It’s cold outside now. The temperature has moved on from autumn and over to a blustery winter, today at least. It’s time to get yourself indoors, batten down the hatches and make a big batch of something warm. Maybe a squash soup, a hearty meat stew or something a little different but equally as tasty, like this brown ale, mushroom & lentil soup. It’ll sort out your lunches for a few days or feed a family for a dark wintery evening. So wrap yourself up warm and get a large pot onto the stove for this one.
This soup has an abundance of mushrooms, with 3 different types; Portobello, shiitake and chestnut and the lentils add a weight to the soup to make it wonderfully hearty. A lot of the flavour comes from the ale so pick your favourite brown beer or stout, I opted for Newcastle Brown mainly because my local shop didn’t have much choice. Make sure you soak the lentils for plenty of time before adding them to the soup. Maybe add some bacon lardons if you want to make it slightly meatier, similarly with a little cream and thyme it can add that extra level of heartiness.
- 2 tbsps Olive Oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tbsps tomato puree
- 50g brown lentils, washed (follow the instructions on the packet)
- 110g flat mushrooms, finely sliced
- 110g chestnut mushrooms
- 50g Shiitake mushrooms
- 275ml brown ale
- 850ml Veg Stock, plus 50ml
- 1 tbsp heavy cream (optional)
- Sprig thyme (optional)
- Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion then cook for 5-10 minutes until beginning to brown.
- Reduce the heat, add the garlic then cook gently for 2 minutes.
- Stir in the tomato puree and lentils. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Stir in the ale and stock. Cover and bring to the boil then leave to simmer gently for about 30 minutes.
- Add the final 50 ml of veg stock and simmer for a further 10 minutes. Stir cream through in the bowl and season.