Dining al desko: Mushroom soup with a dollop of crème fraiche

Soup is a great idea for workday lunches. Warm and comforting, they are easily prepared the day before, even if you’re trying to make dinner for the entire family at the same time. Almost any vegetable lends itself to soup, however mushrooms give the soup a meaty quality whilst keeping the soup completely vegetarian. Substitute the chicken stock for vegetable stock and drizzle with olive oil instead of crème fraiche for a vegan version.

Mushroom soup with a dollop of crème fraiche


  • 15g dried procini
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 stick celery, chopped
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 400g mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 200g oyster mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • Splash brandy
  • 900ml chicken stock
  • Flat leaf parsley
  • Dollop of crème fraiche
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Soak the dried porcini in boiling water for 10 mins.
  2. In a heavy-based saucepan, gently sauté the onions with the garlic, carrot, celery and parsley in some olive oil until soft. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the mushrooms
  4. Drain the porcini reserving the liquid and add the porcini to the pot.
  5. When the mushrooms are soft (approx. 8 mins), add the brandy and allow to simmer until the alcohol evaporates (a couple of mins).
  6. Cover the vegetables with the chicken stock and the reserved porcini water, taking care not to add any of the grit from the bottom and bring to the boil.
  7. Allow to simmer for approx. 30 mins.
  8. Remove from the heat and blend with a stick blender until smooth.
  9. Serve with a dollop or two of crème fraiche, a drizzle of olive oil and some fresh pepper.
Rachel Zammit Cutajar

Rachel’s life has been one recipe after the other for almost 10 years. Though she is no longer editor of Gourmet Today magazine, food still takes centre stage. She is a freelance writer and Succeed’s resident chef. To balance the inevitable calorie intake she has become a reluctant runner and likes to lift weights, though still loves a day on the sofa binge-watching absolutely anything (good).