Mushroom Soup with Brunost

I met up with a good friend recently and after we’d finished scaring each other silly about the stories we’d read online about Putin having a nuke that could take out Great Britain which was planning to use for that very purpose (I almost decided to go back on my alcohol free month at this moment. Who wants their last month alive sober?), conversation turned to Brunost as she is part Danish and as I recently discovered, I am 20% Norwegian (though my thunder was stolen a bit recently when I found out my brother in law is 50% Norwegian). Brunost is a brown cheese that originates in Norway and is as popular as cheddar is here. It’s made with the parts of the cheese you’d normally discard in the cheese-making process. Of course, I had to try it so I ordered some from a Scandinavian food supplier. (It’s readily available on Amazon but I thought I would pick up some pickled herring too.) I would describe this cheese almost like a savoury fudge, it tastes caramelly and buttery. In Norway, they often serve brunost melted on toast but I decided to do something more elaborate with it. I saw a recipe on this Nordic food blog ‘North Wild Kitchen’ for mushroom soup. I am a big lover of mushrooms so it really stood out to me. Sometimes I wonder if I love mushrooms and cherries so much just because my mum hates them though to be honest she hates anything that has a flavour (red wine, blue cheese, whiskey). It was a great idea to put Brunost in this soup, it really elevates it and was worth the order from Scandinavian Kitchen.

Serves 4 – 6

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 shallots
  • 500g mushrooms (I used a mix of portabello and chestnut but you could go more fancy)
  • 20g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 litre stock (I used Massel chicken flavour)
  • 100g brunost (I used Gudbrandsdalen)
  • 150ml double cream
  • salt and pepper

Method

1.) Wash and chop up the mushrooms and set aside.

2.) Peel and finely dice the shallots.

3.) In a large casserole dish, melt the butter and add the shallots and porcini.

4.) Cook for about 5 minutes until the shallots are soft.

5.) Add the mushrooms and cook for another 7 minutes.

6.) While these are cooking, grate the brunost and make up the stock.

7.) Add the stock to the casserole dish and cook on a low heat for 10 minutes.

8.) Add the brunost and cream and heat for a few more minutes to melt the brunost.

9.) Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Smørrebrød

I wanted to make the most out of the delicious rye bread I bought from Pollen bakery so I decided to make some Smørrebrød – Danish-Norwegian open faced sandwiches. The toppings can be pretty much limitless but the trick is to have some sort of fatty layer. It’s good to butter the bread if you’re not eating the sandwiches straight away as it stops it going soggy. I just love the creaminess with the dense rye bread. Because of the density of the bread, you can really pile up the toppings on this sandwich. I went with 2 types salmon, cream cheese and dill and a walnut, pear and blue cheese.

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 3 slices rye bread
  • 2 tbsp cream cheese
  • 1/2 tsp mustard
  • small bunch dill
  • Smoked salmon
  • 2 radishes
  • St Agar blue cheese spread
  • handful walnuts
  • 1 pear

Method

1.) Mix together the cream cheese and mustard.

2.) Pick the leaves off the dill and stir through the cream cheese mix.

3.) Slice 3 pieces of rye bread.

4.) Liberally spread the cream cheese on one slice.

5.) Top with the smoked salmon.

6.) Thinly slice the radish and place on top of the salmon.

7.) Spread the blue cheese spread over the other two slices of bread.

8.) Crush the walnuts in your hand into pieces and sprinkle over the blue cheese.

9.) Thinly slice the pear and arrange over the sandwiches. (I didn’t put all the pear on in the pic so it was possible to see the filling).