Mushroom and Roasted Garlic Soup

We always have a couple of soups as the starters on the menu here at The Kettlewell Hostel, we always have homemade minestrone, which is not only hearty and delicious, but also happens to be vegan and gluten free, plus it looks great with loads of fresh parsley!

The second soup is the bit of the menu that changes most frequently, I keep coming back to Mushroom and Roasted Garlic because it is so good. The Mushrooms are cooked in butter, for flavour, and it has a swirl of cream to brighten it at the end so not one for vegans. I use rice flour in place of plain flour recipes such as this, it is just used to improve the texture and it means that more people can have it.

I use regular white mushrooms, rather than anything too fancy. When cooking mushrooms (as Julia Childs will tell you) do not crowd the pan. Much of the flavour in this soup comes from the Maillard reaction when frying. If there are too many mushrooms in the pan, they tend to steam and stew, releasing all of their juice, rather than browning and getting tastier. Cook the mushrooms in several batches and allow the colour to come on them in the butter, If you have difficulty stopping the butter from burning you can add a little oil to the butter raise its working temperature, and might help speed things up.

Like many recipes it all starts with holy trinity of carrot, onion and celery, whether you call it a mirepoix or a soffitto it is at the heart of many recipes (including our own 8 Hour Beef Stew), enriched with roasted garlic and a good quality bouillon this soup has a very, very good base.

This recipe makes 4 generous portions (I would suggest making double and freezing some!)

To roast the 2 heads of garlic, take a couple of plump garlic bulbs, slice off the top 1/3rd and put them in a small oven proof dish, drizzle some olive oil over the top and bake for 40 minutes or so in the middle of a 200*c oven with a bit of foil loosely over the top. (this can be done well in advance of the soup, just do it when cooking something else in the oven if you can) allow to cool and keep in the fridge until you are ready to make the soup. You can squish the cloves out of its skins ahead of making the soup.

Although 2 whole heads of garlic might look disproportionate to the quantity of mushrooms, when roasted they become milder, sweeter and it is good to have a lot them in any recipe!

I always make large batches of soup, and freeze them in portions. The trick is to know at what point to freeze it, for this soup it is after everything is blended, but only add the cream and finely chopped parsley just before you serve.

This recipe makes 4 generous portions (I would suggest making double and freezing some!)

If you do have a go at making it, let us see how you got on by posting a pic online and tagging us @thekettlewell I would love to see it!

Mushroom and Roast Garlic Soup


-500 g white mushrooms, brushed clean and chopped in to quarters

-1 medium onion finely chopped

-2 big roasted garlic heads (10-12 cloves)

-1 medium carrot (finely chopped)

-1 celery stick (roughly chopped)

-1 tbs gluten free flour (or plain flour if that is what you have)

-80 g salted butter

-2 tbs vegetable oil

-800 ml of good quality stock (Marigold Bouillon Powder is very good)

-3 fresh thyme strings (1 tea spoon of dried)

-½ teaspoon ground pepper

-3 tbsp. of fresh chopped parsley

-50 ml double cream to serve


In a large saucepan, fry the finely chopped onion, carrot and celery in a little vegetable oil avoiding colour for 5 minutes or so. Season with a few good grinds of black pepper as you go. When it all looks translucent, add the roasted garlic and heat through before adding the bouillon2In a large frying pan, brown the chopped mushrooms in butter (don’t let the butter burn).

As each batch of mushrooms has cooked, add them to the stock pan, whist you cook more mushrooms.

Add the tablespoons of flour to one of the batches of mushrooms (this just helps with the texture at the end, you don’t need too much)

Once everything is together in the large saucepan, use a stick blender to make it into a soup. It is fine to eat like this, but I much prefer to put it through a liquidiser until silky smooth.

Taste and season at this point, allow to cool before freezing into portions, or it will keep in the fridge nicely for a few days.

When you are ready to serve, heat in a pan, throw in the fresh, finely chopped parsley at the end and pour over a drizzle of double cream (you can be as chef-y as you like at this point) maybe a grind fo fresh black pepper if you like, or even a few carefully selected slices of mushroom cooked in butter and floated on top.

We serve it here at The Kettlewell Hostel, with a thick slice of organic wholemeal bread and butter, if you don’t want to make it yourself, you can come and stay here to try it!