At the beginning we will just mention that this is one before last post before our Christmas departure to Poland, happening this Friday. We will try to switch off from reality and blogging for some time and new posts will appear after our return in 2013. 

Hope everyone is busy preparing some lovely food recipes for Christmas already. We had quite a weekend here. It was crazy but by crazy I do not mean partying and going out - we actually spend it all in the kitchen,with camera. We have been preparing soups for the February issue of "Easy food" magazine. Once the article is put togather we will try to share it with you, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, we wanted to show off our first session for Christmas issue of the magazine. This was our first paid assignment and even though it involved a lot of work and preparation we were beyond thrilled to get the job done and very, very excited about the whole process. We had to cook/style and shoot five xmas desserts sent to the editor from the readers. In the pictures you can see: Fruit Pavlova, Wreaths with cinnamon candies, Christmas Panna Cotta, Nigella's pudding with chocolate sauce and Fruit salad with Baileys. I guess the biggest challenge for us were Christmas wreaths, just you have this sticky, weird green thing made of cornflakes, butter, marshmallows and green colourant, which had to be formed into some sort of christmasy shape. We managed somehow and to be honest with you it is dream coming true job for us. The whole process of planning and creating images for the article is great, you always get a color palette that has to be used during the photo session and find the right props to accompany the food. You get the recipes, you get to cook them and photograph, we get paid for that and have delicious food for next couple of days, simply amazing :) So in the end we are very pleased with the cooperation and look forward to future projects in 2013.

And now few words about today's hero - mushroom soup! First, a few words from Janusz: my mom came up with idea of adding mushroom flavoured processed cheese to the soup. I've tried many different mushroom soups in my life, but this one has definitely the most amazing flavour.

And now from Bart: My mom makes a similar soup, it is just thicker, but equally aromatic. At the Christmas Eve table we always have three soups - borscht, fish soup and mushroom one - and they all taste incredible. And according to our Polish tradition in order to ensure happiness and the favor of fortune in the coming year, you have to try 12 dishes.

So let's cook and enjoy. Warm greetings from cold Dublin!

Mushroom soup

  • 5 potatoes
  • 3 parsnips
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 1 leek
  • 200g dried porcini or wild mushrooms
  • 150ml cream (12%)
  • 2 bags of barley (in bags for cooking) (200g)
  • 2 processed mushroom flavoured processed cheese(100g)
  • fresh parsley for garnish
  • salt, pepper

We break mushrooms into small pieces and soak for at least an hour in small amount of water. Peel the onion and blacken it with a kitchen hand torch. Peel the vegetables, place them along with blackened onion in big pot and cover with 2.5 liters of water - cook until tender, for about 40 minutes. Once cooked discard the onion, dice vegetables and set aside. Now add into boiling broth mushrooms along with water that they were soaking. Cook for around 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook barley in bags in a separate pot (according to the instructions for around 12 minutes). Drain and add to the broth along with vegetables and mushrooms. Place on a small heat, stir all the ingredients and add diced processed cheese, leave on heat for around 2, 3 minutes. Ladle some soup into the cup and mix well with cream. Than add this mixture back to the pot and stir to ensure there is no lumps. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with fresh parsley. Serve with fresh bread.

Click here to see our photos from EasyFood magazine (December 2012) - PDF format.