Recipe: Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup

Vegan cream of mushroom soup
Although my VonShef Soup Maker acts as a great blender, I’ve been lazy and have just chucked all my ingredients in, pressed the start button and buggered off to leave it to it. This method ends up with a smooth, creamy soup but slightly lacking in flavour with the onion and garlic not being fried first. This is only to be expected – after all, boiled onion doesn’t sound appetising, does it?

So, yesterday, I decided I’d had enough of creamy, yet bland, soup and took a bit more effort with the vegan cream of mushroom soup I’d decided to make. Yes, it meant more washing up but only one pan, so it’s not that much of a hassle and it was totally worth it.

I’ve made mushroom soup in the past (see here, here, here and here) but this one is definitely my favourite. I had a brainwave and wondered if cashews and soya milk would give it the creaminess some of my soups are lacking and yes, it certainly does. I usually use a potato to thicken my soups up but cashews are definitely the way to go in the future. Cashews will obviously add a lot of calories to a soup – if you’re bothered about that kind of thing – but they’re good calories and full of protein and apart from protein being good for you, it keeps you full up and this soup kept me full all afternoon.

Recipe: Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Vegan
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 250g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • ½ cup cashews, soaked overnight or soaked in boiling water for 20 minutes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 500ml stock
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper for seasoning
  • ½ cup soya milk
Instructions
  1. If making in a soup maker:
  2. Fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil for about 5 minutes, until soft.
  3. Add the mushrooms and fry for a few more minutes.
  4. Add the mushroom/onion mix and all the other ingredients to the soup maker except the soya milk.
  5. Cook on the blending programme for 20 minutes.
  6. Check the texture at the end, blend until smoother if necessary.
  7. Add the soya milk and blend again to mix through.
  8. If making on the hob:
  9. Fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil for about 5 minutes, until soft.
  10. Add the mushrooms and fry for a few more minutes.
  11. Add the rest of the ingredients except the cashews and milk and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  12. Add the cashews and milk and blend until smooth.

 

 

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Recipe: Soup Maker Cauliflower Soup

Vegan cauliflower soup

Despite this soup being the easiest soup in the world to make, it wasn’t the easiest soup to guess in my Guess The Soup game. I didn’t think it would be so difficult; it’s just one vegetable, after all, and a seasonal vegetable at that (I’m assuming it’s seasonal – it came in last week’s veg box, anyway).

Maybe the stock discoloured it. I don’t know what goes into most ready-made stock powder and cubes (I should probably be ashamed of this) but this stock was a home-made one, made from The Gentle Chef’s Instant Chicken’less Bouillon Powder, which is easy to make and much nicer than anything you’ll find in the shops. Just make a batch up and store it in a jar until you need it.

Recipe: Soup Maker Cauliflower Soup
 
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These instructions are for a Von Chef Soup Maker. Your settings might be different. If you want to make it on the hob, just simmer all ingredients for about 20 minutes then blend at the end and add the soya milk.
Author:
Cuisine: Soup
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 1 red onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tbsp home made or store bought bouillon powder
  • 3 cups water
  • salt and pepper
  • 50ml soya milk (optional)
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients except the soya milk into the soup machine
  2. Set on 'low' for 25 minutes
  3. Add the soya milk at the end for extra creaminess

 

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Cheesy Spinach and Chickpea Soup

cheesy-spinach-and-chickpea-soup

Because someone – okay, I – forgot to add the spinach to the Quorn curry I cooked last night, I had a bag of spinach in the fridge, going to waste. In my defence though, it was a slow-cooked curry and by the time its eight hours were up, I’d completely forgotten there was another ingredient to go in. Also, the spinach wasn’t going to go to waste as a) I’m going to use it instead of kale in a recipe tomorrow; and b) I made soup out of it at lunchtime today.

My original idea was to make spinach and rice soup, then I changed my mind and thought I’d give spinach and chickpea soup a go and to liven it up a bit, also add some vegetarian Parmesan. It works.

Cheesy Spinach and Chickpea Soup (serves 4)

1 onion, chopped
25g butter
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 medium potato, diced
150g spinach
500ml vegetable stock
50g veggie-Parmesan
salt and pepper

  1. Heat the butter in a saucepan and add the garlic and onion and fry for a few minutes until the onion is soft.
  2. Add the potatoes and fry for another couple of minutes.
  3. Add the spinach and the stock and simmer for about 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are cooked.
  4. Remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper and blend.
  5. Add the cheese and blend again until it’s melted through.
  6. Add the chickpeas and return to the heat to warm through.
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