I’ve mentioned before my mother loooves Oprah Winfrey.
From 1986 to 2011, I believe she caught every possible episode of Oprah’s TV show. And whatever food trend Oprah championed, Mama had to try.
In 1994 Oprah’s personal chef Rosie Daley published a cookbook – In The Kitchen With Rosie. Of course, I was immediately dispatched to buy the little pink cookbook. Mama cooked quite extensively from it for several years. The recipes were yummy, healthy, and extremely low-fat (this was the 90’s.)
Recently I came across the slim volume. It was exciting to see those forgotten-about recipes, as well as Mama’s notes and comments in the margins. It was also exciting to see that most of the “four check recipes” (Mama rated recipes with one to four check marks) could easily be veganized.
One of these recipes is the Curried Mushroom Soup.The recipe that follows is not Rosie’s, exactly. Mama made some changes. And I made more – using soy milk instead of skim milk (of course); using a spoonful of olive oil instead of spritzing cooking spray; playing with the spice balance and adding some cayenne; using only fresh mushrooms instead of a combination of fresh and dried; and – because I am both a practical and frugal vegan – using an onion instead of leeks and dried chervil instead of fresh. (Because I’m not even sure where I can buy fresh chervil!)
However, I’ve still kept true to the real secrets of Rosie’s soup:
Use a combination of mushrooms, not just one kind.
Don’t cook the mushrooms too long – it’s better if they are a bit chewy and chunky and … well, meaty.
Never let the soup come to a boil – it will get too thick and goopy.
Don’t add rice, which can get gummy – let the mushrooms be the star.
Curry powder and chervil is an awesome combination.
A spoonful of sherry changes everything.
This is a perfect November soup – rich, creamy, hearty – and vegan! It’s a soup that will impress. You might want to serve it as a first course for Thanksgiving, or as part of a soup-and-sandwich lunch over the holidays. My notoriously picky partner ate two bowls, so I know it’s good! Serve with a hearty bread.
Bonus – it’s super-fast. This is one soup that does not improve with hours of simmering.
Ingredients for Best Vegan Mushroom Soup Ever:
2 Portobello Mushrooms, chopped
8 oz. White or Button Mushrooms, sliced
8 oz. of Any Other Mushrooms – oyster, morel, porcini, etc.
1 – 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Medium Yellow Onion, finely diced
4 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
2 Teaspoons Yellow Curry Powder
1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
1/4 – 1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
4 Cups Soy Milk (I used Westsoy Original Unsweetened)
1 “Vegan Chicken” Bouillon Cube (I used No-Chicken; you could also use vegan Beef flavor or just a vegetable bouillon cube)
1 Teaspoon Dried Chervil
Sea Salt, to taste
3 Tablespoons Dry or Very Dry Sherry (not sweet sherry)
Directions for Best Vegan Mushroom Soup Ever:
Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute for 5 minutes or so, until they start to turn translucent.
Add the flour, curry powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Stir until the onions are well coated with the spices.
Add the “milk” and bouillon cube. Raise the heat to high and cook only until bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pot. DO NOT bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low and whisk to make sure all ingredients are thoroughly combined (and your bouillon cube has dissolved).
Stir in all the fresh mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes.
Add dried chervil and sherry. Cook for another minute.