happiness is not having what you want but wanting what you have

Cooking in a hotel: Creamy Mushroom Soup


Greetings from a Hotel Room!

Sadly this is not a greeting from an exotic holiday destination. This is a greeting from our temporary home.

We are in a hotel room till March as H and I have had to move out of our new apartment due to a washing machine related flood (which happened 5 days before our wedding last December). After a couple of months of trying to get everything back the way it is, we finally managed to get someone to have a look at the floors to assess the damage and it was not pretty. Our floorboards were now harbouring mould under them. Not exactly the way we wanted to start 2016 – so much for a lucky no.13 apartment!

Straight after the discovery, we were told that it was no longer safe for us to stay in our apartment whilst the repairs took place. So we were put up in a hotel in the city for a week. There was no kitchen in the room but we made do with eating out almost every night and spent most of our time watching movies on the bed (no couch). Then we found out that the repairs would not get completed until possibly towards the end of March.

Soon after that, we moved to another hotel which offered a more ‘self-contained’ living . The first room we were booked into was so small that H & I started to get cabin fever after being in there for a few hours. Not an improvement. We requested for an upgrade to a larger room within 2 days, we moved again. As soon as we moved into this room, I started nesting big time. I slowly started to bring over a few things that would make it feel like home and a few cooking essentials – Thermomix, Le Creuset pot along with… well, pretty much half of what we own.

I think it was my way of coping with everything after feeling displaced and living out of our backpacks – we had done that for nearly a month whilst travelling in NZ for our honeymoon too, so the feeling was just all too familiar. I was frustrated, tired and frankly, a little discouraged. Will we ever be able to move back into our home and not have anything else go wrong with it? Only time will tell.

With a small kitchenette in the hotel room, we had to get creative with our meals as we did not have the space or the capacity to make them like we did at home. After a week of take-aways, we decided that we were spending way too much money and really needed to reel back the finances. We really needed to still be able to make our bulk meals so we could have leftovers for lunches.

Our kitchen in the ‘self-contained’ hotel room. Bar fridge, electric stove, Thermomix and thankfully, a dishwasher.

So – I made a little quick list of all the pros and cons of cooking in our hotel room.

Pros of cooking in a hotel room:

  1. Saving money so we can do nice things on weekends and get out of our room.
  2. Maximising ingredients and getting creative in the kitchen teeny tiny kitchenette.
  3. Making bulk meals which produces leftovers = saving money.

Cons of cooking in a hotel room:

  1. Limited space. Looks at bar fridge.
  2. Limited freezer space. No ice cream tubs for us. Boo.
  3. The food smell lingers in the air all day. The bed smells like food. Clothes smell like food.
  4. Lack of space to spread out and prep food. No bench space.
  5. NO OVEN. No baking. No CAKE!

In the end, I decided that our meals will mostly be made by our Thermomix which was given to us by H’s parents as a wedding gift and the Le Creuset pot for our favourite one-pot meals.

Here is what our food plan for the next two weeks looks like. We will be mixing and matching it a little every week so we aren’t eating the same meals on repeat. I guess, it was more about planning the meals we can make with similar ingredients to save fridge space while freeing up our evenings to spend time together instead of doing a food shop every few days.

Week #1 & Week #2

We use bulk meals to cover our lunches and only cook dinner. These meals will often mean that we will have a meal or two spare in the freezer for emergencies. Primarily soups or meat sauce (then we add rice or pasta)

Bulk Meals (4-6 portions)

  • One Pot Chilli Mac and Cheese – Le Creuset – 6 portions
  • Coconut ‘Fried’ Rice – Thermomix – 6 portions
  • Butter Chicken with rice – Thermomix – 4 portions
  • Easy Green Chicken Curry – Thermomix – 4 portions
  • Risotto (using whatever meat or veggies we have) – Thermomix – 4 portions

Single meal (2 portions)

  • Creamy Mushroom Soup – Thermomix 
  • Chicken and Vegetables with leek & mustard cause – Thermomix
  • Fish parcels and vegetables – Thermomix
  • Tacos! – Thermomix for the meat mix
  • One-pot chicken teriyaki rice – Le Creuset

We have allowed ourselves 1 x eating out day if we have surplus from the budget.

So… this brings me to this creamy mushroom soup that we made in the Thermomix. Ah yes, this was the soup that marks our first week of cooking in the hotel room. Best news is that it is fast and yummy.Hoorah!

This soup  (recipe below) was super easy to whip up . I am huge mushroom fan so I actually added more mushroom than the original recipe required but hey, when it says mushroom soup, I am expecting an earthy soup with lots of mushroom flavour. I know not many people will find a mushroom soup to be very sexy… but I do.

We made this soup in under 30 minutes in one bowl/pot so there was less time cleaning and more time eating – Winning. The portions were generous too so we had some leftovers. It became the bonus appetiser or the go to snack when H is hungry after getting home from work.

Have you got a great recipe that produces lots of yummy portions? I would love for you to share with me some of your tried and tested for the Thermomix or one-pot dishes that we could try.

I hope you are all having a lovely week.

Creamy Mushroom Soup – Thermomix Way

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Creamy Mushroom Soup

what you need

  • 4 sprigs of parsley leaves – chopped and set aside
  • 300 grams of mixed mushrooms diced (I used swiss brown, button and portabello)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 700 grams water
  • 200 grams of milk
  • 1 tsp TM Vegetable Stock (or 1 x vegetable stock cube)
  • 60g of plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 50g of pouring cream
  • 100 grams Butter, diced
  • Pepper to taste
  • Greek Yogurt or grated Grand Padano cheese & fresh parsley to garnish

how to make it

  1. Place button mushrooms and garlic into mixing bowl and chop 5 sec/speed 4
  2. Add water, milk, vegetable stock, flour, salt and cook 8min/100ºC/speed 3
  3. Add cream and parsley and cook 2 min/90ºC/speed 2
  4. Blend 30 sec/speed 4-7, increasing speed gradually
  5. Serve hot with swirls of greek yogurt or topped with grated grand padano cheese
  6. Add parsley as garnish for a pretty finish

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