Brown mushroom and spinach soup with potato croutons

Adam Liaw
Lighten up: Brown mushroom and spinach soup with crunchy croutons.
Lighten up: Brown mushroom and spinach soup with crunchy croutons. Photo: William Meppem
Dietary
Vegetarian

The fuller our bellies get, the less we appreciate our food. You never enjoy your last mouthful as much as your first. But serving sizes can't continue to increase forever, and thankfully we're now pushing back. For everyday eating many of us are preferring a light meal to a feast. A bowl of soup is a perfect choice for a light meal. And if you've kept your savoury course modest in size and healthy in nature, you can afford to be a little naughtier with dessert.

Ingredients

2 large all-purpose potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes

2 tbsp olive oil ½ cup butter

500g Swiss brown mushrooms, sliced

1 brown onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tbsp plain flour

1 tsp Vegemite (optional)

1 tbsp tomato paste

2 litres unsalted vegetable stock or water

1 tsp white wine vinegar

3 cups baby spinach leaves

Method

1. Heat your oven to 190°C.

2. Place the potatoes pieces into a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Drain and return the potatoes in the pan to low heat for a further minute to remove some additional moisture. Add the olive oil to the potatoes and stir gently to coat, then transfer to a baking sheet and season with salt.

3. Roast potato in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour, turning occasionally, until the potato croutons are golden brown and crisp. 

4. In the same saucepan as you used earlier, heat a little of the butter and fry the mushrooms, onion and in batches until well browned, then remove them. Add the remaining butter to the pan, then the flour. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring to form a thick roux, then add the Vegemite (if using) and tomato paste and cook for a further minute. Add the vegetable stock or water a little at a time, stirring to avoid lumps forming, then add the mushroom, garlic and onion mixture.

5. Simmer for 15 minutes, then blend lightly with a stick blender to form a very coarse, thick soup. Stir the white wine vinegar and spinach leaves into the hot soup and serve with the croutons and a drizzle of olive oil.

Suggestion: Now that you've been very good, try Adam's peanut butter panna cotta for dessert!