Wild Mushroom & Miso Soup

Wild Mushroom and Miso Soup -- Epicurean VeganFor 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.

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

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.

Wild Mushroom and Miso Soup -- Epicurean VeganTransfer to a slow cooker and add the shiitake and cremini mushrooms, along with the broth and water.

Wild Mushroom and Miso Soup -- Epicurean Vegan

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!

Roman Pasta Soup with Potatoes

Roman Pasta Soup with Potatoes -- Epicurean VeganThis is definitely a carb-lover’s soup! You certainly don’t have to use pasta and potatoes, but I think they work really well together in this soup. I used to make this soup a lot about ten or twelve years ago, but sort of forgot about it, especially since it used real bacon, but like most meat dishes, this one is easy to veganize. It’s incredibly easy to make and versatile, too. I think some chopped kale or mushrooms would be great additions.


1 Tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 veggie bacon slices, diced
1 large onion, chopped
1/3 C fresh parsley, chopped
8-9 C vegetable broth
3 medium russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
2 C pasta shells, uncooked
Black pepper, to taste
Daiya mozzarella


In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil and garlic. Add the onions and veggie bacon and cook 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley and cook another 2 minutes. Add the potatoes and broth and cook over medium heat about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are slightly tender. Add the pasta and cook 10 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked through. Season with black pepper and serve with Daiya cheese on top. Enjoy!

Carrot & Roasted Bell Pepper Soup

Carrot and Roasted Bell Pepper Soup -- Epicurean VeganI don’t go out of my way to eat carrots. Typically, I only buy them for recipes or for juicing (when added to other juiced veggies). I decided to go out on limb and try this soup from Color Me Vegan. I actually was hooked when I had a similar soup at Black Cat in Boulder. And this recipe is fantastic; very simple to make, too. It’s full of flavor—the thyme is perfect in this dish. The recipe calls for 2 cups of nondairy milk, so next time I think I’ll sub in one cup of coconut milk to change it up and add a different element to it.

3 carrots (I used two large ones), peeled and chopped
2 yellow onions, coarsely chopped
1 yellow potato, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C dry sherry or white wine (I used cooking sherry)
1/4 tsp salt (or more for taste)
2 jarred roasted bell peppers, coarsely chopped
2 tsp dried thyme
3 C vegetable stock
1/3 C yellow miso
2 C almond milk
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

In a large soup pot, combine the carrots, onions, potato, garlic, salt, and sherry. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the liquid evaporates.

Carrot and Roasted Bell Pepper Soup -- Epicurean Vegan

Add the roasted red peppers, thyme, and stock. Cover it and let simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until the carrots and potatoes are tender.

Carrot and Roasted Bell Pepper Soup -- Epicurean Vegan

Transfer to a blender along with the miso and 1 cup of the milk. Blend until completely smooth. Return the soup to the pot and slowly stir in the remaining 1 cup of milk.

Carrot and Roasted Bell Pepper Soup -- Epicurean Vegan

Reheat and add the cayenne and possibly more salt. Serve with salad and bread. Enjoy!

Vegan New England Chowder

Vegan New England Chowder -- Epicurean VeganI have had this recipe from Weekly Vegan Menu bookmarked for some time now, and since today was drizzly and cold, it was about time I made it. I changed a couple of things like using button mushrooms instead of oyster and pureeing 1/2 the soup for a more chowder consistency. The flavors in this soup are spectacular and was perfect for a day like today.

2 T olive oil
1 onion, diced
1/2 a bell pepper, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
4-6 C mushrooms, diced
1 C corn
3 C vegetable stock
3 C russet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp Liquid Smoke
2 C nondairy milk (soy or almond)
1/4 C cornstarch
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
Tofutti sour cream (optional)
Vegan cheddar, shredded (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. I recommend having all your ingredients out, chopped, and ready to go before starting:

Vegan New England Chowder -- Epicurean Vegan

In a large soup pot, heat the oil and add onion, garlic, bell pepper, thyme, basil, and oregano. Once they are hot and on high heat, add the mushrooms and cook about 10 minutes.

Vegan New England Chowder -- Epicurean Vegan

While this is happening, roast the corn in the oven for 10 minutes.

Vegan New England Chowder -- Epicurean VeganAdd the potatoes, then the stock, Old Bay, Liquid Smoke, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce to the pot. Cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Whisk together the nondairy milk and cornstarch and add to the pot along with the corn. Bring to a simmer, but not a boil. Taste for seasoning. Here, I added (in batches) half of the soup to my food processor and just pureed a little; just enough to still be a bit chunky. I then added it back to the pot and mixed it with the un-pureed soup for the perfect chowder consistency. Top with a bit of cheese and sour cream, if desired. Enjoy!

Potato-Leek Soup

Potato-Leek Soup -- Epicurean VeganThis is an all-time favorite that is really simple and always delicious. It’s incredibly easy to prepare by using a food processor or even an immersion blender. The recipe is simple and a great base for then adding other ingredients such as veggie ham, peas, carrots or other herbs of your choice. You can also puree it to your desired consistency. I like this soup with some chunkiness to it, but feel free to blend away if you want it creamier.

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 (or other non dairy milk)
Fresh chives, chopped (optional)
Tofutti sour cream (optional)
Vegan cheddar, shredded (optional)

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

Potato-Leek Soup -- Epicurean Vegan

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

Potato-Leek Soup -- Epicurean VeganRemove 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!

Potato-Leek Soup -- Epicurean Vegan

Miso Soup with Tofu and Baby Spinach

Miso Soup with Tofu and Baby Spinach -- Epicurean VeganThis soup has all my favorite ingredients! Mushrooms, spinach, tofu, green onion….It’s a very light soup that would go great with half a sandwich and is tasty, tasty, tasty! Plus, with prep and cook time, it was ready in about 25 minutes. This is great soothing soup–it’s the new chicken soup. Add or substitute your favorite ingredients like celery, leeks or shredded carrot.

6 C water
1 1/2 C baby spinach leaves, cut into thin strips
1/2 C thinly sliced mushrooms
3 Tbs minced scallions (about 3 large green onions)
1 Tbs Tamari or other soy sauce
1/3 C mellow white miso paste
4 oz extra firm silken tofu, drained and cut into 1/2″ dice

Place the water in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the spinach, mushrooms, scallions, and tamari. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until the vegetables soften, about 3-6 mins. Reduce the heat to low. Place 1/4 cup of the soup mixture in a small bowl and add the miso, blending well. Stir the mixture back into the soup and add the tofu and simmer for 2 minutes, being careful not to boil. Serve hot. Serves 4. Enjoy!

Miso Soup with Tofu and Baby Spinach -- Epicurean VeganRecipe source: Vegan Planet

Szechuan Hot and Sour Soup

Szechuan Hot and Sour Soup -- Epicurean VeganVery easy and very delicious! It smelled so good as it simmered. I could easily taste each ingredient such as the toasted sesame oil and cilantro.

1/2 dried cloud ear or shiitake mushrooms, soaked in very hot water to cover, 20 mins (I used the shiitake)
2 C canned or fresh sliced bamboo shoots (The recipe didn’t specify what sized can. I used 14 oz of small, cute, little bamboo shoots)
4 tsp peanut oil
8 oz (just over 1/2 a usual pkg of tofu), drained and cut into thin strips
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbs peeled and minced fresh ginger root
4 C Vegetable stock
2 Tbs tamari or other soy sauce
2 Tbs rice vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp Asian chili paste
1 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 tsp water
1 Tbs toasted sesame oil
1 Tbs fresh chopped cilantro
2 Tbs chopped scallions (I left these out)
One thing I thought it needed was at least a 1/2 C of chopped green onion. I say add with the mushrooms.
Salt and pepper

Drain the mushrooms and discard the stems. Cut into thin strips and set aside. If using canned bamboo shoots, drain and rinse, then cut into thin strips (unnecessary if they’re the ones in the can–typically) and set side. If using fresh ones, soak in water to cover for 30 mins. Cut into thin strips, cook in boiling water until tender and set aside.
Heat 2 tsp of peanut oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and cook, stirring until golden brown, about 5 mins. (I found that 10 mins was better). Set aside.
Heat the remaining 2 tsp oil in a large pot. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the stock, tamari, vinegar, sugar, chili paste, and mushroom strips. (If you don’t want crunchy bamboo shhots, add them now). Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer until mushrooms are tender, about 5 (to 10) mins. Add the tofu and bamboo shoots and bring back to a simmer. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and cook until heated through, about 5 mins. Stir in the sesame oil, scallions, cilantro, salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.
This was such a delicious soup and can be quite changeable. Try 8-10 oz rice noodles during last 5 mins of cook time. If  you’re going to do that, I would recommend adding at least another cup of broth and nearly doubling some of the other ingredients like the rice vinegar, sesame oil, tamari, chili paste and cilantro.
This made about 4 servings with no leftovers. Next time, I might just double it. I was impressed with the various flavors and the ability to taste so many of them at once. I loved it! Enjoy!

Szechuan Hot and Sour Soup -- Epicurean VeganRecipe source: Vegan Planet