Cold damp weather prompts all manner of mushrooms and fungi to emerge from the forest floor. Having neighbours willing to share their regular harvest of field mushrooms is one of the many great privileges of living in the Southern Forests. However despite where you live, this soup recipe captures the essence of late Autumn and the onset of Winter.
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
150 g pancetta or speck, diced [optional]
30 g butter
700 g field mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 cup pearl barley
3 litres vegetable or chicken stock
1 ½ tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
1 cup cream
sea salt flakes
100 g Parmesan, grated
freshly cracked black pepper
- Gently fry the onion, garlic and speck in the butter until softened and gently caramelized.
- Stir through the sliced field mushrooms and continue to sauté until wilted. Add the pearl barley, stock, 1 tablespoon of the thyme and bay leaf and bring to a gentle simmer.
- Cook for 30 minutes until the pearl barley is tender and has thickened the soup.
- Add the cream, simmer a further 10 minutes and season to taste.
- Serve sprinkled with grated Parmesan, garnished with the remaining fresh thyme and freshly cracked black pepper.