I live with four people, a number which expands and contracts from one day to the next as girlfriends and boyfriends come and go, as friends and family fill spare beds, and as weary travellers find a place to rest their weary heads. Our spare room is more often than not occupied, if not by friends or family then by travellers sent by friends and family from places far away. Whilst these travellers are strangers to us when they arrive, when they leave us, they leave as friends.
Our most recent guests were French, Romain and Thomas, and were sent to us by a good friend of mine who now lives in Paris. They arrived in the early evening brimming with energy, with colourful tales of misbehaving in South America and an abundance of duty-free wine! A glass or two of which later and we were all firm friends, sharing food and our thoughts on love, life and travel.
Several weeks, and several thousand kilometers later (they drove the length of NZ and back) I made this soup on their last night with us. We all gathered round the table and ate and drank and made promises to meet again, wherever in the world that might be.
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
6 large portobello mushrooms, chopped
¼ cup marsala
2 cups chicken stock
¼ cup cream
A handful brown button mushrooms, the smallest you can find
1. Melt the butter and add the garlic and mushroom cooking until brown and soft. Add the marsala and chicken stock and continue to cook for about 15 minutes or until the mushrooms are very soft.
2. Add the cream, season and then blend this mixture until smooth. Keep soup warm whilst preparing the garnish.
3. Cut the button mushrooms in half and fry in a bit of butter until they take on a golden brown colour.
4. Serve the soup in small cups and garnish with a swirl of cream and a few browned mushrooms.