Monday, September 26, 2016

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Today's recipe is a rich mushroom soup that's perfect for wet fall evenings.  When we made this soup last the rain came down in sheets and the air was biting cold because it was actually snowing on the high mountains outside our window.  I'm still in shock that we got eleven inches of fresh snow in September - yikes!  I shudder to think what kind of winter we will get this year.  Luckily soup always tastes best when the weather is quite nasty... and I love soup.   

This soup is perfect for foul weather days or for a Sunday supper.  It also pairs nicely with a crust of warm bread.

This recipe makes two servings with some leftovers.

  •  5 Tbsp. Vegan butter 
  • 1/4 cup Celery;  finely minced
  • 3 Tbsp. Flour
  • 6 cups of warm Water
  • 10 sprigs of Parsley;  leave 5 whole and mince the rest
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1/4 tsp fresh Thyme;  removed from the stem
  • 1 pound fresh Mushrooms;  stems removed and slice the caps
  • 2 Tbsp. Mushroom Seasoning
  • 1 cup unsweetened Coconut Milk (I recommend making your own)
  • 1 tbsp. Lemon juice;  freshly pressed
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • fresh ground Pepper;  to taste

  1. Wash and clean the produce and cut them as described above to prepare your mise en place before you start cooking.  This seems annoying when you are quite hungry, but it will make for a much nicer cooking experience.  With all the ingredients gathered and prepped you will not dig frantically in the fridge or cupboard for ingredients or rush to mince the celery before the butter starts burning.
  2. In a large soup pot, heat 3 tablespoons of butter on medium heat.  Once the pan and the butter is hot, add the celery, reduce the heat and slowly cook for 10 minutes until the pieces are tender but not browned.  To make a roux, add 3 tablespoons of flour into the the pot and constantly stir with a wooden spoon for about three minutes until it forms a thick paste.  Be sure that this paste does not start turning a brownish color.  This can happen when the pan is too hot. 
  3. Next, take the pot off the burner and add the warm water gradually into the pot.  All the while, using the spoon to thoroughly blend the water with the flour mixture.  When all the water is added, return the pot to the burner and add the mushroom stems, 5 whole sprigs of parsley, thyme and the bay leaf into the pot, cover it and let the liquid simmer for 30 minutes.  After that, strain the pieces out of the broth and return the soup and the bay leaf to the pan.  Use a blender to puree the mushroom stems and the herbs and then add them back into the soup.
  4. At medium high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan and when the butter starts foaming, toss in the mushrooms, half a teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.  After turning the mushrooms once, cover the pan with a lid and cook the mushrooms at reduced heat for 5 minutes.
  5. Once the mushrooms are done, add them and their cooking juices into the soup base and let the mixture simmer for another 10 minutes. 
  6. Gradually mix into the soup 1 cup of coconut milk and 2 tablespoons of mushroom seasoning.  The soup should now have a creamy and slightly thick consistency.  At this point, turn the heat off and adjust the seasoning with some more salt and lemon juice.  This final seasoning will depend on your personal preference.  
  7. To serve the soup, ladle a portion into a soup cup and decorate it with some fresh parsley.  If you make this dish for one or two people there will be a few leftover portions in the pot.  I love this about this recipe because the mushroom flavour of this soup deepens with time so that it will be even better a few hours after making it.  So, if you have the patience to wait then it might be a good idea to prepare the soup a ahead of time.  And for the hungry cook, please know that it is delicious to eat right away as well.

HUNGRY FOR MORE VEGAN SOUP?  Here are my other recipes: Watermelon GazpachoGrilled Cheese Sandwich and Tomato Soup, Creamy Asparagus SoupMiso SoupSummer Vegetable Chili and Roasted Pepper Soup.

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