Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup
Forget the can
Many of us know cream of mushroom soup as the one that comes from the tin can, it is salty, whitish gray and has very tiny bits of mushrooms. Forget all that. This is not the stuff you know, this is a rich, hearty and mushroom loaded soup with a very earthy undertone. This is something you could serve at a dinner party, eat in your pajamas on a Sunday afternoon, or serve your family on a cold winter night. This is what cream of mushroom soup should be.
Little gems of the forest
Mushrooms are especially important for people who don't eat meat, and it is one of the foods many nutritionists recommend we eat daily - that all of us eat daily! Why? Mushrooms provide essential B vitamins including riboflavin and niacin and vitamin D (especially prominent in crimini, portobello and shiitake mushroom varieties). You know what else they offer? Protein. That's right, for 1 cup of raw mushrooms, they provide 1 to 2 grams of plant-based protein.
These little forest gems are also low in calories and have virtually no fat or cholesterol. And to top it off, they also have virtually no sodium and provide us with a fair amount of potassium.
I am using organic ingredients. Serves 4 - 6
- 1-1/2 pounds Crimini Mushrooms, sliced with stems on
- 2 Portobello Mushrooms, sliced and halved
- 1 Carrot, diced small (wash well and leave the skin on for added nutrients)
- 1 stalk Celery, diced small
- 3 cloves Garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp Tamari (you can also use Soy Sauce)
- 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 13.5 oz. can Unsweetened Coconut Milk
- 1-1/4 cups Water
- 1 tbsp Dried Oregano
- 2 tbsp Fresh Thyme
- 1/2 tsp Mushroom Bouillon
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste if needed (I find it often doesn't)
Prep time 10 minutes. Cook time 30 minutes.
- Add the olive oil to a large dutch oven over medium heat (you can also use a large stock pot, whatever you use, you need a lid that fits).
- Once the oil is shimmering, but not smoking, add the carrot and celery. Cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the oregano and garlic, cook an additional 2 - 5 minutes or until the vegetables begin to color and soften, stirring frequently. Lower the heat if necessary to avoid burning the garlic.
- Add the mushrooms, tamari and balsamic vinegar. Cover with lid and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring twice during this step. You are sweating the mushrooms here and they will reduce in volume dramatically and release a large portion of their liquid.
- Remove the lid and cook uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the coconut milk, water, bouillon and thyme and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Taste, if needed, add freshly ground black pepper.
- Serve with crusty bread or over mashed potatoes.