A botanist might cringe if we called mushrooms a vegetable but from a culinary perspective, this fungus is a vegetable. A 100g (3.5oz) serving of mushrooms is a nutritious feast that will provide B vitamins (especially riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid) as well as minerals (selenium, copper, phosphorous and potassium). Mushrooms also contain some Vitamin D, the only vegetable to do so, and a small but respectable amount of protein, 3g, in a 100g serving. They add a meaty flavor to soups and stews.
LENTIL MUSHROOM SOUP
- 1.5 lbs mushrooms (white or cremini)
- 1 yellow onion (medium)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 cup lentils (French or regular green lentils)
- 1 T butter or olive oil
- sprig of marjoram and thyme if the garden is providing
- 4-6 cups chicken or vegetable stock (homemade preferred but use what you have)
- salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 lb lean beef diced (optional)
Saute onions in butter or olive oil. Add sliced mushrooms, thyme and marjoram until mushrooms are tender. Add minced garlic and stir. Remove from heat. If you are using beef add it to the onions before you add the mushrooms and after the onions have wilted a bit.
Meanwhile simmer rinsed lentils in stock for 15-20 minutes until tender. I like to cook lentils like pasta - in lots of water and taste test after 10 minutes. You want them tender, not mushy and not crunchy. Drain when done.
Combine mushrooms and onions to lentils. Add stock and simmer for a few minutes. Add vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.