January is the coldest month of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. Perhaps not coincidentally January is also National Soup Month!!!
So let’s see what wild edibles (dried or fresh from the tundra) we can scare up for some delicious soups this month.
Vegan “Cream” of Morel Mushroom Soup
Cashews and potatoes give this vegan soup its thick creamy texture.
- dried morel mushrooms
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped or pressed
- 12 oz fresh mushrooms, can be button mushrooms
- 2 stalks celery
- 2 carrots (optional because will give soup an orange color.)
- 3 potatoes, cubed
- 6 cups water, plus more boiling water to reconstitute morels
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 1/8 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Pour boiling water over dried morels to reconstitute and let soak for at least 20 minutes.
- While morels are soaking, saute 1/2 the onion, all the garlic, celery, half the fresh mushrooms and all the carrot in 1 Tbsp olive oil with salt in the bottom of soup pan.
- Once onion is translucent, add 6 cups water and potatoes, cover and simmer until potatoes are soft, about 15 minutes.
- Turn off heat and let soup cool a bit.
- Put soup, morel soak water, cashews and nutritional yeast into blender and blend well.
- Saute soaked morels, the rest of the onions and mushrooms in olive oil with salt in a frying pan.
- Return blended soup to soup pot, adding sauteed onions and mushrooms.
- Reheat and adding pepper and more salt as necessary to taste.
- As you reheat soup may thicken due to the cashews, so add water and adjust seasoning if needed.
Other wild ideas for this recipe:
- if you have dried maitake/hen-of-the-woods mushroom around, then leave out the button mushrooms and add a handful of dried maitake when you add the potatoes. These will get blended to make a rich mushroom-tasting broth.
- You can substitute dried maitake (reconstituting them the way you reconstituted morels), or use frozen mushrooms like maitake or chicken mushroom.