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Easy Vegetarian Meals

Finding vegetarian meals was difficult a few years ago when I lived in London. When I discovered this particular restaurant in Covent Garden in London which was famous for its wild mushrooms, I used to go there everyday to go out every day during mushroom season to find them when I lived in London. It was in this restaurant that I tasted a real mushroom soup for the first time. Served with toasted Italian bread, it was one of my favourite vegetarian meals  during that time.

I tried replicating the recipe myself at home and have refined it overtime to have the best tasting mushroom soup.

The great thing about nearly all mushrooms is that, if cooked correctly, they do have wonderful flavour. If you were to use a field of Portabello mushrooms to make a soup, just adding a tiny bit of dried porcini into the base would make the whole thing more luxurious. Apart from nutritional goodness in mushrooms, they are satiable and make up for great vegetarian meals even with the simplest and easiest recipes.

easy vegetarian meals

• a small handful of dried porcini
• olive oil
• 600g shitake mushrooms cleaned and sliced
• 2 cloves finely chopped garlic
• 1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
• a knob of butter

• sea salt and freshly round black pepper  to taste
• a handful of fresh thyme
• 1 litre vegetable stock
• a handful of freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley
• 2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
• 1 lemon

  1. Place the porcini in a small dish, add boiling water just to cover, and leave to soak.
  2. Get a large casserole-type pan nice and hot, then add a good couple of lugs of olive oil and your fresh mushrooms.
  3. Stir around very quickly for a minute, then add your garlic, onion, butter and thyme and a small amount of seasoning.
  4. After about a minute you’ll probably notice moisture cooking out of the mushrooms and at this point add half of your porcini, chopped up, and the rest left whole.
  5. Strain the soaking liquid to remove any grit, and add it to the pan.
  6. Carry on cooking for about 20 minutes until most of the moisture disappears. Season to taste, and add your stock.
  7. Bring to the boil and simmer for around 20 minutes.
  8. Remove half the soup from the pan and whiz it up to a purée at this point, then pour it back in, adding the parsley and mascarpone, and seasoning carefully to taste.
  9. Finishing it off by mixing together a pinch of salt and pepper with the zest of one lemon and the juice of half of it, then spoon a little of this into the middle of the soup.

After a few days with big meals it’s important to give the digestive system a bit of rest by having simple vegetarian meals if you are a meat eater.

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