Mint and Mushroom Soup

A smooth and delicately flavoured soup, Mint and Mushroom Soup makes a delightful first course for a dinner party, or, served with crusty bread and butter and a salad, a very simple light lunch.

4 large potatoes, coarsely chopped

1 small onion

1 ½ pints chicken stock grated rind and juice of

1 lemon

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1½ teaspoons dried rosemary

½ teaspoon salt

1 ½ teaspoon black pepper

2 oz. butter

8 oz. mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced

1 tablespoon flour

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint

5 fl. oz. double cream

Place the potatoes and the onion in a large saucepan. Pour in the stock. Add the lemon rind and juice, rosemary, salt and pepper. Place the pan over high heat and bring the mixture to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. When the foam subsides, add the mushrooms and toss them in the butter until they are thor-oughly coated. Cook them slowly, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Sprinkle over the flour and, with a wooden spoon, stir it into the mushroom mixture. Re-move the pan from the heat and set aside.

With a slotted spoon, remove the potatoes and onion from the stock mix-ture. Puree them in a food mill, or rub them through a strainer with the back of a wooden spoon. Return the pureed vegetables to the stock mixture.

Add the mushrooms to the stock mixture. Increase the heat to high and bring the soup to the boil, stirring constantly.

Stir in the mint. Remove the pan from the heat.

Pour the soup into a large tureen and stir in the cream. Alternatively, serve the soup in individual soup bowls, adding a spoonful of cream to each one.