This is the time of the year when, back in the Czech Republic, people flock to the woods and forests with baskets in their hands. The purpose of this madness? Mushrooms of course. My Dad told me about his latest mushrooming expeditions that bore a basketful of some of my favourite mushrooms, golden chanterelles (also known as girolles). I must admit I was jealous and may have to plan my next trip around the mushroom season.

To my surprise a little plaster for my sorrow was found in a supermarket. I stumbled upon a small (100g) punnett of golden chanterelles. Ok I didn’t pick them myself, I didn't walk miles through the woods until the perfect grassy bank was found. I didn’t get the chance to lift the tufts of grass to discover the golden treasure underneath. But I did get to eat them.

A lonely 100g pack will not feed many so I have stocked up on other mushrooms to make a soup and used the chanterelles as a garnish, a little flavourful golden crown jewel to sit on the top of the otherwise dull colour of my yummy soup. My son couldn’t get enough and proclaimed the golden chanterelle to be his favourite mushroom too. Next I will be searching for fresh porcini...

If you have a very young garlic you can use the whole bulb, it is very mild and will not make the soup too garlicky. As for regular garlic, one large clove will work instead.

Serves 4

1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 whole very young garlic, or 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp of fresh thyme leaves
450g (1 lb) of mushrooms (any type will do, I had a mixture)
120ml (1/2cup) Marsala wine (or sherry)
2 cups light vegetable stock
cashew cream (1/2 cup cashews - 1 cup water)
for garnish:
100g (3-4oz chanterelles)
1 tsp olive or rapeseed oil
pinch of salt


  1. In a large sauce pan heat 2 Tbs of water, add the onion and garlic and saute till softened, add more water if they start to stick.
  2. Add the thyme and mushrooms and saute until they start to soften about 5 min. Pinch of salt will help bring out the juices out of the mushrooms.
  3. Next add the Marsala and let it boil for a minute to cook off the alcohol.
  4. Add the stock and simmer gently for about 10min.
  5. Using a stick blender (of a regular blender) whizz up the soup till fairly smooth.
  6. Finish the soup with the cashew cream.
  7. In a small non stick frying pan, heat the oil. Add the mushrooms, pinch of salt and fry until just starting to caramelize on the edges.
  8. Serve the soup topped with some of the golden chanterelles.