Soup on the dark side


I first came across this recipe on a road trip to Ardnamurchan. Stopping at a local hotel for lunch mushroom soup was on the menu and it was a lovely dark colour. Almost as dark as the Irish stout being poured in the bar. Very tasty it was too and I decided to try it at home. After a few attempts I have come up with a really basic recipe for a hearty, warming soup made of simple ingredients.

The key to getting the colour right is to use as many flat mushrooms or Portobello mushrooms as possible. Following the recipe should give you a thick and tasty soup with a striking dark colour. The recipe is good for about 4 bowls of soup. Double up the ingredients if you need more.


  • 600 g Mushroom. At least half of them should be large flat ones like the Portobello variety with dark gills for colour.
  • One onion
  • Olive oil. Two tablespoons
  • A bunch of curly parsley. 30g
  • 3 or 4 stock cubes to taste (Chicken or vegetable)
  • 1 pint of hot water. 568 ml


  1. Chop the onion and heat in a pan with the olive oil till soft
  2. Prepare the mushrooms by peeling back the skin
  3. Do not wash them in water but remove any dirt by peeling the skin
  4. Slice the mushrooms roughly and put in with the onions to heat for 5 minutes stirring all the time until the mushrooms get soft and the mixture gets darker, almost black
  5. Add more olive oil if required
  6. Chop the parsley and add to the pan
  7. At this stage you can either make up a pint of hot water and add in the stock cubes. or just add the cubes to the mix and add the water
  8. Mix well and let the mixture simmer for 10 -15 minutes. Taste and add seasoning if required.(Stock cubes already have salt in them.)

Once you are satisfied with the taste use a hand blender to blend into a smooth soup. At this stage you can add a swirl of cream which will have your soup plate looking like that pint of Irish stout or you can just have it black!

Very nice with crusty bread. Hope you enjoy.

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