I’ve mentioned how good mushrooms are before, they are rich in in iron, are also a source of potassium, selenium, copper, zinc and they are full of fibre. In addition to all this they may help boost your immune system. Many varieties of mushrooms contain beta-glucans. Beta-glucans are sugars that are found in the cell walls of bacteria, fungi (e.g. mushrooms), yeasts, algae, lichens, and plants, such as oats and barley, and it is thought that they may improve the functioning of your immune system.
Garlic is also supposed to be good for your immune system. It is believed that the organosulfur compounds in garlic are what gives it its healing properties. You may have heard it said that crushed garlic is better for you than sliced garlic. The reason why is crushing garlic releases an enzyme called alliinase. Alliinase then leads to the formation of allicin which is an organosulfur compound. Heating can reduce the amount of allicin in garlic but apparently if you leave the garlic be for 10 minutes after crushing it the enzyme will have done its work and so you will still get a decent amount of organosulfur goodness in your cooked dish. You can find a bit more information on this here.
I add a good bit of butter and crème fraîche to this mushroom soup. It seems that a lot of people have positive things to say about butter. I maybe visited the wrong sites when looking up the health benefits of crème fraîche as most websites said that it should only be consumed in moderation. I think that anything with saturated fat should be consumed in moderation. Both butter and crème fraîche are high in saturated fat but they also add a lot of taste and flavour to a dish – and that can’t be so bad, provided it’s natural and part of a balanced diet, right?
If you’re not a fan of crème fraîche or mustard, replace them both with 50 – 75ml of double cream.
- 50g salted butter, diced
- 3-4 leafy celery sticks
- 1 mid medium-sized onion
- 250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
- 125g button mushrooms, quartered
- 4 large garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- salt & pepper
- 1 heaped tablespoon white flour
- 600ml hot vegetable stock
- 2 generous tablespoons crème fraîche
- generous pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- Mince the celery and onion in a food mixer.
- Melt the butter on a gentle heat in a deep saucepan. Stir in the the onion and celery. Cover and leave for 5 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper and stir them in well so that mushrooms are all well coated in all the other ingredients. Turn up the heat a little. Cover and leave for 15 minutes or until the mushrooms are all cooked.
- When the mushrooms are done, stir in the flour. Stir the flour in well and keep stirring it around for 2 – 3 minutes to ensure the flour is cooked thoroughly – otherwise your soup may taste doughy.
- Stir in a little of the stock making sure that the flour blends in well. Then add the rest of the stock, turn up the heat and bring to the boil. You will need to keep stirring to avoid it sticking and burning at the bottom. As it is boiling it should thicken just a little. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool a little.
- Stir in the crème fraîche, mustard and nutmeg.