Broth of Autumn Leaves

This is what autumn tastes like, a recipe by Magnus Nilsson
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“I love this dish because in an intriguing kind of way I think it tastes like a season. If I were to ask people what autumn tastes like, most of them would explain it by describing dishes such as braised meat, mushroom soup and other hearty, warming foods with rich, deep colours. I think this is probably because these are what we most often want to eat when the weather outside is less and less appealing. This certainly means that we associate these dishes with the season of autumn; but do they actually taste of autumn? Not in my opinion. For me, autumn is clear and crisp, like a breath of cold air; you can feel nature is preparing itself for winter. This broth smells and looks like a walk through a beautiful, bright autumn forest where all the many-coloured leaves are lying on the ground, allowing the light in from above.

The trick here is to use very little salt. Salt will emphasize the flavours and make it taste much too savoury like a mushroom stock, but if you barely salt it, or do not salt it at all, it will be more like a fine tea, with all the delicate nuances you want.

When choosing the old leaves, look for the earthy-smelling brown ones that have almost turned into soil, rather than leaves with colour in them. The fresh leaves should come from trees such as birch, aspen or maple. There is no need to clean them, just avoid taking dirty ones.”

-Magnus Nilsson

Serves: 6

Ingredients

1 litre good-quality fresh mushrooms of different kinds
handful of clean moss
2 handfuls old autumn leaves from last year
1 litre fresh autumn leaves

Method

Put the mushrooms in a heatproof container and pour 500g water over them. Close the lid or wrap tightly in cling film (plastic wrap) and steam for about 25 minutes in a steam oven at 100°C (200°F).

Meanwhile, put the moss, the old leaves and 3 handfuls of the fresh ones in a glass teapot. Remove the container of mushrooms from the oven and open it carefully. Adjust the salt if you wish, then immediately strain the hot liquid over the contents of the teapot. Leave to infuse for about 3 minutes.

Arrange some fresh autumn leaves in a bowl, and pour the hot aromatic broth over them in front of the diner.

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Faviken

Fäviken is an exclusive insight into one of the world's most interesting restaurants: Fäviken Magasinet in Sweden. Narrative texts, photographs and recipes explain head chef Magnus Nilsson's remarkable approach to sourcing and cooking with ingredients that are farmed and hunted in the immediate vicinity of the restaurant, and how he creates a seasonal cycle of menus based on them.

Even though not everyone can visit Fäviken, Nilsson’s approach to working with ingredients in the most natural, intuitive way possible, and making the most of each season, will inspire all cooks and food-lovers to think differently about the ingredients that are available to them.

Many of the basic recipes for yoghurt, bread, porridge, vinegar, pickles and preserves are simple and straightforward enough for anyone to attempt at home, and the advice on natural preservation methods can be followed by anyone.

The text in Fäviken will provide inspiration for chefs and food-lovers all over the world and are fully accessible to the general reader.