I had so many good intentions for blog posts over the Christmas holidays but our eldest two returned from University, there was a birthday, hospital and dental appointments, we all caught ‘that awful cold’, someone crashed into my car and then Christmas turned up unannounced. I shut the doors, lit the fires and we hibernated. It was wonderful! We did squeeze in a bit of winter sailing which really blew away all the cobwebs!
Now I’m back at the stove with my apron on (I do love an apron) and I’m planning lots of deliciousness for the winter months ahead. You can expect to see home baked bread, slow cooker stews, winter salads and bowls of warming soup. I have ideas for better breakfasts, comfort food and preserves as well as pointers to make vegan easy, recipes to make the most of seasonal veg and some tricks to help you reduce food waste and save money. So – onwards into 2017 and let’s kick off with this easy vegan cream of mushroom soup – so velvety and rich you won’t believe there isn’t any dairy cream hiding in there!
- ¼ cup cashew nuts
- 15 g dried porcini mushrooms
- 1 leek (about 100g) trimmed and sliced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 400 g chestnut mushrooms sliced
- 2 large cloves garlic crushed
- A handful flat leaf parsley chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme chopped
- 1 vegetable stock cube I used Kallo
- 1 tbsp tamari
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ground paprika and parsley leaves to serve
- Soak the cashews for at least an hour
- Drain the cashews and put them in a high speed blender with ¼ cup fresh water.
- Blend on high until smooth and creamy, add more water if needed to make it a pouring consistency. Pour into a small jug, no need to rinse the blender.
- Soak the dried porcini in 500ml boiling water for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile gently fry the leek and chestnut mushrooms in the olive oil for 10 minutes until the leek is soft and the mushrooms are releasing their juices.
- Strain the porcini through a fine meshed sieve, keeping the soaking liquid for your stock.
- Finely chop the porcini and add to your leek and chestnut mixture along with the garlic and fry gently for a further two minutes.
- Pour the porcini soaking liquid over the leek and mushroom mixture and bring to a simmer.
- Crumble in the vegetable stock cube and add the chopped herbs, tamari and a little black pepper.
- Simmer for 10 minutes then transfer to the blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Add a little more water to thin if necessary.
- Add salt and black pepper to taste
- Pour the mushroom soup into warmed bowls, top with a swirl of cashew cream, a sprinkling of paprika and a leaf of parsley.
- Serve with warm Thyme Malthouse Bread Rolls
To get this soup really velvety you will need a high speed blender but if you are happy with a little more texture it works very well in a food processor or with a stick blender. I used my Froothie G2.1* which turned my soup from ‘Oooh, that’s delicious’ to ‘Oh my word, I’ve died and gone to heaven’!
I served my Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup with some home baked Thyme Bread Rolls which I made with malthouse bread flour for a substantial and satisfying winter supper. I will be posting the recipe for them very soon, sign up for my newsletter so you don’t miss them!
*Disclosure: I’m an ambassador for Froothie and have been trying out the Optimum G2.1 Blender – the latest addition to the Froothie Blender range! My review and recipe posts which mention the Froothie contain affiliate links, buying through the links won’t cost you any more but I will earn a small commission which will enable me to keep blogging at Thinly Spread, thank you!
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