Hake parcels and trimmings

Rich mushroom soup–totally satisfying






This week we made two great dishes to go with two excellent wines. The recipes were developed by those who know what they are doing but nevertheless we made some small modifications. For instance there were no shallots to be had so we used red onions. We used Portobello and button mushrooms, and extra cream. The result was still magnificent.  My theory is cut corners wherever you can but don’t get too carried away. If you do, you might be tempted to buy a tin of mushroom soup and some garlic bread but that’s not cooking!! The hake parcels we served with a simple avocado and tomato salad, light and refreshing –and frankly if you aren’t sure how to make baby potatoes, you should be eating out a lot more often. Here are the pictures and the recipes so have fun on those cold winter nights with the mushroom soup –nice and rich. The hake parcels are simplicity themselves and perfect for impromptu cooking.

I have used the professional pictures—so glamorous, mine were a lot more homely.

Recipe for Mushroom Soup with Marinated Mushrooms and Garlic Toasties developed by Hein van Tonder.


Marinated mushrooms

200g small portobello mushrooms, cleaned and halved

50ml apple cider vinegar

50ml extra virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 thyme sprig

sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

Mushroom soup

100g shallots, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, mashed

Olive oil for frying

100ml sherry

600g mushrooms such as portabellini, shitake, porcini, cleaned and roughly chopped

1 sprig thyme

500ml warm vegetable stock

250ml cream (or coconut milk)

sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

Garlic Toasties

1 clove garlic, mashed

Handful, chopped fresh parsley

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Slices of bread, toasted


  1. To make the marinated mushrooms, place all the other ingredients except the mushrooms in a saucepan and bring to a boil then pour over the cut mushrooms
  2. Cover and place in the fridge for at least two hours to cool
  3. Make the soup by heating some oil in a saucepan and add the shallots and garlic
  4. Sweat the vegetables over a low heat until soft and translucent
  5. Deglaze with the sherry and add the mushrooms and thyme
  6. Give it a stir and cook for a few minutes
  7. Add the vegetable stock and simmer for 20 minutes
  8. Add the cream or coconut milk and simmer for another 10 minutes
  9. Season to taste
  10. Use a thick blender to blend the soup to a smooth consistency and keep warm while making the toasties
  11. Make the garlic toasties by mixing the garlic, parsley and olive oil and spreading onto the just toasted bread
  12. Serve the soup in bowls, topped with some marinated mushrooms and the toasties


Recipe for Hake Parcels with buttered potatoes and a green bean and mint salad from Eric Bulpitt


For the Hake:

2 x 200 g Fresh hake portions

50 ml  Olive oil

80 g Butter

1 Red onion, sliced

2 Spring onions, finely sliced

2 Baby fennel bulbs, finely sliced

1 Lemon thinly sliced

1 Garlic clove, finely chopped

2 Dill sprigs


For the parcels

Two sheets size of non-stick baking parchment ( double the size of A3) and string


Preheat the oven to 200° C.

Place all the vegetables and herbs in a mixing bowl and mix well.

Season hake generously with salt and white pepper.

Place each piece of fish on a parchment paper sheet.

Sprinkle the olive oil over each piece and place a 40 g knob of butter on each.

Arrange the veggies generously over the top.

Season lightly, adding some lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Fold the one side of the parchment paper over to the other side to form a parcel and then fold the sides of the parchment paper to seal the envelope. Tie the parcel with string to keep it together.

Place the parcels on a baking tray and bake in a 200° C oven for 12 minutes.

Green Bean and Mint Salad 


200 g Green beans, trimmed

1 Lemon, zested and juiced

80 g Olive oil

½ Garlic cloves, crushed

1/2 tsp Wholegrain mustard

1 pinch Sugar

2 sprigs Mint


Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil.

Fill a large glass bowl with cold water and ice.

Once the water is on a rolling boil, add the green beans to the pot in two stages, blanch for 2 minutes.

Remove and shock in the ice water.

Once chilled remove from the ice water and pat dry with paper towel.

Place the beans in a mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl mix the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, mustard, sugar and season with salt and pepper.

Pour the vinaigrette over beans. Mix and add the mint

Buttered Baby Potatoes

10 Baby potatoes

80 g Butter

5 g Chives chopped

Salt and pepper


Wash the baby potatoes and place in a small pot.

Cover with cold salted water and boil till soft.

Drain and season, toss with butter and chives.

Serve hot