Mushroom Soup with olive oil
Cream-less Mushroom Soup is a scrumptious choice when cooking for diners with varied dietary needs. The brothy mix with its deep, appealing earthiness, can be a vegan or vegetarian entrée or first course with attention to ingredients.
Make it vegan by using olive oil to cook the vegetables, use vegetable broth, and garnish the soup with vegan cream cheese or minced chives. A vegetarian version requires vegetable broth but could use butter for sauteing.
If you want to make a thicker soup, add one cup of uncooked rice to the mix when broth is added. Once pureed, whether whirled totally smooth or partially blended, the soup will have a thicker texture.
Cream-Less Mushroom Soup
Yield: 6 generous servings
2 tablespoons butter or extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
1 large leek, white and light green portion, cut in half lengthwise, sliced, rinsed in small bowl of cold water, drained
2 medium-sized carrots, peeled, diced
2 medium-sized celery stalks, diced
1 large sprig of fresh thyme
2 pounds sliced clean cremini mushrooms
6 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 to 2 teaspoons salt, depending on saltiness of broth
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Garnish: minced fresh chives or parsley, crème fraiche, truffle oil, a few sliced and sauteed sliced mushrooms, vegan cream cheese
Cook’s notes: If you like, add a drizzle of sherry atop each serving.
1. In Dutch oven or large pot, melt butter (or heat oil) on medium heat. Add onion, leek, carrots, celery, and garlic. Cook until onion softens, about 7 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Increase heat to medium-high. Stir in thyme sprig and mushrooms; cook until mushrooms soften, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broth, soy, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Cover and adjust heat to simmer 20 to 30 minutes. Remove thyme sprig.
3. Using an immersion blender, puree half of the soup (or all of it if you like). Or, puree in batches in a blender. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve with accompaniments of choice.
Source: Adapted from “Pamela Salzman’s Quicker Than Quick” by Pamela Salzman (Hachette Books, $28)