Dark Mushroom Soup with Poached Egg Trencher

This mushroom soup ends up almost black with a thick, creamy, fluffy texture. It makes a heartening bowlful with a dollop of something creamy or a crumble of grilled bacon  but becomes more of a meal served over a trencher of toast topped with a soft-poached egg. It could, if you prefer, be thinned with more stock.  

Serves 4

Prep: 15 min

Cook: 30 min

1 onion

20g butter

40g slice bread

10g bunch flat leaf parsley

250g large flat white mushrooms

300g chestnut or closed cup mushrooms

1 lemon

2 tbsp dry sherry

600ml hot light chicken stock

4 slices sourdough or other dense-crumbed bread

1 garlic clove

best olive oil

4 eggs

1 tbsp wine vinegar

     Halve, peel and finely chop the onion. Melt the butter in a spacious pan and stir in the onion. Add a pinch salt and cook gently, stirring often, while you tear the bread into the bowl of a food processor and blitz to crumbs with leaves from most of the parsley bunch and zest from half the lemon. Scrape into a bowl. Wipe the mushrooms to remove grit, halve large ones and place in the processor bowl. Pulse-blitz to finely chop. Stir the mushrooms into the softened onion, add the sherry and cook, stirring often, for 10-15 minutes until cooked to a slop. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes then stir in the parsley bread. Blitz in batches. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Keep hot. Boil the kettle. Toast the bread, rub one side with garlic and splash with olive oil. Place in shallow soup bowls. Boil the kettle. Half fill a saut√© or wide-based pan with boiling water from the kettle. Add wine vinegar. Crack one egg at a time in a coffee cup and slip into the simmering water, followed by three more. Scoop eggs out of the pan the moment the white is set but the yolk still soft, about 2 minutes. Spoon hot soup over the toast and top with an egg, splash of olive oil and finely chopped parsley garnish.