Home Page


Raymond Blanc's Coconut, Lime & Vegetable Soup

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 10 mins

20g groundnut oil
20g ginger, finely chopped
half a small onion chopped
50g Thai green curry paste
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 small green chilli, seeded and finely chopped
2 stalks lemon grass, finely chopped
8 lime leaves, fresh, sliced
1.6l coconut milk

2 limes, juiced
Sea salt and cayenne pepper
1 small carrot, finely sliced
1 small courgette, sliced
1 small leek, sliced
8 broccoli florets
100g Shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2 small Pak choi, chopped
1 handful coriander, roughly chooped to garnish.

In a large saucepan, on a medium heat, sweat the ginger, onion, green curry paste, garlic cloves, chilli, lemon grass and lime leaves in the groundnut oil without colouring for 5 minutes. Add the vegetables and mushrooms, pour over the coconut milk and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Taste, adjust the seasoning with the sea salt, pepper and lime juice. Pour soup into a large tureen and sprinkle with chopped coriander.

Prawns and mussels are obvious additions and sliced chicken would be an excellent variation.

First published in the TIMES Magazine 19 March 2005.

Pickled mushrooms in brine*

Total time: 1 hour plus chilling time

Servings: 24 (makes 1 quart)

2kg firm, meaty mushrooms, such as shiitake, portabello or king oyster
5 cups white wine vinegar
2 1/2cups water
1 small sprig rosemary
Black peppercorns
6 bay leaves
1 onion, quartered
2 whole cloves garlic, peeled

Clean the mushrooms and slice in quarters or thirds, according to their size.

Combine 1 tablespoon salt, vinegar, water, rosemary, a few peppercorns, bay leaves, onion and garlic in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the mushrooms in plenty of rapidly boiling salted water until they are firm but tender, about 3 to 5 minutes for large mushrooms, less for smaller ones. You may want to cook the mushrooms in several batches if they are of various sizes. When the mushrooms are done, transfer them to the boiling brine and cook another 5 minutes.

Remove the mushrooms to a sealable container. Boil the brine another 10 minutes. Strain the brine and cool completely. Cover the mushrooms with the brine, cover them tightly and refrigerate until ready to use.

To serve, drain the mushrooms completely and dress with a few drops of olive oil.

*Adapted from "The Complete Mushroom Book" by Antonio Carluccio.

Mushrooms, Leeks and Rice Turkish Style

300g sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms
1 cup finely chopped onions
2 cups thinly sliced leeks
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons long grain white rice
½ cup water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Juice of one half freshly squeezed lemon

Wipe the fresh shiitake mushrooms or wild mushrooms of your choice such as Grifola frondosa, Blewits, or Agaricus arvensis with a damp cloth and cut into 1/4 inch slices. Wash the leeks thoroughly free of sand and cut into ½ inch slices. Sauté the mushrooms, onions, and leeks in the olive oil over medium heat for about 6-8 minutes or until soft, but not brown. Add the rice, water, salt and pepper. Cover the pan tightly and bring to a boil; then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook covered until the rice is done and thickens the mixture; about 20 minutes. Squeeze the lemon juice over the preparation just before serving. This dish is best served at room temperature when all the intriguing flavours are more pronounced. It goes well with may grilled meats or is a good luncheon dish by itself.

Cream Of Shiitake Soup 1

900g fresh Shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
extra virgin olive oil as needed
salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely diced
2 shallots, peeled and finely diced
24 ounces chicken/vegetable stock
1 large onion, diced
4 shallots, sliced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups double cream

Heat a heavy pan, cast iron if possible, and add 1/4 inch olive oil. Add mushrooms; sauté slowly for 10-15 minutes. Season to taste while they are cooking. Add garlic and shallots, but keep stirring the mushrooms so that the garlic and shallots do not colour or burn. After 1 minute, add stock. Remove from heat; puree mushrooms in a blender. When ready to serve, combine mushrooms and cream base. Heat thoroughly, but do not boil.

Cream Of Shiitake Soup 2

1kg fresh shiitake mushrooms
6 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
4 shallots, sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups dry white wine
6 cups low-salt broth
1 1/2 cups extra creamy soy milk
2 tbs. snipped fresh chives (optional)

Brush any dirt from mushrooms with a damp cloth. Cut off shiitake stems at the base of the caps with a paring knife and trim away any dried ends from the cremini; discard. With a chef's knife, slice the mushroom caps 1/4 inch thick.

Heat a large, heavy-based saucepan over medium-high heat and add 2 tbs. of the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add about half of both kinds of mushroom, season lightly with salt and pepper, and cook stirring frequently with a wooden spoon until the mushrooms start to brown around the edges and most of their moisture has cooked off, 5 to 7 minutes; transfer to a plate. Repeat with another 2 tbs. oil and the remaining mushrooms. Set all the mushrooms aside.

In the same pan, heat the last 2 tbs. oil over medium-high heat, add the onion and shallots, season very lightly with salt and pepper, and cook until soft and light golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Add the wine and boil until it has reduced to a glaze. Add 2 cups of the broth and continue boiling until the broth has reduced by half. Add the sautéed mushrooms and about 2 more cups to broth and simmer over medium-low heat for 5 minutes until the mushrooms are completely tender. Puree the mushroom mixture in batches in a blender until very smooth.

Return the puree to the saucepan, add the last 2 cups of broth and the soy milk and simmer over medium heat until hot and blended. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste. If the soup seems too thick, add a bit more broth to thin it.

Serve hot, sprinkled with fresh chives. Yields 8 1-cup servings.

Rustic Mushroom Bread

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30-35 minutes

225g (8oz) granary malted brown bread flour
125g (4½ oz) strong white bread flour
5ml (1 teasp) salt
6g (1 sachet) easy blend dried yeast
225g (8oz) shiitake/maitake mushrooms, very finely chopped
75ml (3 fl.oz) olive oil
150ml (¼ pt) warm water

Measure all ingredients together into a large bowl. Mix together to form a dough. Knead on a lightly floured surface for five minutes. Roll into a sausage shape 30cm x 7.5cm (12" x 3"). Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Make deep slashes at intervals in the dough. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place until double in size. Remove cling film. Dust top of bread with flour, then bake in oven, (220º C, 425º F, Gas no 7) for 30-35 minutes. Makes one loaf.

Mushroom Bread Ring

500g Baking flour
75g Butter - melted
10ml Yeast, dried
250ml Milk - warm
1 Egg yolk
10ml Salt
5ml Sugar


500g Assorted Wild Mushrooms - cleaned & finely chopped
(Can use the leftover trimmings from other recipes)
75g Butter
100g Parmesan cheese - grated
10ml Thyme, fresh - chopped
Salt, Black pepper - freshly ground

To 100ml of milk, mix the yeast and sugar and stand for 10 minutes. Mix flour, salt, melted butter, yeast mixture and enough milk to make a soft dough. Kneed the dough for 10 minutes then leave to double in volume in a covered warm greased bowl.

Sauté the mushrooms in butter until the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese and thyme adding salt and pepper to taste.

Once the dough has risen:
On a lightly floured surface, kneed for a minute to flatten the dough, then roll into a large rectangle. Cover the surface with the mushroom mixture. Take the long edge, roll the dough into a (french bread shaped) cylinder, so that the mushroom layer becomes an enclosed spiral. Place onto a baking tray, bending round the ends so that it fits. Cover with damp cloth for 40 minutes whilst it rises a 2nd time.

Bake for 20 minutes at 200C, then for another 20 at 180C. Serve when almost cool.

Mushroom Pâté

40g butter
4 shallots
2 cloves garlic
150g mushrooms (e.g. shiitake) finely sliced
40g fresh breadcrumbs
80g cottage cheese/crême fraîche
pinch ground nutmeg
4 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tbsp lemon juice

Melt half the butter in a large pan and sauté the shallots and garlic 3-4 mins (soft). Set aside. Add remaining butter and sauté mushrooms for 2 mins. Cover with tight fitting lid and cook for 5 mins on low heat. Uncover and cook off the liquid at higher heat. Put all the pate ingredients in processor with seasoning and blend to smooth paste. Chill to set.

Shiitake Pâté

100g (3 1/2 oz) fresh or dried shiitake mushrooms
2 tsp low-fat yoghurt
3 large shallots, diced
2 tsp sesame seeds
1 large potato, cut into chunks
juice of 1 lemon
freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp soy sauce

1. It you are using dried mushrooms, soak them in hot water for 20 minutes. If using fresh mushrooms, clean them with a small vegetable brush. Slice or dice the mushrooms.

2. In a dry pan, quickly brown the sesame seeds. Boil the potato chunks for 15-20 minutes, or until tender. Heat the sesame oil in a wok and cook the mushrooms and shallots until slightly brown.

3. When all the ingredients are cooked, put them in a food processor with the low-fat yoghurt, lemon juice, soysauce and browned sesame seeds. Blend until pureed. Season and chill for 2 hours before serving. Serve with warm mixed grain toast. SERVES 4-6

*Susan Clark is the author of The Vitality Cookbook, Harper Collins.

© Susan Clark 2003

<Back To Top>