This morning I escaped the cold, soggy Sydney weather and caught the train down to Wollongong where I was welcomed by my friend Annelle. Located in the Illawarra region South of Sydney, Wollongong is nestled between mountains and sea and is home to beautiful pelicans. I’ve always found pelicans to have a cartoonish quality about them. Perhaps it’s their large, cute eyes that make them appear that way.
Annelle shouted me a birthday lunch (my 40th is approaching at lightning speed!) which we ate whilst enjoying sparkling ocean views.
Afterwards we walked to the harbour where we sat in the afternoon sun and took in the activities around us: people walking their dogs, a little blonde boy on his bicycle trying to catch up to his father, a family of four taking their toy yachts for a sail, an elderly couple huddled on the park bench to keep warm…
Before we knew it, it was time to go home.
An hour later, back in cold, soggy Sydney I decided the best way to to end the day would be with a warm, nourishing bowl of mushroom soup.
Mushrooms are a power-house of nutrients and an excellent way to boost your immune system. What better time than Winter to load up on them!
I’ve used Portobello mushrooms in this recipe. Portobello mushrooms are a type of flat mushroom with a dense, firm, meaty texture and robust flavour. They’re actually the adult version of Swiss brown mushrooms that have been left to grow larger and open out flat. I used 5 large mushrooms which yielded roughly 10 cups or so of coarsely chopped mushroom.
* To store your mushrooms, transfer them to a brown paper bag to keep them fresh in the fridge for up to two weeks.
* When cooking with them, do not wash or peel them. If they look dirty, remove dirt with a brush or damp cloth.
Why this is so good for you
Mushrooms inhibit cancer formation and growth – especially breast cancer, lower risk of heart disease and stroke, help lower risk of diabetes, aid in healthy nerve function, aid in normal blood cell function, help control appetite, boost immunity, protect artery lining from fatty deposits, help transport oxygen to cells and help to keep skin and hair healthy.
- oil of choice (I used coconut oil)
- 1 brown onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 6 portabello mushrooms, roughly chopped (I got just over a cup from each mushroom)
- 1 litre gluten free vegetable stock
- Ground sea salt and cracked black pepper
- Lemon wedges to serve
- Melt the oil in a large saucepan over low - medium heat and cook the onion till translucent.
- Add the garlic and thyme and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring for 5 minutes.
- Add the stock and puree the mixture with a stick blender (or alternatively you can blitz it in a blender)
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.
- Season with sea salt if you feel it needs it.
- Serve with a squeeze of lemon.