Creamy mushroom soup (vegan, gluten free)

Creamy vegan mushroom soup

Ah, winter. The best time of year to whip up a batch of soup. It’s also a great time to experiment with new ingredients (like my recent foray into miso), since laboring over a hot stove is particularly appealing when outdoor temperatures dip into the sub-zero range.

This particular recipe was inspired by a television cooking show that featured a cream-free cauliflower soup. I was intrigued by the concept, but the original recipe seemed a bit bland and called for an ingredient I don’t like to work with: leeks.

I replaced the leeks with sweet onions and decided to make a heartier version by adding mushrooms. Next, I turned to my fridge and cupboard and added seasonings absent from the inspiration recipe to kick up the flavor quotient. I’m so glad I did.

Pair this soup with a slice of rustic, whole-grain bread drizzled in olive oil and you have a perfect winter meal! Low in fat, high in flavor, this soup is a super healthy meal, too. Did you know one cup of cauliflower contains three grams of protein, three grams of fiber and 85% or your recommended daily allowance of vitamin C? (Don’t believe me? Check it out in the U.S.D.A. nutrition calculator.)

What are some of your favorite winter meals?

Creamy Mushroom Soup

Makes about eight, one-cup servings 

2 c. sweet onion (about one medium)

3 c. water + 1/2 c.

1 head cauliflower, roughly chopped (about 8 c.)

1 T. yellow miso paste (optional, but highly recommended)

12 oz. baby portobello mushrooms, sliced (about 3 1/2 c.)

1/8 t. dried rosemary

1/8 t. dried thyme

Salt and pepper, to taste

  1. In a large pot, cook onions in 1/2 c. water over medium heat until soft (add more water if needed to avoid burning). Add remaining water and cauliflower and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. While cauliflower is cooking, heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, rosemary and thyme to the skillet until mushrooms are cooked. Set aside.
  3. Return to cauliflower and test doneness. Move on to the next step if a fork or knife passes through it easily.
  4. Add miso to the pot and puree using an immersion blender (you can use a regular blender, you’ll just have to do this step in smaller batches if you do).
  5. Add mushrooms to the pot and stir gently.
  6. Add salt and pepper, if desired.