It has taken a few tries to get this recipe right, and I think we’ve done it. Get ready for a thick, creamy, mellow mushroom soup that is also healthy (vegan, in fact!). No cream, no butter. How is this possible, you might be wondering? What’s a mushroom without butter? What’s the secret?
Grapeseed oil. We had never cooked with grapeseed oil before. It has almost no scent at all (ok, so butter has it beat there), and a very high smoke point. That means you can get the oil super hot—enough to get beautifully golden brown ever-so-slightly crispy mushrooms without a stinky smokey mess. If you’ve ever tried sautéeing mushrooms with olive oil, you know what I’m talking about.
Give it a shot.
As for serving suggestions, it’s good enough to have a bowl for dinner. However, Scott brought up the question, “even though it’s delicious, do you really want to eat a bowl of mushrooms for dinner?” So if you’re more a cup-of-soup kind of a person (rather than a bowl), this would be great with a crunchy, lemony-dressed salad. And a glass of red wine.
Let us know what you think.
Mushroom & Thyme Soup
from the kitchen of Sarah & Scott Zero
Serves 4 – 6
- 2 c. dried shitake mushrooms, chopped
- 3 T. grapeseed oil
- 2 white onions, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 c. fresh portabella mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- ¾ c. dry red wine
- 2 T. minced fresh thyme
- 1 ½ c. vegetable broth
- 1 c. canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- salt and pepper to taste
In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add dried mushrooms and reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes to reconstitute them.
Heat a pot with 1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil and sautée the onion and garlic until translucent. Set onions aside and add 2 cups of the fresh mushrooms to the pot, with another tablespoon of oil, and sautée using high heat until browned. Add wine and scrape the brown bits from the bottom and sides of the pan (about 3 minutes). Return the onions to the pot.
Add the reconstituted mushroom mixture to the fresh mushroom pot. Stir and combine well. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to simmer. Add the thyme, broth, and chickpeas. Simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat.
In the meantime, sautée remaining cup of fresh mushrooms in the last tablespoon of oil so they are warm and crispy when the soup is ready.
Once the soup is cool, blend thoroughly until smooth. Reheat, add salt and pepper to taste, and top with sautéed mushrooms. Yum.
Photos by Sarah and Ampersander Studios