A light soup is a welcome meal even in the warmer weather. I’m not talking about heavy stews with tons of ingredients, served thick enough to keep upright the proverbial spoon, but something much thinner, gentler on the pallet. Something suiting a lazy afternoon in the sunshine. There are probably a whole host of soups that would rise to the occasion, but I have settled upon a very simple mushroom one. It is both light and creamy, with a subtle flavour that doesn’t leave an aftertaste, making it not only ideal as a light lunch, but also as a starter to something more robust.
I’ve used gram flour as a thickener in order to keep the recipe gluten free, which also serves to add a tiny amount of colour to the dish. If you have no gluten issues use whatever flour you have at hand. I have also chosen the most basic closed-cup mushrooms that you get in packs at the supermarket for this recipe. If you have a taste for something more exotic, then by all means experiment. Remember that different mushroom will affect the colour and flavour of the final soup. Flat or field mushrooms that are much darker in colour will show up as such in your finished dish. Oyster or shitake might be an exciting alternative. Just remember to cut your mushrooms up small, so that you or your guests are not chewing on big chunks.
Prep time: 10 minutes. Cooking time: 15-20 minutes.
- 40g vegan butter
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or crushed
- 250g closed cup mushrooms, finely diced
- 2 tbsp gram (chickpea) flour. You can put in a little more if you prefer a thicker soup.
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 litre hot vegetable stock, using two stock cubes (make sure they’re gluten free)
- 150ml vegan cream
- Salt and pepper to taste
First melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan. Add the garlic and fry for 2 minutes, then put in the mushrooms and fry, stirring often, for a further 5-7 minutes, until they are soft and coloured, but not burnt.
Add the flour and nutritional yeast and mix well, then add the vegetable stock, a little at a time, stirring constantly with a whisk to prevent lumps from forming. Once you have used all the stock, bring it to the boil and simmer gently for about 10 minutes, stirring from time to time.
After 10 minutes, turn down the heat and stir in the cream. Heat the soup back through to just about boiling point, but do not boil as the cream will split.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately with your favourite crusty bread.