Cream of mushroom and rice soup (vegan)

Cream of mushroom and rice soup

When it comes to vegan cooking, cashew nut cream has been a revelation to me. It’s one of the most versatile ingredients possible for adding the creaminess which dairy would otherwise provide. I’ve used it in desserts, cakes, salad dressings and soups, this one being one of my favourites. Because of the thick, creamy texture in this, and the inclusion of rice, it’s a real hearty soup for colder days when you need something filling. The soup itself is blended to give that lovely velvety feel, but I like to add pan fried chestnut mushrooms before serving, for some extra mushroom oomph!

Ingredients

Serves 4

  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 450g chestnut mushrooms washed and sliced
  • 1 large carrot, chopped into small pieces
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp seasalt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 pints vegetable stock
  • 1 cup cashew nut cream (ingredients / instructions below)
  • 200g cooked brown / wild rice
  • 1 handful parsley, finely chopped, stalks removed

Instructions

  1. Saute the onion and garlic in 1 tbsp heated olive oil, over a medium heat, for five minutes
  2. Add 250g of the mushrooms and the carrots and stir well, sauteing for a further five minutes
  3. Add the stock, seasoning, thyme and bay leaves – simmer covered, on low, for twenty minutes
  4. Remove the bay leaves and blitz the above in a food processor until completely smooth. Return to a clean pan
  5. Add the cashew nut cream and rice, stirring well ( leave 1 tbsp rice out for garnish). Return to a simmer for five minutes
  6. Saute the remaining 200g sliced chestnut mushrooms in 1 tbsp olive oil and use to garnish the soup, along with a sprinkling of rice and parsley

Cashew nut cream (yields 2 cups)

Soak 1 cup of cashew nuts overnight in 2 cups of cold water: drain and rinse the soaked cashew nuts in clean water before use. Add the rinsed cashew nuts to a food blender with 1 cup of fresh, cold water and blend for a couple of minutes until silky smooth – you may need to scrape the sides of the blender down a couple of times along the way. This stays fresh, covered in the fridge, for up to 3 days.

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