Rich and Earthy flavoured mushroom soup
Vegetarian or vegan you choose
Rich and earthy, flavoured mushroom soup
Mushrooms how do I love thee, let me count the ways; raw, in my stir fries, omelettes, salad, sandwiches and sauces. Stuffed, sauteed, on my pizza and in my soup, to just name a few.
There is something about mushrooms … they have such a distinct taste and they are different to all vegetable. Their flesh is quiet meaty and very filling. I remember trying them out for the first time. What can I say? It was love at first bite, and I have been hooked ever since.
When we went to Vietnam for my stepson’s wedding, his in-laws-to-be kindly offered to take us out to lunch. They gave us a choice from about three different types of restaurants. I don’t remember what kind of restaurants they were because all I heard was “…or a restaurant that specializes in cooking all types of mushrooms.’ That got my attention, big time.
SO in my usual unassuming way I said: “We’ll go wherever you want, but I would LOVE to go to a mushroom restaurant that would be so cool, I mean I just love mushrooms and it would be such an amaaaaazing experience, but I don’t want everyone to go just because I LUUUUV mushrooms, I mean, I totally understand if you want to go elsewhere, but a restaurant that specialises in cooking all these exotic fungi, imagine … but really don’t go just because I have my heart set on it …”
Anyway, I was delightedly surprised to find that somehow they picked up on my hint and we did go to this particular venue which is sort of the Shangri La of mushroom lovers. I have never seen so many different mushrooms. They came in so many different colours, shapes and sizes (some as big as my head). All cooked to perfection in a variety of delicious flavours.
Here comes the lecture: Mushrooms have an extraordinary nutritional value. They really are the mother of all super foods. These delicious fungi contain protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The antioxidants can help prevent lung, prostate, breast, and other types of cancer, and even help, magically, with mental health, when eaten under the supervision of a therapist (those are not the ones you get in the supermarket). And the added bonus: They have less then 1 percent fat! I watched an amazing mushroom documentary on Netflix (which I highly recommend) it was fascinating. You can’t believe how versatile these little fungi are. It’s mind blowing.
End of lecture and back to soup.
While this awesome soup is easy to make you will need to give it a bit of your time, to sauté the onions, stir and simmer the mushroom which helps to amalgamate and bring out the delicious taste. And tasty it is. Rich, with strong and earthy, flavours, this soup is warm and comforting.
This can easily be a vegan dish. Just use oil instead of butter and substitute dairy cream to coconut cream.
I used 2 tablespoons of olive oil as I find using butter and cream makes the soup too rich for me.
I used plant-based ‘chicken’ stock because it doesn’t take over the mushroom flavour.
I also used 4 cups of liquid but you can use more, it depends on how thick you like your soup, we like ours thick.
2 tablespoons olive oil (or 2 tablespoons of butter)
2-4 tablespoons thickened cream depending on how creamy you like your soup. If vegan just use coconut cream.
4 cups (or more) plant-based chicken stock or Vegetable stock
2 tablespoons fresh thyme (leaves only)
4-5 tablespoons finely chopped continental parsley
1 large onion
6 cloves garlic crushed
400g swiss brown mushrooms
400g white cup mushrooms
200g mixed exotic mushrooms
Dice onions and mushrooms, crush garlic.
Heat oil or butter in a large pot over medium heat. If using butter, stir until melted. Sauté onion for 5 minutes until soft.
Stir in the garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add half the quantity of mushrooms and half the quantity of the fresh herbs, salt and pepper and give it a good stir and cook for five minutes. Repeat with remaining mushrooms and herbs and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add stock, stir again and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low-medium, cover with lid and let soup simmer for 15 minutes, while stirring occasionally.
Reduce heat to low. Stir in cream and let it gently simmer for another 5 minutes.
Using a hand-held mixer, blend soup. I like doing it that way because there is less mess. I just blend it in the pot.
However, if you want a soup that’s really smooth in consistency, you will need to transfer it to a large blender and blend to your desired consistency.