Vegan “Creamy” Mushroom Soup

Here's another soup I like to store in the freezer for the winter.  (When defrosting, it just needs to be stirred well, and the nice texture will return.)  I blend the mushroom stems (whose texture can be woody) with silken tofu  to make a creamy base.  (A non-dairy milk can be used instead of the silken tofu but would make a slightly thinner stock.)

Half pound white mushrooms
Half pound crimini mushrooms
Half ounce dried mushrooms
One onion
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons vegan margarine
1 Quart veggie broth
2 tsp Better ‘n Bouillon (or 1 bouillon cube)
2 cups hot water
2 tablespoons flour
¼ cup wine (optional)
½ package silken tofu
½ teaspoon cumin
1 bay leaf (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Soak dried mushrooms in hot water for about a half hour. 

Remove and keep mushroom stems.  (With many mushrooms, just squeeze the stem and pop it out from the cap; I used kitchen shears to snip off the stems of the reconstituted dried mushrooms.)   Slice mushroom caps into ¼ in slices and set aside.  Chop onion and garlic.

To make creamy stock:
Chop mushroom stems finely (I used a mini food processor this time).  In a small saucepan, heat about a half tablespoon of olive oil and add a half tablespoon of garlic and a quarter of the onion.  Cook until translucent and add the chopped mushroom stems.

Cook in the oil for a few minutes until limp and golden brown.  Add about a cup of the veggie broth and cook down for about 5-7 minutes until the stems are softened.  Add more veggie broth if it the liquid cooks down. 

Add the mushroom stems mixture, the dried mushroom liquid (and more broth if necessary), and the silken tofu to a blender.  Puree in blender until smooth and creamy.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the rest of the olive oil and margarine in a large soup pot and add the onions until softened.  Add the rest of the garlic to the onions in the large pot and continue sautéing for another 2 minutes.  Add mushroom caps to the onions and garlic in the large pot.  Add cumin, salt, and pepper.  Continue sautéing the mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until they are flexible.

Add the wine (I used white, but red works too) to the mushrooms, cook for about 2 minutes.  Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons flour over the mushrooms and stir it in.  Add the rest of the veggie broth gradually, stir.  Add bay leaf.  Bring to a boil, add bouillon and water, mix, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Add the pureed stems mixture and bring to a boil.  Add additional salt and spices and water/broth/soy milk to taste. Serve with crusty whole wheat bread and a salad.  Enjoy!


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