Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
I like to eat out but often dishes that sound vegetarian can hide animal-based products. I love mushroom soup so when I saw that Panera's recipe used butter, chicken and beef broths and half and half, I had to vegan-ize it. I used olive oil instead of butter, vegetable broth instead of chicken and beef broths, and coconut cream instead of half and half. And I added garlic. For me, soup isn't soup without garlic!
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 8 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 cup carrots, chopped
- 1/2 cup celery, chopped
- 1/3 pound white mushrooms, sliced
- 1/3 pound crimini mushrooms, sliced
- 1/3 pound shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 1/3 pound oyster mushrooms, sliced
- 1/3 up Arborio or other risotto rice
- 1 large sprig fresh thyme, stemmed or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup dry sherry or white wine
- 4 - 5 cups vegetable broth
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup coconut cream
- Crisped onion or shallot garnish (optional)
- Pour two tablespoons of olive oil into a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, carrots and celery and cook for five minutes, until the vegetables are soft.
- Add all but one cup of the mushrooms and cook about five minutes, until they wilt.
- Add the rice, thyme (hint: if you stem the thyme you don't need to remove it later) and bay leaf and cook for about one minute.
- Add sherry or white wine and cook two to four minutes, until the liquid evaporates.
- Add four cups of the vegetable broth, the tomato paste and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally to keep the vegetables from sticking, for about 35 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaf and thyme stem and puree the soup in a blender or food processor for one to two minutes until smooth.
- Return the soup to the saucepan. Stir in the half and half and up to one cup of the reserved vegetable broth until you have reached your desired consistency.
- Pour the remaining five tablespoon of olive oil into a medium-sized skillet. Add reserved mushrooms and cook four to five minutes until the mushrooms are browned. Stir into soup. Makes four servings.
- Add optional garnish of crisped shallot or onion.
*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.