It’s the first week in April and it’s snowing outside, not a lot, just enough to let you know you shouldn’t put your heavy coat away. So, I’m going to make some warm, silky, autumn tasting cream of mushroom soup. Mushroom anything is delicious, and a big pot of soup is just the beginning. After today, I’ll make some of the leftover soup into a sauce for pasta, and the day after that I’ll smother a baked potato with it, and if anything is left just throw it in the freezer for your next casserole. I guarantee that once you make this at home, you’ll never buy that disgusting canned stuff again.
Creamy Mushroom Soup
- 3 cups fresh button mushrooms, brushed clean and quartered
- 1 cup reconstituted shitake mushrooms, chopped
- 1 medium large onion (about 1 1/2 cups) chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups of stock, vegetable (mushroom is best)
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon Hungarian paprika
- 1 teaspoon mushroom powder*
- Add salt and pepper later to taste
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce, or Braggs aminos (Worchestershire works too)
- 3/4 cup cashew or coconut cream (use any milk or cream you prefer).
- 1 tablespoon plain yogurt or sour cream
In a soup pot, gently sauté the onions, garlic and mushrooms until they are soft. Add the parsley, thyme and paprika. *I also add a blend of dried mushroom powder that I make. It just adds some extra depth and yumminess but it’s not necessary.
Now add the stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.
Add the salt and pepper to taste. Pour in the cream or milk and stir until thoroughly combined. Heat through. Turn off the heat and let it rest for about 5 minutes. Ladle into bowls and top with a dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt.
Quick Vegan Coconut Cheese
I’ve tried a fair number of vegan cheeses with varying success. Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures of the process. This isn’t exactly cheese as I think of it and I wouldn’t recommend it for a sandwich, but it’s delicious and definitely meltable. It’s the perfect topping for vegan Welsh rarebit to accompany my big bowl of Creamy Mushroom Soup.
- 3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- pinch cayenne
- juice of ½ lime or 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 can coconut cream (I think Savoy is best, no added ingredients)
- 1 ½ tsp agar agar powder
- 2 Tablespoons tapioca starch mixed in ¼ cup water to form slurry
Pour coconut cream into a saucepan and stir in agar agar. Add salt, turmeric, paprika and cayenne. Stir to combine. Add lime juice or vinegar and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until smooth and slightly thickened. Stir in the tapioca starch slurry and stir vigorously until silky smooth and thickened. Pour into molds (I’ve found plastic works really well). Chill in refrigerator for 8 hours until firm.
*Fermented Coconut Cheese: Follow the directions above. Let cook slightly and stir in the contents of 1-2 probiotic capsules. Pour into molds and let ferment on the counter top for about 6 hours. Chill in refrigerator for 8 hours until firm.
Vegan Welsh Rarebit
I’ve eaten this for breakfast, lunch, and late night snacks. It’s a great accompaniment for soup or salad.
Take one slice of Ezekiel bread (or some other hearty grain bread). Spread some coconut oil on one side. Put in a cast iron fry pan with the oil side down. Put two 1/2 inch thick slices of vegan coconut cheese on the top and put under the broiler for about 5-7 minutes or until the cheese turns a nice dark brown on top.
This made my gloomy day all better. Try it and enjoy.