Mushroom soup and November colours.

A mushroom velouté is just what we need for the month of november. I used the ordinary champignon de Paris, the button mushroom, but the bolet from Bordeaux also makes an excellent velouté for a special evening since it is rather on the expensive side. If you are looking for a quick and inexpensive, but still delicious meal, this soup is it. It tastes of earth and forest and spectacular colours.

Mushroom soup.

  • 1 large onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • olive oil
  • 500 g champignon de Paris(button mushrooms)
  • 500 ml chicken stock (or vegetable stock for a vegetarian option)
  • 3Tsbp créme fraîche or thick cream
  • grated nutmeg
  • fresh thyme
  1. Peel and slice the onion. Peel and cut the garlic. Sauté the onion and garlic in a pot in some olive oil until translucent. Take care not to burn the garlic.
  2. Clean and slice the mushrooms and add to the onions.
  3. Add the chicken stock and thyme leaves and simmer for 30 minutes until the mushrooms are tender.
  4. Remove from the heat and mix with an electric blender until smooth.
  5. Add the cream and stir through. Season to taste with salt and pepper and grated nutmeg.
  6. Place back on heat and simmer on low heat for another 5- 10 minutes.
  7. Serve hot with toasted wholewheat country bread.

Suggestions:

  • Fry some coppa italian ham and serve on top of the soup.
  • Keep some mushrooms aside and fry to serve on top of the soup.
  • Replace the button mushrooms with cépes mushrooms (porcini mushrooms). Keep some aside and fry to serve on top with chopped fresh italian parsley.

Serves 4 people

Two mushrooms, oil on board, 15x15cm

November is still a beautiful month where all the leaves hang on for the last show of autumn. Greens and ochres and siennas come together in a magnificent explosion against bright and dark skies. Winds blow, the mist hang low in the valleys and heavy skies are preparing for winter rains. It is the month to store away garden furniture, bring fragile plants indoors and light evening fires. November is not really autumn any more, but it is not yet winter. It is whatever you want it to be.

Semi oven dried tomatoes.

I prefer semi dried tomatoes to fully dried ones. They are much more flavorful than the often leathery and chewy dried tomatoes. In a salad they are unbeatable, with pasta unforgettable and as a crostini for apero with a glass of wine , just delightful. I don’t give quantities in this recipe, it depends on how many tomatoes you have on hand. I used tomatoes from our potager which is bountiful at the moment. So come on, make your summer linger a bit longer and dry some seasonal tomatoes, from your own vegetable patch or from the market!

Recipe:

  • plum or roma tomatoes
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil and sunflower oil
  • dried provencal herbs
  1. Preheat the oven to 130 degrees C.
  2. Line baking trays with baking paper.
  3. Wash and dry the tomatoes, cut in half and remove the seeds.
  4. Place the tomatoes in rows, cut side up on to the baking trays.
  5. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Bake for about 2 hours or until the tomatoes start to curl up at the sides. Turn the heat down to 100 degr C and bake for another hour. Keep an eye on the tomatoes from now on so they don’t burn.
  7. Remove from the oven, leave to cool and add tightly packed to glass jars with lids and fill with olive oil or a mix of olive oil and sunflower oil, Store in fridge. ( Will keep for about 2 weeks) Use the oil for cooking or vinaigrette.

In the potager.

Tomatoes from the potager.

Wash and dry the tomatoes.

Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise and remove the seeds.

Place cut side up onto baking tray.