Just What The Doctor Ordered. Mushroom Soup w/ Lentils, Pine Nut Pangritata And Basil Oil

1buddybradleyfinalCook And Kid The Doctor!
Kid is still away on a beachy adventure so Doctor has kindly agreed to stand in today. Doctor is a vege-ma-tarian. No meat.
My Dad still has to ask about this (even though he’s had two vegetarian sons at different times) “What can she eat again?”
“Nothing that had a face or a pulse Dad”
So here we are. Just the Doctor and me and this outstanding hoard of mushrooms I’ve driven all over Brisbane trying to find.Shrooms.5 No pine mushrooms sadly. These are the times I miss living south. In Melbourne, a friendly older guy whose name escapes me would come to the kitchen back door with trays of freshly picked Pine and Slippery Jack mushrooms. Straight from the forest. And cheap.
Doctor loves mushrooms, especially the flavour of porcini – an earthy, meaty flavoured Italian mushroom ( pig mushrooms, roughly translated.) Porcini is most commonly available here as dried, powder or frozen. It’s expensive but you don’t need much.
Mushroom and Lentil Soup w/ Pine Nut Pangritata and Basil OilShrooms12HOW
Sweat the shallots, garlic and thyme (use plenty of butter) until soft and sweet. Add the mushrooms and cook with a lid on, stirring occasionally until the mushrooms are soft and fragrant. Add the sherry and reduce by half. Add stock and seasoning, simmer gently for 20 mins, add lentils. Bring to the boil. Turn off. Add crème fraiche and blitz until smooth.Shrooms7 Serve with extra sauté mushrooms, extra crème fraiche, pangritata and basil oil. Or just with some bread.Shrooms 8Pine Nut Pangritata
Pan what now? Also called poor man’s parmesan, this is really just fancy pants croutons. Ours is so fancy it has pine nuts in it.Shrooms2Chop some sour dough or other bread. It’s a good opportunity to use up old bread. Mix with chopped garlic, herbs, olive oil, salt and pepper and pine nuts. Bake on 140*c for around 25 minutes, stirring occasionally until golden and crispy. Grind in a mortar and pestle. This plays nicely with many pasta dishes and salads as well.
Basil OilShrooms3 Blanch a bunch of basil and refresh in cold water. Gently dry on some towel. Blitz with 1/2 a cup of olive oil. Let sit for 1hr then allow to drip through paper towel with a weight on top.
Porcini StockShrooms4About 10g of dried porcini, 4-5 bay leaves (aim for fresh), onion and mushroom trimmings, thyme, garlic, parsley stalks, peppercorns, 2 litres of water. Simmer gently for about and hour. Strain.
What The Doctor Did.
It’s fair to say that Doctor’s kitchen capabilities are, ahem, somewhat limited. She can sustain herself with fried eggs and jaffles for example, but has never made say, lasagne or a soup. Until now of course.Shrooms9There was plenty of grinding, stirring and blending and chopping to do. Doctor is bigger than Kid so she’s allowed a proper knife.Shrooms10Doctor is called so for having recently completed a doctorate in environmental business. We are yet to receive any amazing upgrades. Doctor is also currently writing a book about healing the earth and has a blog. We are also climbing Mt Kilimanjaro in September. The Doctor does not do things by halves.Shrooms11

The finished product! Thank you sweetheart ♥

Happy Cooking, see you soon, with Kid.


Day Trippin’!

Falls4Getting out of town at any and all opportunities is a favourite pastime of mine. I’m pretty lucky to live in quick reach of surf beaches, rain forests, mountains, rivers and lakes.

And so Doctor and I did the other day. We’re in preparation mode for an overseas trip and mountain climb later in the year. To wear in our hiking boots and taste that crisp mountain air, we drove an hour north and a little  west, past the Glasshouse Mountains, up the Blackall Range to a place called Montville and then on a little further to Kondalilla Falls.Falls2

It’s a short stroll down the first part of the track to the top pools that lead into the 80 metre vertical deluge to the spring below. I thought swimming here would be a sound idea, given the unseasonably bright-sunshiny-day. Have you ever jumped into water so cold that it knocked the air out of your lungs? I don’t recommend it, but I’m stubbornly glad that I did.
I’ll spare you the pictures.
Falls1Unbeknownst to the good Doctor and I, the track  to the bottom of the main falls was closed due to landslides. Disappointing, as we were prepared for a heavy legs workout and view of the falls themselves. It’s a very straight up and down sort of affair, lots of stairs. My mates and I wagged school to come up here. My Mum still tells the story of having to piggy back me up those stairs when I was 4 years old. Maybe I was 5. Thanks Mum.Falls6

So instead of looking at the big stuff I decided to focus my attention on the things around us, on the tress, the rocks and on the ground. It’s easy to get lost in the grandeur of a place like this and miss the minutiae.
Little tiny mushrooms for example!
Falls3These look a lot like a yellow French mushroom called a Chanterelle. They are not. Take pics, not samples.
The there’s the furry green moss and ferns carpeting the rocks and logs. Like its been raining Muppets.Falls5Watching sunlight catch on a single rain drop on a leaf was highly mesmerising.Falls9Doctor was happy traipsing along with her ear phones in and taking in the lush surrounds. There’s not much need for chit-chat on these walks, it’s all about exercise and peace. We choose our own pace.Falls7There had obviously been a lot of rain recently, going on the flow of water and vibrant, abundant greenery. And fungus. So much beautiful, crazy fungus.Falls10 We did still  manage a good solid walk down another path before returning to the car for the drive home. If you can avoid the Sunday afternoon car park down the Bruce Highway you’re doing well. It starts about 3. Bring water and snacks.Falls8But we’re old pro’s now, home on the couch with the Sunday quiz, stiff legs and a cold one by 3.30.
Thanks Doctor.

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