Monday, January 4, 2010

Nothing beats the cold like a good soup!

I hope it is not as cold where you are, faithful readers as it is here! It seems like the cold is following me. When we left Baltimore, there had just been a blizzard, once we arrived in Connecticut they were having a cold snap (running in 12 degrees?! really??!!) and now that we are back home it is cold and windy again (Now I am running in the 20's with extreme winds...). Luckily I am becoming used to the cold and beginning to develop techniques for handling it better. In addition to clothing tricks (layers, layers, and more layers) and common sense stuff (don't go out with wet hair!), I have discovered just how much I love a good hot soup! In fact nothing seems to warm me up like a good soup.

Luckily vegan soups abound. They are easy, tasty, nutritious and warming. In the few days since our return I have already made two! The oyster mushroom stew was my first attempt at using oyster mushrooms in anything. In fact, I bought them without really being sure what I was going to do with them. Then I found this recipe on the site Let me tell you.... I was not disappointed... this stew was reminiscent of the chowders my mother used to serve in the winters, but without dairy, meat or seafood! It was delicious! The mushrooms were slightly chewy, meaty and with the faint flavor of shellfish (like an oyster or clam) without being overwhelming. The broth was creamy, rich and flavorful as well. As I was eating, it occured to me that I hadn't had a good cream soup in years!

Oyster Mushroom Stew


  • ¼ tbsp. olive oil
  • Small onion, diced
  • Stick of celery, diced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 3½ cups (28 fl oz, 840 ml) vegetable broth
  • ½ cup (4 oz, 110 g) silken tofu
  • 2 small potatoes, diced
  • 4 large (11 oz, 330 g) oyster mushrooms, diced
  • liberal amounts of red pepper!
  • 3 tbsp. dried parsley


  1. First in a pot of salted water boil the potatoes. Drain and set aside.

  2. In as little olive oil as possible (or to make it truly fat free- use wine) saute the onions celery and garlic.

  3. Once onions are translucent add the oyster mushrooms and saute for a few minutes before adding the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and then stir in the potatoes, parsley, red pepper and (if desired) salt.

  4. Return to a boil and then reduce to a low simmer.

  5. In a blender or food processor, puree the tofu until creamy and then stir into pot. Heat through, taste adjust seasoning if necessary and then serve with your favorite little tiny oyster crackers!

This next soup is an Italian favorite that my husband and I love! By turning it into a crock pot recipe, it it now both delicious and simple! If you have never had it, Escarole is a bitter Italian green that looks similar to leaf lettuce.

Erin's Escarole Soup


  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 Stalk celery
  • 1 carrot
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 can white kidney (canellini) beans
  • 2 small heads of escarole
  • 1 cup white wine
  • water
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper
  • Bryanna's Homemade Chicken Bouillon Powder
  • Optional: rice, cous cous or small pasta


  1. Peel, wash and dice all veggies and put in crock pot.
  2. Season with Salt, red pepper and pepper.
  3. Add wine and stir well.
  4. Add enough water to cover veggies (be sure to pay attention to how much you add!!) and the corresponding amount of bouillon powder.
  5. Cook on low all day and enjoy.
  6. Optional pasta directions: I like to add the rice or small pasta already cooked so that it doesn't soak up to much broth. If you don't please pay attention to the amount of water you add to be sure you have provided enough!

Note: Since Bryanna's broth powder is so tasty and well seasoned (I always add extra garlic and thyme to mine....) I didn't add any additional spices. If you use a commercial bouillon or vegetable broth this will probably need some additional spices. May I recommend: Parsley, sage and thyme.

Well there you have it: Not one but TWO easy and delicious soups for a cold winter's day!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I love what you've got going on here - this mushroom soup looks great. Too bad I'd never get my husband to take a bite :(