It’s spring here in Shetland. About a month ago the crocuses came into bloom, followed by the daffodils. Birds are nesting, lambing has begun, and we’ve seen the first of the bumble bees. We even had a beach day. And then … this happened…
Snow… in April amid the spring time loveliness… SNOW!
I was mortified! Thankfully it only lasted for a morning, but the weather was still pretty grim even after it melted. I have decided that when faced with grim and traitorous weather, there is one clear path back to warm bliss; Soup!
I’ve been wanting to Roots&Wren-ify up some cream of mushroom soup for a while, but thought that I’d leave it until the fall now. So actually this shocking and pout inducing weather had a pretty glorious outcome.
A few months ago I went through a bout of cashew cream obsession, and started including it in everything from milkshakes, to magnificent chocolate icing, and creamy cauliflower soup. I haven’t made it in a while though, and this mushroom soup presented the perfect opportunity to break out the cashews and whip up a batch of this lovely cream. It is one of my very favourite things to cook with. It’s very creamy, filling, nourishing and works equally well in sweet and savoury dishes. In this instance I added it to a soup made with a mix of dried wild mushrooms and fresh chestnut mushrooms. The soup is rich, creamy, filling and has a beautiful earthy taste. It’s a super yummy vegan version of this classic soup. Now that I’ve made it once, I’m not sure that I’ll be able to wait until the fall before I make it again!
- 125g or 3/4 cup cashews soaked overnight in cold water
- 1 small brown onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 tsp oil
- 200g chestnut mushrooms, chopped
- 600mL or 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
- 25g or 1/3 cup dried mixed wild mushrooms, coarsely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium high heat. When it’s hot add the onions and chestnut mushrooms and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring from time to time, until the onions are soft and most of the water has evaporated from the mushrooms.
- Meanwhile drain and rinse the cashews and them blend them with a Tbsp or two of fresh water until they’re the consistency of smooth, thick cream.
- Once the onion and mushroom mix is cooked, add the stock, dried mushrooms, garlic and thyme. Bring it to a simmer, reduce the heat, cover and leave to simmer, stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes.
- After the half hour, stir in the cashew cream and then remove half of the soup, blitz it until it’s smooth and then stir it back into the non-blitzed soup. Allow it to heat until hot and serve.