…mushroom soup for lunch !
No, but really, I had a real breakfast. Peanut butter toast and a banana, to be precise.
I am slap-bang in the middle of that part of my week in which I have all the time in the world to focus on exercising, cooking, composing, practising, writing and revising, which is useful and all that but I’m telling you, Cabin Fever is imminent. The weather has been terrible lately, and it really, really makes me feel horrible when I have to run in the rain, or I look out of the window to be met with nothing but grey, drab skies. I know this shouldn’t bother me as much as it does, but it does, so there.
I reacted too quickly back in March when we had that all-too-familiar bout of unusually sunny days to which the UK is so often subjected during the early days of Spring, causing everyone to be too hasty in getting their skin out and eating salad outside. Then suddenly the weather snaps back to, well, standard Britain and you’re all like, Oh, what have I done with my winter coat/umbrella/thermal underwear ? and I really fancy some soup.
Which is what I did today. Yes, my winter coat has indeed made its way back out of storage, much to my disgruntled mumbling and cursing. And yes, mushroom soup has occurred ! Aren’t mushrooms pretty ?
I know what you’re thinking, “But mushroom soup has to be creamy, and you’re vegan, so this recipe is going to suck.”
Well, it is creamy. And it is vegan. And it most definitely doesn’t suck. So read on, oh, sceptical one.
Mushroom Soup with Cashew Cream
(by Joy the Baker)
1 onion (I only had red, so I used it)
2 cloves of garlic
250g mushrooms (you choose the type. I used chestnut)
1 tbsp soy sauce/2 tbsps Worcester sauce (fish-free – I know right ? It really exists !)
375ml vegetable stock
30g cashew nuts
Finely chop the onions and garlic. Fry the onions in olive oil for about 5 minutes on a medium heat, then add the garlic and stir through on a low heat for a further 1 minute.
Add the mushrooms, chopped. Stir for a further 5 minutes.
Stir in the soy and Worcester sauce, salt and pepper. Then add the stock and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, blend together the cashews and water in a food processor, until creamy (see where this is going now…?)
Transfer cashew cream to another container and blend the soup.
When smooth, you can reheat in the saucepan, lightly stirring through the cashew cream.
This really was good, if a little salty. In hindsight, go easy on the salt because of the soy and the Worcester, and especially if like me you use cheap stock cubes that are mainly salt. Also, you really have to work at blending the cashews. If you’re finding it hard to get the lumps out, sieve the mixture and scrape and mash it through with a spoon. Transfer pulp back to blender and whizz again, add a little bit of the sieved cream and process again, and repeat until you have a decent amount of creamy cashew-y cream.
It is completely and utterly worth the effort.