Wednesday afternoon I took a break from academic writing because all I could think of was making a fresh mushroom soup. I looked through a couple of soup cookbooks for ideas, but as expected everything was heavily cheese and cream based. I do like some non-dairy creams and cheeses, but I really wanted to see if I could make something nice without using them.
I started out with the following:
- 1 teaspoon Vegan Magic (use any cooking oil that suits your taste)
- 1 medium onion (diced)
- 2 cloves garlic (smashed and roughly chopped)
- 8 oz of chopped cremini mushrooms
- 2 teaspoons dried herbs such as thyme, sage, basil… your taste preference. I will try this with fresh rosemary next time
- Another 8-10 ounces of frozen mixed mushrooms (I buy these packages that have shiitakes and all sorts of other fun mushrooms.)
- 1 medium potato, peeled, chopped in small pieces (this will help achieve the creamy texture usually from cheese or cream)
- 250 ml of vegetable broth
- 250 ml almond milk (cashew would work as well, but I personally would not use soy as it affects the taste)
- Salt to taste
- Something to deglaze the pan
I started out sautéing the onions and garlic until soft, then added the cremini mushrooms to the pan. Next, add the dried (or fresh if you have them) herbs. At this point you may wish to deglaze the pan. Next, add the frozen mushrooms. At this point the mushrooms will probably release a lot of liquid. Keep cooking it down. During this time you can add the potatoes. When there is very little liquid left in the pan add the vegetable broth and simmer. When the potatoes are soft and breaking down a little bit add a little bit of almond milk. Add salt to taste. Take the soup off the heat, and when it is cooled a little bit remove a little more than half and puree. Return to the pan and check the consistency (if you prefer a smoother soup you might just use an immersion blender on the entire thing). At this point you may wish to return the soup to a simmer and add almond milk and more salt.
As you can see in this picture, I left my soup really thick on day one. It was almost like a creamy mushroom stew.
Over the course of the week the soup reinvented itself in a couple of ways. The top photo shows it after I’d added more almond milk and it became a more traditional mushrooms soup. I served it with a really nice potato-scallion loaf that I toasted and then rubbed with garlic and topped with a plant-based margarine and fresh herbs. I also added a little bit of harissa paste one of the days to make it a little bit different.
The evening where I finished off the leftovers in a small pan I sautéed kale, more fresh garlic, cherry tomatoes and some bell pepper and then added the remaining mushroom mix and a little bit of almond milk. Once it reached an Alfredo sauce consistency I added in some pre-cooked pasta and got everything heated up. It was great!