out in the sunlight for several hours will actually generate this vitamin within themselves, making it available to us as food. Some producers expose their ‘shrooms to UV light to produce the same result. Just look for the vitamin D labelled mushrooms in your store.

2.  Mushrooms are more nutrient-dense than most vegetables, they are cholesterol free, gluten free and contain virtually no fat. A 100gm serve contains over 20% of the daily requirements for seven essential nutrients.

3.  In comparison with 30 vegetables, mushrooms were placed in the top five for antioxidant capacity. One of these antioxidants, ergothioneine, is essential to protect the haemoglobin in our red blood cells, but cannot be made by our bodies and is only obtained in our diet. It is found in mushrooms, meat, egg yolk, oat bran, wheat germ and some beans and onion. Mushrooms are rich in this and the levels do not diminish during cooking.

Mushrooms for morning tea.

Just Mushroom Soup

Just Mushroom Soup

I made my way home that day (with no unplanned detours this time) full of respect for this healthy and delicious food source and with a great, big bag of them, freshly picked. In a domestic goddess fail, dinner plans for that night were, up until this visit, not much more than a concept. I have recently been given the very gorgeous, very clever and very red, new KitchenAid Cook Processor to play with and, at that stage, was still on my training wheels with it. It immediately became clear that these two things were meant to go together for me and that mushroom soup was the perfect antidote to that cold, wet day.

KitchenAid Cook Processor

KitchenAid Cook Processor

I’d never actually made fresh mushroom soup before and this remarkable, but simple to use machine made no work at all of it. The KitchenAid Cook Processor is a joy to use and I’ll be going into more detail as to why I’m in love with it in future posts – watch this space.

As for the name of the soup – that comes from a very skeptical look and question directed at me by my son who wanted to know what was in mushroom soup. “Just mushrooms, more or less” was my reply.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Just Mushroom soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
I made this in the new KitchenAid cook Processor, but also include stove-top directions here. You can add cream to this if you feel particularly wicked, but you don't really need to.
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 onion, quartered (or finely chopped)
  • 1 clove of garlic (finely chopped if not using the KA Cook Processor)
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 750 gms mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 heaped Tbsp chopped, fresh thyme
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • Good quality, dry sherry
Instructions
  1. KA COOK PROCESSOR INSTRUCTIONS
  2. Place multiblade in bowl, add onion & garlic. Close lid, press pulse for 5 seconds.
  3. Scrape down, replace blade with Stir Assist tool & add butter, remove the measuring cup.
  4. Select Boil P2 and start.
  5. When step 1 is complete add rest of the ingredients, except the sherry. Press Start for Stage 2, reducing the time to 20 minutes.
  6. When cooking is complete, carefully replace Stir Assist with the multiblade, replace lid and measuring cup. Slowly increase speed to 10 and run for 1-2 minutes.
  7. Add a big splash of sherry and serve hot with crusty bread.
  8. STOVE-TOP INSTRUCTIONS
  9. Heat butter in large saucepan over moderate heat, add onion and cook for 5-7 minutes until transparent. add garlic in last minute or two.
  10. Add mushrooms, stock and thyme, bring to boil then simmer for 15-20 minutes until mushrooms are soft.
  11. Cool for 20 minutes, then puree soup in a blender or stab mixer until smooth, then reheat.
  12. Add a big splash of sherry and serve hot with crusty bread.

 For lots of other brilliant winter mushroom recipe ideas, check out the Power of Mushrooms website and download their great new Winter Cooking With Mushrooms free ebook.

 Very gorgeous KitchenAid Cook Processor kindly supplied by KitchenAid Australia.

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  1. Gerlinde@sunnycovechef
    10/07/2015

    I love mushroom in almost anyting , especially in sauces and pasta. Your soup looks delicious , I never made mushroom soup. Porcinis and chanterelles are my favorite mushrooms.

  2. Hotly Spiced
    10/07/2015

    The good thing about mushrooms is they’re always in season. I’m so glad they provide Vit D as a nation we are becoming deficient in that vitamin. I love the look of your soup and with snow for this weekend threatened all around us, it is definitely soup weather xx

  3. Liz (Good Things)
    11/07/2015

    Love mushrooms, love your recipe and love your new toy too! Happy cooking (sent from County Durham UK). xx

  4. Tania | My Kitchen Stories
    12/07/2015

    Some very interesting facts Amanda. I just love them and I would even if they were made of lard.

  5. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef
    12/07/2015

    That cooker is outstanding and i’m so eager for some of your mushroom soup. I’m going to make some tomorrow. it’s one of my favourite soups. Whenever I make it I almost have to hide what I’m doing because John eats the mushrooms before they go in the pot.

  6. celia
    13/07/2015

    I love mushrooms, and knew a bit about them, but it was good to know they’re even better for me than I thought! Lovely new bit of kit, A! 🙂

  7. Anna @ shenANNAgans
    17/07/2015

    As a kid, couldn’t stand mushrooms. These days, cant get enough of them. My mushies never last long enough to turn them into soup, but perhaps I will dedicate tomorrows farmers market mushroom purchase to your soup. Yummy!

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