There's plenty of inspiration around at the moment for your Brussels sprouts, turkey, leftovers and the like. The thing I find my fridge full of, at this time of year particularly is cheese. Don't get me wrong I will happily eat it all on its own or with copious pickled onions but when you're preparing for a week of non-stop eating it's nice to have something light and fresh to get things going. This recipe also helps to make a small dent in the side of any cheese mountain you may be harbouring.
You will need (for 2 bowls):
1 onion, roughly chopped
300g mushrooms, any will do but I used Portobello
A few sprigs of thyme, leaves removed
400ml vegetable stock
Salt and pepper
Small handful wild mushrooms
1 small baguette
Start by frying the onion in a small knob of butter until softened. If using Portobello mushrooms I always peel them; mostly because I immensely enjoy doing it. Chop the mushrooms and add them to the onion and cook for a few minutes until they release some of their water. Add the thyme leaves, vegetable stock and milk, cover and cook for about 10 minutes or until the mushrooms are soft. Blend the soup, season and then return to the heat to keep warm while you make the croutons.
Cut the baguette into slices and toast them on both sides. Crumble up some blue cheese, as much as you like, I used Shropshire blue. Put the blue cheese onto the baguette slices and then put under a hot grill for a few minutes until the cheese has melted. At the same time, put the wild mushrooms under the grill to warm through and crisp up. Make sure you keep an eye on what's happening under the grill so nothing catches or burns.
What a wintry bowl of wondrousness. This soup is clean, fresh and earthy and with the wild mushrooms to give it extra texture and flavour it's a great light meal. The blue cheese goes so well with the soup and you can dunk as much or as little as you like to perfect your cheese to mushroom ratio. This is such a quick soup to make and so fulfilling it's ideal if you feel like something that's not small, green and round.