Mushroom Soup

Most soups start with softening onions and other vegetables and then adding other vegetables and possibly other things too, and finally blending the whole thing. This one, from the divine Elizabeth David, is very different. It’s a lovely simple soup – Elizabeth David knew everything there was to know about unfussy food – and it doesn’t start with onions and doesn’t need blending. Like most soups, it freezes well and possibly tastes even better when it’s been left for a while or frozen.

About the ingredients:

You can use any kind of mushroom. It works fine with normal supermarket mushrooms but if you’ve got something special to add, go ahead. Also, Elizabeth David puts bacon rinds in with the mushrooms when she cooks them. I don’t eat meat so I might use a bit of parmesan rind (be sure to remove after cooking).

Makes about 8 generous servings.  Cost per serving 30p


  • 350g mushrooms
  • 750ml water
  • 750ml milk
  • 85g butter
  • 75g flour
  • seasoning
  • bacon rind or parmesan rind (optional)


  • A pan
  • A knife
  • A whisk
  • A chopping board

Mushrooms in a pan

Wash the mushrooms and put them in the water with some salt and pepper and the bacon rinds/parmesan rind. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 5 minutes. Leave to cool a little then strain, reserving the cooking water and discarding the rind.

Make a béchamel with the milk, butter and flour. If you don’t know how to do this you’ll find instructions here.  Add the cooking water.

Chopped mushrooms  

Chop the cooked mushrooms as roughly or as finely as you like. Add to the soup.

Soup in a pan

Season. Eat. Nice.

Soup in a bowl



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