I love mushrooms of all shapes and sizes, and I especially love them in Autumn and Winter, when they lend their particular richness to all manner of warming and comforting dishes.
With this soup, I started out attempting to make a lush but creamy vegan mushroom soup, but ended up with something so, so much more special. This soup is rich and velvety, and tastes like essence of pure mushroom, elevated by a hint of wine and herbs. It's comforting, and nearly.. but not quite.. a bit too full on to eat a whole bowl full.
It's so Intensely Mushroomy, that I just adore it.
We ate large bowls of this on a cold evening, but I think it would be absolutely perfect, perhaps even more so, served elegantly in small bowls as a starter to a Christmassy event. Or even in little shots as a canape. The flavour is so robust, earthy and rich that it tastes almost of expensive truffles. In fact, when I served it to The Gardener, he asked if I had drizzled truffle oil on it. I had intended to, but decided to leave it out, because the flavour was so rich.
Because I was feeling fancy, and the soup is very brown to photograph, I fried some extra little pieces of mushroom and some sage leaves to decorate the bowls and provide a bit of contrasting flavour and texture. This extra step is by no means necessary, but it does elevate the soup to another level.
Best of all? This soup is so easy to make. The creaminess is created not with milk or cream, vegan or otherwise, but with a small cubed potato that then is blended in with the soup. This also means the soup isn't diluted, but remains intensely mushroomy yet creamy.
Want to know more about mushrooms? Take a look at my friends over at Thrive Cuisine. They've written a comprehensive guide to how mushrooms work, their nutrition value & some amazing recipes too. Check them out..
- 400 g White Mushrooms
- 600 g Chestnut Mushrooms
- 6-7 dried Cep or Shitake Mushrooms
- 2 small or 1 medium potatoes
- ¾ cup white wine
- teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 2 Tbs Vegetable Boullion Powder
- ½ t Chilli Powder (optional)
- 1 Tbs Vegan Worcsestshire sauce
- salt & pepper to taste.
- 1 Onion
- 4 -6 cloves garlic
- 1 tbs Olive Oil
- 1 litre water
- Sage Leaves
- Sliced Mushrooms
- Olive Oil
Crumble the dried mushrooms into a litre of warm water and add the boullion powder or stock cube and leave to infuse.
Sauté the onion and garlic in a large saucepan until translucent, then add the mushrooms.
Cook the mushrooms over a medium heat until they release their juices and cook down.
Add in the potatoes and herbs and mix to coat with the oil and release the herbs scent a little.
Add the wine and cook for a minutee.
Add the dried mushroom water, including the now re-hydrated mushrooms.
Simmer on a low heat with the lid half on for 45 mins, until the liquid is reduced and the potatoes almost disintegrated.
With a stick blender, puree the soup to a very fine smooth and creamy texture.
Taste and add salt, worcestershire sauce and maybe a hint of chilli sauce to taste.
Serve garnished with extra slices of fried mushrooms and lightly fried sage leaves with a drizzle of olive oil.
This soup is very rich, so serve as an elegant starter or amuse bouche or even as a soup 'shot' as a canape for a party.