Mushroom Soup and Vitamin D
This is a lovely earthly filling soup and did you know that mushrooms grown in the daylight contain lots of lovely Vitamin D2?
Vitamin D2 is biologically active inside us but it is just not as active as Vitamin D3 which we make from cholesterol with exposure to sunlight. However, mushrooms grown in daylight contain very large quantities of D2, as compared to food sources of D and are therefore a gift to us in terms of nutrition. Amazingly, as long as the mushrooms are young and still sporulating but are then dehydrated, the Vitamin D2 remains useable. Even if the mushroom is dehydrated for 10 years. It is, at a cellular level, still alive.
Using this ‘potential’, if you put your supermarket mushrooms (or indeed, your rehydrated mushrooms) outside in the sunshine gills up (ie upside down from the way they grew), after a few hours the Vitamin D2 levels are as high as a good nutritional supplement. The Shitake mushroom is known as one of the most commonly eaten mushrooms with the highest Vitamin D levels but plain old white button mushrooms are pretty good too.
This recipes serves 2.
A large knob of butter
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves (stripped from the stalk)
Small handful of parsley
300g mixed mushrooms, sliced
500ml stock (chicken or vegetable is good)
4 tbsp organic cream (optional)
Zest of ½ unwaxed lemon
Salt and Pepper
Warm the butter in a pan and when melted add the onions, cooking gently for 10 minutes. Stir frequently. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the thyme leaves and chopped parsley stalks, stir. Add the mushrooms and cook until they brown a little (approx. 8 mins). When done, pick out a couple of mushrooms with which to garnish the soup. Then add the stock with a little S&P, cover with a lid and gently cook together for 10-15 minutes.
Blend the soup ingredients until creamy and smooth. Put it all back into the pan to warm back up a little. Take it off the heat before adding the lemon zest and cream. Stir together, check seasoning and add more S&P as needed.
Serve in warmed bowls, with a couple of those reserved mushrooms, a sprinkle of chopped parsley leaves and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.