Rich mushrooms cooked with sweet sherry and tangy mash spiced with nutmeg make this a vegetarian Christmas treat.
25g/1oz unsalted butter
450g/1lb chestnut mushrooms, wiped & thickly sliced
350g/12oz flat field mushrooms, wiped, peeled and thickly sliced
115g/4oz button mushrooms
2 heaped teaspoons plain flour
150ml/¼ pint dry sherry
300ml/½pint vegetable stock
300ml/½ pint double cream
squeeze of lemon juice
1 bunch fresh thyme, roughly chopped
freshly ground black pepper
900g/2lb potatoes, scrubbed well
nutmeg, freshly grated
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large leek, washed and shredded
450g/1lb dark green cabbage or spring greens, washed and finely shredded
In a large frying pan or wok, heat the butter and fry the mushrooms for 5-7 minutes, or until slightly softened.
Sprinkle over the flour and cook for a further minute. Add the sherry, half the vegetable stock, and the thyme. Season well and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Add the cream and lemon juice to the mushroom broth and simmer for a further five minutes, adding extra vegetable stock if the broth looks too thick. (The broth should be like a thick gravy).
Cut the scrubbed potatoes into small, even sized pieces. Place into a saucepan, cover with water and cook until tender.
Drain well, return to the saucepan, and mash with the buttermilk. Season with nutmeg, salt and freshly ground black pepper and keep warm.
In a large frying pan or wok, heat the olive oil and fry the leek briskly for two minutes.
Add the shredded cabbage and stir fry over a high heat for 2-3 minutes or until just tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, ladle the broth into four warmed, large soup plates. Place a scoop of creamy mashed potato in the centre of the broth and top the potato with a flourish of spicy cabbage.
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