Mushroom Soup with Pesto Toast

There’s nothing like a bowl of hot soup to cheer up a sad face, a grazed knee, a sniffy nose or a cold head.

The classic soup for any remedy is either chicken soup or mushroom. And I choose the latter any time. My parents’ food cupboard is always stocked with Campbell’s. I used to love it so much. So so very much.

Once, I must have been five or something, I was possessed by a craving so strong, my little head couldn’t resist it. I went to the cupboard, found the ol’ faithful mushroom soup and sneaked it to my room. It didn’t really bother me that I didn’t know how to cook. At that time, I loved the soup even in its condensed form. I just wanted to eat the whole can if I could.

Now, the challenge was that I didn’t have enough strength to use a can opener. After much sweat and tears, I’d managed to slit a hole

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large enough for a singular chopstick to dig out whatever I could and then leave the rest – which was three-quarter of soup – for later.

I couldn’t throw the whole can away because I was afraid someone would find out of my crime so I hid it in a drawer.

Of course being five years old, life happens fairly quickly and attention spans are rather short. You can guess what happened when my brother opened the same drawer a couple of weeks later. :D

Mushroom Soup (serves 4)
—————————————————————————–
2 tablespoons olive oil
20g butter, chopped
1 large onion, chopped roughly
5 garlic cloves, chopped roughly
2 cups flat mushrooms diced
4 cubes vegetable stock (3.8g each)
4 cups of water
1 cup thickened cream
salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Heat oil and butter in a saucepan.
  2. Throw in onion and garlic. Cook, stir until tender.
  3. Add mushrooms.
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    Stir often and leave to cook until soft.

  4. Pour in water. Partially simmer for 20 minutes. Add cubes of vegetable stock.
  5. Remove from heat. Allow to cool slightly.
  6. Process soup in batches until well combined. Return to stove.
  7. Add thickened cream under low heat.
  8. Season with salt and pepper and finally, serve.

Spinach Pesto Toast
—————————————————————————–
6 cloves of garlic, chopped (if you’re afraid of garlic breath, reduce to *4 cloves)
4 tbsp of water
225g spinach, blanched
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/3 cup of olive oil
1/3 cup of natural seed mix with pine nuts
25g grated Parmesan cheese
sour dough bread

Method

  1. Process nuts, garlic and water until nuts are chopped.
  2. Add small amounts of basil and spinach alternately with oil. Process until smooth.
  3. Slather a slice (or how many you’d prefer) of sour dough bread with some butter. Put in the griller for about a minute.
  4. Spread the pesto on the bread. Add some cheese. Return to grill.
  5. Remove bread when cheese has fully melted.

Note: Store leftover pesto sauce in a screw-top jar and cover with a little olive oil and sea salt for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

*Chicken

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