Sunday night is for soup. Tonight it’s cream of mushroom, using the beautiful orange saffron milkcap mushrooms we picked on our mushrooming adventure. Because we have people in the house who just don’t like cream, we’ve gone vegan and used cashews for the ‘cream’ part of the soup. It’s really tasty and surprisingly filling.
You need to allow some time for simmering and soaking, but the soup part takes very little time. You could make the stock and the cashew cream beforehand while you’re doing other things in the kitchen.
Cream of mushroom soup
- vegetable stock: 1 litre of water, a carrot, bay leaf, salt and celery
- a few dried mushrooms
- 1 diced onion
- 1 finely diced garlic clove
- thyme sprigs
- 400 grams of chopped mushrooms
- about ½ a cup of cashew ‘cream’: raw cashews (not roasted, not salted) and apple cider vinegar
- spring onions
- To make the stock: simmer all the ingredients for about an hour.
- Soak the dried mushrooms in some boiling water for about 20 minutes, then add them to the stock and simmer while you make the main base for the soup.
- To make the cashew cream: soak some cashews for at least ½ an hour. Then blend them in a food processor with a little water until they form a smooth paste. Take the amount you want for the soup and mix in a little apple cider vinegar, tasting as you go. You want a mild tang without much of a vinegar flavour. Or you can just buy some cashew butter and then add the vinegar.
- Now you can make the soup part of the soup
- Saute the onions, garlic and thyme for 5 mins until the onions are very soft and turn a translucent brown. Add the mushrooms and cook over a moderate heat until they start to soften. This could take anywhere from 5 minutes (small, soft mushrooms) to 20 minutes (for larger, wild mushrooms).
- Strain the stock into soup. Rescue the dried mushrooms and add those as well to the soup. Simmer for at least 20 minutes.
- Now you want to mass the soup into a smooth, creamy consistency: use a blender, food processor or a hand blender. You can also mush it through a strainer if you want to do it the old-fashioned hard way.
- Stir in the cashew cream
- Ladle the soup into bowls, and garnish with finely sliced spring onions.
You don’t have to use cashews for the ‘cream’: sometimes we find unsalted, unroasted cashews impossible to get. You can also use yoghurt, which tastes just as good, if a little heavier, or even mashed cauliflower. The original recipe suggested crème fraîche, but that’s not something we really have in stock.
Source: The ideas for this came from a few different places, but the BBC GoodFood site probably could be counted as one of the more influential.