Wild Mushroom & Miso Soup

MushroomSoupFor mushroom lovers like us, this soup certainly made us very happy. Some friends had brought it to a get together and we all demanded the recipe. It is from The Vegetarian Slow Cooker.  This soup requires just a tad of prep work, but then it all goes into the slow cooker. Not only is this soup savory and full of flavor, but the mushrooms are packed full of immune boosters—perfect for fighting off the winter chills and colds.

INGREDIENTS:

1 (1/2 oz) pkg dried porcini mushrooms (I could only find the 3/4 oz package, which I used all of)
1 C hot water (I added a bit more since I used more mushrooms)
1 Tbs olive oil
2 leeks, (mostly white parts and a little of the green) sliced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cracked peppercorns (I used ground—didn’t have the peppercorns)
1 bay leaf
8-oz shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and thinly sliced (I recommend adding more–they cook down quite a bit)
8-oz cremini mushrooms, stems removed and quartered (Again, I’d add more)!
6 C vegetable broth
1 C water
1/4 C miso
Optional: fresh snipped chives

DIRECTIONS:

In a small bowl, combine the dried porcini mushrooms and the hot water. Let sit for 30 minutes, using a fine mesh strainer, drain the mushrooms, reserving the liquid. Finely chop up the porcinis and set aside. In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the leeks, carrot and celery for about 7 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, peppercorns, bay leaf, and porchinis. Cook for a minute, then add the reserved liquid.

vegmixTransfer to a slow cooker and add the shiitake and cremini mushrooms, along with the broth and water.

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Cover and cook on high for 3 hours OR on low for 6 hours. Stir in the miso and cook on high for 15 minutes. Discard bay leaf and ladle into separate bowls; garnish with chives. Enjoy!

Potato-Leek Chowder

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I’m finally back and I bring with me a satisfying, flavorful soup that is perfect for a winter’s night in. It’s quite easy to make, particularly if you have an immersion blender (which I don’t, but I suspect I may find one under the tree come Christmas ;-) )

INGREDIENTS:

5 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ dice

2 large leeks (mostly white parts with a little of the green parts), chopped

4 C veggie broth (I really like Better than Bouillon)

3 Tbs Earth Balance

2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced

6 Tbs nutritional yeast

1 C almond milk

2 tsp shallot salt

1 tsp celery salt

2 dashes black pepper

2 dashes white pepper

Optional ingredients: croutons, vegan cheddar shreds, sliced green onion, vegan sour cream

DIRECTIONS:

In a large soup pot, heat the Earth Balance and garlic over medium heat. Add the leeks and saute about 10 minutes, or until the leeks begin to soften.

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Add the potatoes and broth and simmer over medium heat for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. I prefer to not cook them too much, as I don’t want real mushy potatoes. I then transferred the soup to a food processor, working in batches. Each time, I added 2-3 Tbs of the nutritional yeast and some of the almond milk until I was out of each. I try not to blend it too much, as I like a few potato chunks left in there. If you use an immersion blender (any suggestions on brands, anyone?) slowly add the milk and nutritional yeast as you blend the soup. Season with the salts and the peppers and serve with your favorite soup toppings! Enjoy!

Potato-Leek Breakfast Casserole

As some of you may already know, I LOVE to make breakfast stuff, I just don’t always have the time. This morning is rainy and chilly and a good morning to stay in. So since we get lots of vegetables from our CSA, I usually have to have at least one meal a week where I need to raid the refrigerator of on-the-verge produce that needs to get eaten. Oftentimes, its a mixture of stuff you wouldn’t think of putting together, but you’d be surprised how well vegetables get along with each other! Of course, I had to add my favorite go-to protein. . .Field Roast! A shocker, huh? Because of the flavor and spices in the grain meat, there is no need for a long list of spices, plus you’re getting 23 grams of protein per link! If you have the time, this is a great way to start the morning, or serve at brunch.

Cute little potatoes from the CSA–perfect for a dish like this!

INGREDIENTS:

Olive oil

1-1/2 C red potatoes, diced

2 leeks, chopped (mostly white parts, with some green)

1/3 of a napa cabbage, chopped

1/2 a bell pepper, diced (any variety)

1-2 Field Roast sausage links, Mexican Chipotle flavor

Salt and pepper, to taste

1-1/2 C vegan cheddar, shredded and divided (or use a mixture with vegan Jack and cheddar)

1-1/2 to 2 cups hearty cracker crumbs

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. In a 9×13 baking dish, line the bottom with the crackers. I like a hearty cracker that won’t fall apart. I just scoured our pantry and used a variety of leftovers–some stone-ground wheat ones and some Ritz-like ones. I would stay away from Triscuits–they make it too dry. Layer on about 1/2 of the cheddar cheese onto the cracker crust.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a large skillet, heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the potatoes and cook for about 10 minutes, covered. but stirring occasionally. Add the bell peppers and leeks and cook another 5-10 minutes.

Next, add the cabbage and Field Roast. Don’t worry about chopping the cabbage up too small—it will cook down and wilt quite a bit. Season with a little salt and pepper.

When the potatoes are a little soft, but still with some crunch, layer vegetable mixture onto the cracker crust. Top with the rest of the cheese and bake, covered for 20 minutes. If the cheese isn’t melted enough, uncover and bake another 3-4 minutes.

Enjoy!

Risotto with Oyster Mushrooms, Leeks and Peas

This risotto definitely takes some time to prepare, but is well worth it. I don’t recommend making this for a side dish unless the main meal is fast, easy with little hands-on time. Otherwise, this makes a great main dish served with garlic bread or toast.

INGREDIENTS:

3 Tbs olive oil

3/4 – 1 C oyster mushrooms, or 1 C button mushrooms, sliced

2 pinches of fine sea salt

1/2 C thinly sliced leeks (about 1 large leek)

1/2 C fresh or thawed frozen peas

1-2 garlic cloves, minced

3/4-1 C onion, chopped

1 C arborio rice

1/2 C white wine or mirin (I used 3/4 white wine and 1/4 mirin)

DIRECTIONS:

Bring 5 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm. Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbs of the oil in a skillet. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt and stir until the mushrooms soften. Add the leeks and a pinch of salt and saute for 1 minute, or until the leeks soften. Add some water to the pan, 1 Tbs at a time, if the vegetables become dryer or start to stick to the pan.

If you are using fresh peas, blanch then for 1 minute in a small pot of boiling water, and then add them to the sauteed vegetables. If using thawed frozen peas, just mix them straight into the sauteed vegetables. Remove from the heat and set aside. (I transferred them to a bowl).

Heat the remaining 2 Tbs of oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and when the onion begins to sizzle, add a dash of salt. Saute until the onions soften, about 1-2 mins. Stir in the rice and toast the grains until they are opaque, about 2-3 mins. Stir in the wine and cook until it is evaporated. Reduce the heat to medium-low and begin adding the warm water by ladlefuls, stirring it into the risotto, and adding more liquid only when the previous addition has been absorbed.

After the rice has cooked for 20 mins, season to taste with salt. The total cooking time should be 25-30 mins. The risotto will be creamy, but the rice should retain some firmness. Add the sauteed vegetable mixture to the risotto and stir together until hot. Serve warm and enjoy!

Recipe source: The Kind Diet

Potato-Leek Soup

This is an all-time favorite that is really simple and always delicious.

INGREDIENTS:

2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ pieces

4 leeks, thinly sliced

3 Tbs Earth Balance

4 C vegetable broth

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp white pepper

1-1/2 C soy milk

Fresh chives, chopped (optional)

Tofutti sour cream (optional)

Vegan cheddar, shredded (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

In a large soup pot, saute the leeks in the Earth Balance for 5-7 minutes, or until the leeks are soft and tender.

Add the potatoes, broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 20 mins.

Remove from heat and in batches, scoop out (broth and all) into a food processor and add about a 1/4 to 1/2 C of soy milk. Now…like mashed potatoes, I like my potato soup with chunks of potato–none of this smooth whipped stuff. So…where you stand on the potato-texture debate, will determine how long you process the soup. For me, I just whirl it around for about 3-5 seconds–just enough to mix it all together and be left with small chunks. Otherwise, whirl away until you’ve reach your desired consistency. I then transfer each batch to a large bowl. Repeat the previous steps and then transfer back into  the soup pot. I like to serve a bowl of this with a dollop of sour cream and some chopped chives. A little vegan cheddar cheese never hurts though. Enjoy!