Pure and Simple Mushroom Soup

Roasted Fennel Mushroom Soup—Gluten-free and Vegan. By www.fernsandpeonies.com

I used to hate mushrooms. It's true. Growing up, my parents always made me eat them. In stroganoff (gag!), on pizza, in spaghetti and on salads. And usually it was the canned kind. I think these were originally what made me decide I hated mushrooms. Until about 7 years ago when I decided to start cooking with them. And now I love them.

One of my favorite ways to use them is by making mushroom soup. This recipe is actually a roasted fennel version, but you can easily leave that out and just make pure and simple mushroom soup and it will be just as delicious. This recipe has something many of you have never bought before—a quarter cup of raw cashews. Vegans use raw cashews a lot to substitute for cheese. But that's a whole other blog. In this soup, I use them for gluten-free reasons—as a thickener when I blend it. It's a much better option than using gluten-free flour. And it does add a nice creaminess to the soup as an added bonus.

Roasted Fennel Mushroom Soup—Gluten-free and Vegan. By www.fernsandpeonies.com

Roast the fennel first. Roasted fennel is delicious on it's own as a side dish. Simply core a fennel bulb and chop the tops off. Thinly slice and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for about 50 minutes to an hour. Set it aside.

Roasted Fennel Mushroom Soup—Gluten-free and Vegan. By www.fernsandpeonies.com

Once your fennel is done, start the soup. In a heavy soup pot (I prefer an enamel dutch oven), saute the onions with olive oil and salt and pepper for about 10 minutes.

Roasted Fennel Mushroom Soup—Gluten-free and Vegan. By www.fernsandpeonies.com

Then add all those beautiful fresh mushrooms and the thyme. Season again and saute for another 7 minutes.

Roasted Fennel Mushroom Soup—Gluten-free and Vegan. By www.fernsandpeonies.com

Now let's talk stock. Sure, vegetable stock from scratch is always healthier. It has much less salt than anything you would buy in the grocery store. But if you don't have time to make your own, make sure you use something that has some depth of flavor to it. I really like Better than Bouillon brand vegetable stock. If you have health issues were you need to be on a low sodium diet, make your own or choose a low sodium variety.

Roasted Fennel Mushroom Soup—Gluten-free and Vegan. By www.fernsandpeonies.com

Add your stock to the pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Roasted Fennel Mushroom Soup—Gluten-free and Vegan. By www.fernsandpeonies.com

Now take that beautiful roasted fennel, place half in your Vitamix or high powered blender.

Roasted Fennel Mushroom Soup—Gluten-free and Vegan. By www.fernsandpeonies.com

Then add half of your soup, and half of your raw cashews and blend on high for 15 seconds or until well blended. Transfer this to a large bowl. Now do the second half. Once all the soup and fennel are fully blended, return to the dutch oven, add the unsweetened almond milk and reheat. It is ready to serve. Seriously pure and simple mushroom soup.

Roasted Fennel Mushroom Soup—Gluten-free and Vegan. By www.fernsandpeonies.com
Roasted Fennel Mushroom Soup—Gluten-free and Vegan. By www.fernsandpeonies.com

The beauty of mushroom soup is that it is comforting and perfect for a weeknight meal and it is elegant and perfect for a dinner party.

On either occasion, I hope you enjoy! xoxo

Roasted Fennel Mushroom Soup—Gluten-free and Vegan. By www.fernsandpeonies.com


Time: 2 hours

Ingredients
1 large fennel bulb, cored and sliced
2 tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper to season

2 onions, sliced thin
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. course kosher salt
1/8 tsp. course black pepper

8 oz. baby bella mushrooms, destemmed and sliced
10 oz. shittake mushrooms, destemmed and sliced
5 sprigs of fresh thyme, destalked
1/2 tsp. course kosher salt
1/4 tsp. course black pepper

4 c. vegetable stock

1/4 c. raw cashews
1 c. almond milk, unsweetened

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Core and thinly slice fennel bulb and place on lined sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season. Roast approx. 50 minutes.

In a dutch oven or soup pot, heat up the oil and add the thinly sliced onions, salt and pepper. Lower heat to a simmer setting and slowly cook onions for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the sliced mushrooms, thyme and more salt and pepper and saute for 7 minutes.
 
Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Turn down and simmer for 20 minutes.

In two batches, blend the soup in a Vitamix, high powered blender or immersion blender. Divide the cashews and milk to add to both batches when processing. Add the raw cashews and almond milk to blend well and thicken. Return to the soup pot and reheat.

Serves 6 to 8.


Nutritional Estimations: Calories 146. Total Fat 9 g. Cholesterol 0 mg. Sodium 672 mg. Potassium 292 mg. Total Carbs 12 g. Fiber 2 g. Sugars 6 g. Protein 2 g. Vitamin A 8%. Vitamin C 13%. Calcium 9%. Iron 4%.

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