Monday, October 22, 2007

Winter Warmer 1 - Mushroom Soup and Fabric Live 36

In honour of the days getting shorter, the nights getting longer, and the cold...well, getting colder, I decided that last week it was time to make the first soup of the season. After visiting the hustle and bustle of Dalston market to pick up provisions, I got started on making what turned out to be quite a nice mushroom soup. As much fun as getting culinary on the weekend is (and believe me, chopping up shallots and blending mushrooms is much more fun than anything the Primrose hill set get up to), what really helps while slicing and dicing is what's on the stereo, because sometimes you need some musical motivation to make sure you spend less time in the kitchen, and more time enjoying what you've just whipped up. So, in what may become a weekly feature on this blog (well, we'll see about that) here's a simple soup recipe to warm up your body, and a fine audio selection to nod your head to whilst straining and stirring.

Right, this one's easy (as it says below). I used around 500g of button mushrooms, 250g of chestnut mushrooms, and around 250g of porcini, shitake and oyster mushrooms, although I guess you can vary the ratio of each according to what type of mushrooms you can get your hands on. I found that the only laborious part of the process came when straining the rough soup (it took an aaaaaaaaaaaaagggggge before I had at least a litre of smooth soup) so make sure you blend it as smoothly as possible to speed up the process. Oh, and while truffle oil is easier to find than it was when I started my attempts at cooking several years ago, you still have to search for it as it's not exactly something that your local Sainsbury's would probably have (mine stopped stocking it a few months ago). I eventually found some at Fresh and Wild, with a small bottle costing around 8 quid a pop. It's well worth having some in the cupboard, as it's a great finishing touch. Don't worry about the cost either as a little oil goes a long way.

Ahem. Now, about those beats.

Punkin' Machine - I Need You Tonight
(from Fabric Live 36 mixed by James Murphy and Pat Mahoney)

Surely the best Fabric compilation since last year's Cut Copy helmed Fabric Live 29, the LCD Soundsyem/DFA boffins get down to the D.I.S.C.O with a bag of classic NYC 70s and 80s cuts, alongside their own exclusive track Hippie Priest Bum-Out. My favourite though has to be the slick choice of Punkin' Machine, which brought a tear of joy to my eye. Of course, those tears came while I was chopping shallots so maybe it wasn't exactly joy induced eye-leakage, but it's still a cracking choice. Oh, and head down to Fabric on Thursday 25th October to catch the lads spin a record or two. Tix here, space disco guaranteed.

Creamy Mushroom soup (recipe by Thomasina Miers via UKTV Food)

* Servings: makes about 2 litres
* Level of difficulty: Easy
* Preparation Time: 15 minutes
* Cooking Time: 30 minutes


* 750g field mushrooms
* 250g assorted wild mushrooms
* 2 tsp butter
* 2 large Shallots, chopped
* 1 garlic clove, sliced
* 1 litre chicken stock
* 500ml Milk
* 100ml double cream
* Truffle oil, to taste
* salt and pepper

1. Roughly chop the mushrooms.

2. Heat the butter in a large saucepan, tip in the shallots and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, until softened, but not coloured.

3. Add the mushrooms and cook until softened - about 5-7 minutes.

4. Cover with the chicken stock and milk and simmer for a further 20 minutes.

5. Using an electric hand blender, whiz the soup until smooth. Pass through a sieve into a clean saucepan to remove any mushroom pieces.

6. Stir in the cream and season with truffle oil, salt and pepper. Reheat the soup before serving.

Errrr......fin! Now dish that dish and dig in. More soup and beats same time next week.

* In other DFA/Cutters related news, head over to Modular People to hear So Haunted, another indication that Cut Copy and Tim Goldsworthy are indeed a match made in heaven. Australian readers - go out and see the boys (plus hot to trot countrymen and fine fellows Damn Arms) as they run around Australia next month.