Garden fresh – mushrooms and celery

Not exactly the start I’d imagined for a Friday morning.  Our little girl Lola decided to wake up at 4:45 and wanted me to get her morning milk.  As I could not go back to sleep I decided to treat Anna and myself to a cooked breakfast before the school run.  Anna’s garden is in full bloom and the celery plants were ready to be picked.   Breakfast comprised of sauteed mushrooms and celery with scrambled eggs (spiced up with green chilies and spring onions).  The combination of mushrooms and celery is divine – if you love each individually you will love the taste of them combined.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 200 gm assorted mushrooms thickly sliced
  • Small bunch of celery chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red chili
  • Knob of butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How much will I make?

2-4 servings

How do I make it?

Heat the butter in a pan and saute the garlic for a minute.  Add the crushed red chili and saute for another 30 seconds before adding the mushroom and celery.  Saute for ten to fifteen minutes till done – adjust the seasoning and serve hot as an accompaniment with eggs or as a topping on toast.

Mushroom soup

Fall in love with mushrooms again after you make this fresh batch of soup using an assorted range of mushrooms.  Normally I make soup with closed cup mushrooms but this time I went a bit bizerk in the supermarket aisle and picked up five different varieties.   The net result when combined with other soup staples produced a real flavourful bowl of soup.  It really doesn’t matter what type you use but key is to experiment with different varieties.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 250 gms closed cup mushrooms
  • 250 gms  forestiere mushrooms
  • 100 gms chestnut mushrooms
  • 100 gms wild mushrooms
  • 100 gms Anis mushrooms
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 sprigs of spring onion
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 red chilies
  • 2 pods of garlic
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes
  • 150 ml soured cream
  • Handful chopped tarragon
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Knob of butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Prepare all the vegetables by washing them and chopping them into equal size pieces.    Heat oil and butter in pan and saute garlic for a minute (just want to infuse the flavour into the oil).   Add onion, celery, spring onion, green pepper and chili next and stir for 5-8 minutes.   Then add chopped up mushrooms and reduce heat to medium.   Cook this for another 5-8 minutes and then add 2 stock cubes dissolved in 1 cup of warm water.   Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.   Blitz the soup in a blender and bring it back to boil – adjust the seasoning.   Add the soured cream and garnish with fresh chopped tarragon.

The perfect Sunday

What a great way to spend my Sunday – warm 20 degree sunshine and the family around me.  It started off with taking Ansh and Lola for their weekly swimming lessons followed by a trip to the local park where both enjoyed riding their bikes and generally running around.  Both behaved for a change and ate their lunch without a fuss.  Anna and I then proceeded to clean the barbecue which has not seen much action in over a year and prepped for the evening meal.  Out of the blue,  Ansh said he felt like having some tomato soup for dinner.  I thoroughly enjoyed making him a batch of fresh tomato soup and grilling some portabello mushrooms and trout for our dinner.   For all my vegetarian friends and family the mushrooms are a great addition to your barbecue repertoire and you can have fun tinkering with the various topping combinations.

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Tomato soup

What do I need to make it?

  • 1 large tomato cut in pieces
  • 10 cherry tomatoes quartered
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 sprig of spring onion chopped
  • 1 celery stick chopped
  • 1 carrot chopped
  • 1 pearl of garlic finely chopped
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (use normal or cream if not bothered by lactose)
  • Handful fresh basil chopped
  • Knob of butter
  • 3 tbsp oilve oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 2 comfortably

How do I make it?

Heat a pan and add olive oil to it.  First add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds before adding the onion, celery and sprig onion.  Saute over medium heat for 2-3 minutes before adding the carrots.   Continue sauteing for another couple of minutes before adding chopped tomatoes.  Bring to a boil and then add stock cube and about 1 cup of water.   Allow to cook for 10 minutes before adding the fresh basil.  Blitz the liquid in a blender and bring it back to the boil before adding almond milk and a knob of butter.  Adjust the seasoning  and serve hot.

Barbecued portabello mushrooms

I don’t have exact measures for this recipe but can share with you how I make it.  Skin the portabello mushroom before adding the seasonings.  Sprinkle a pinch of mixed herbs, crushed red chilies and some garlic salt.  Drizzle some balsamic vinegar and good olive oil and grill on the barbecue for 15-20 minutes.  Alternatively you can repeat the first step with the dry ingredients and  add some lemon juice and butter instead of the vinegar and oil.


Suffed Portabello mushrooms

A versatile mushroom which works a treat as a vegetarian option on the barbecue (sprinkle salt, pepper, dry herbs, twist of lemon and a knob of butter and grill).  I baked some for dinner the other night and stuffed it with a mushroom duxelle of sorts.  The finished article had bags of flavour and will definitely feature on future barbecue sessions.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 4 portabello mushrooms skinned
  • 3 closed cup mushrooms finely chopped
  • 3 chestnut mushrooms finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 sprig of green onion chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion finely chopped
  • 10-12 green olives finely chopped
  • 6 sun ripe tomatoes drained and chopped
  • small handful chopped tarragon
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 tsp dried herbs (thyme, parsley and marjoram)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • small knob of butter
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)
  •  Salt to taste

How do I make it?

Heat pan and add oil and butter.  Once melted add garlic and stir for a couple of minutes before adding onions and celery.  Saute for 5 minutes before adding the chopped mushrooms and spring onion.  Add herbs and chili flakes and season with a bit of salt.  Once mushroom has cooked down add the sun dried tomatoes and olives and warm them through before garnishing with fresh chopped tarragon.

To prepare the portabello mushrooms for baking remove the skin and place on baking sheet.  Scoop a bit of the mixture and fill the cups of the portabello mushroom.  Finish with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese before baking in a 220 degree centigrade oven for 25-30 minutes.