Mushroom Soup with Blue Cheese Hazelnut and Apple Salad

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Since returning from Auckland, my tummy full of good home cooking and inspired by our first attempt at emulating Jamie Oliver, I decided to try out yet another recipie.
I chose the Mushroom Soup from page 208 and the blue cheese hazelnut and apple salad from page 196.

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Both dishes seem very simple with minimal ingredients and cleanup so surely 15 minutes is ample time? Especially since there isn’t any fiddly fish to over fry! This is also an Alka friendly dish as she is vegetarian when it suits her!

To start with, I swapped hazelnuts with macadamia nuts since the supermarket did not have loose hazelnuts on sale. I also only used one onion since I’m not a fan of this particular vegetable. I also used one extra portobello mushroom (I LOVE mushrooms!)

I used dried basil leaves instead of fresh thyme since I am not lucky enough to have a herb garden and the supermarket charges exorbitant prices for a few sprigs of thyme.
I also swapped the cream with low fat Greek yogurt as a healthier option. I didn’t think Jamie would mind since its only used for dressing. As is the truffle oil, also something I didn’t have, so EVOO had to step in and take over.
I had all the ingredients lined up and ready to go!

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The first step was the onions, oil, garlic, stock and seasoning in the pot.

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This was followed by mushrooms and rice.

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While this was cooking and the water boiling (I forgot to do this beforehand!) I got started on the salad with grated apple over the spinach. I added the blue cheese here too.

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The macadamias were toasting meanwhile and they were the first victims of multitasking as I burned them a little bit. But they still taste fine, just charred instead of toasted!

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Meanwhile the water was done and in it went into the pot.

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At this point the salad is done and the soup is cooking and only ten minutes have passed! I am a kitchen ninja!
Jamie does not specify how long to cook the soup for so I decided to wait until the rice is cooked. This takes another 4-5 minutes only and as it is cooking I clean up the mess and start on the dishes.
15 minutes in, I judge the soup is done! I quick whizz with the hand blender, a topping of Greek yogurt and EVOO and its ready!

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Overall it only took me 20 minutes including cleanup! I think that’s fabulous! There is enough soup for 4/5 serves and although the salad quantity is small, that can easily be modified for next time.
I could definitely finish the dish faster if I had remembered to boil the water beforehand and if I could chop onions faster or I used an electric chopper.
The soup consistency is good with chunky bits of mushroom and thickness due to the rice.
This dish is a definite win! It’s a great option for a quick meal when unexpected guests drop in. The ingredients are pantry staples and if you are missing something, its easy to find a substitute.
Some nice toasted bread would go really well with the soup but it is quite hearty on its own.

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I sampled some of the salad in a spinach leaf and the flavor of the blue cheese really takes over. If you are not a fan of blue or any strongly flavored cheese, I would suggest some shaved parmesan instead.
Next time I would use two apples instead of one so that the sweetness combats the blue cheese.
Luckily I like blue cheese so I don’t mind that its quite strong in the salad!
I rate this recipe a 4/5
Happy Cooking!

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