This is deliciously rich and smooth soup with a colour of deep vibrant gold. Author of Delicious Soups Belinda Williams had a similar dish at a Gordon Ramsay restaurant as an amuse bouche, and that is where the idea for this recipe in her book came from. The silky nature of the cep works so well with the smooth soup. Truffle oil finishes this off and elevates it from the everyday to something really special – but this is at your discretion.
50 g butter
2 white onions, diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 small pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and diced
½ butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and diced
1.5 litres vegetable stock
2 cep mushrooms, finely sliced
200 ml double cream
sea salt and ground black pepper
for the garnish
truffle oil, for drizzling (optional) chopped fresh parsley
fresh thyme leaves
Melt about three-quarters of the butter in a large saucepan and cook the onions, garlic, pumpkin and squash until soft. Add the stock to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the pumpkin and squash are cooked. Take the pan off the heat and blitz the mixture to a purée with a stick blender.
In a frying pan, heat the remaining butter and fry the ceps very gently for a few minutes, until softened but without colouring. Add the ceps to the soup and stir in the cream, then season to taste with salt and black pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve garnished with a sprinkle of fresh parsley and thyme leaves and a little drizzle of truffle oil, if you wish.