Ham and mushroom soup

This soup is really easy and very tasty! You can use whatever variety of mushrooms you want. I usually use white and chestnut for the bulk as they’re the cheapest, and add a more exotic variety for a bit of different flavour and depth. For this one I used forrester mushrooms but shitake, porcini, portobello, or anything else will do. You could also use dried mushrooms and just throw them in the pot as they’ll soften during simmering. I wouldn’t normally recommend washing mushrooms in water as they’re like little sponges and soak up the water, but as these are going into water anyway you can wash them in a bowl before chopping.

Ingredients (makes about 4-6 servings):

Small ham rib or small/half a ham shank (ask your butcher to cut it in half for you if it’s a big one and store the other one in your freezer for the next batch!)

600-700g of a variety of mushrooms chopped (keep a few very finely ones aside to add near the end)

Large white onion finely chopped

2 cloves garlic crushed

Olive oil or ghee

Thyme (about a teaspoon)

Parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

How to:

First brown your ham in a good glug of oil or ghee, along with your onions and garlic, on a medium heat. Takes about 5 mins.

Once that’s done add water to the pot covering ingredients and add your chopped mushrooms.

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Add a sprinkling of thyme (dried or fresh) – about a teaspoon, and salt and pepper.

Once it’s boiling turn down and leave to simmer for about an hour.

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After that’s done you’ll need to remove your ham and pick the meat off it. This is what makes it really tasty! Doesn’t look very pleasant but trust me it’s worth it!

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Throw the ham back in and grab an electric hand mixer. You could also use your blender but I like the hand mixer both for quickness, and not making the soup too smooth. I like a few bits in mine!

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Taste it and add some more salt and pepper if needed. You might also need to add water again depending on how much it’s reduced and how thick you like it.

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Add in the finely chopped left over mushrooms you kept aside, and a sprinkling of fresh parsley  cook for another 15 mins until those mushrooms are done.

Serve up and enjoy!!

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