It's easy to complicate recipes in the quest to make vegan food taste as "authentic" as possible. Replacing dairy can mean long hours of soaking cashews or fermenting nut cheese; replacing chicken or beef can mean kneading and simmering a block of seitan.
Even if your approach to veganism is largely devoid of meat replacements, even if you take a vegetable-centric approach, it’s easy to slide down the rabbit hole of trying to find the perfect hack for an omnivore recipe or two.
This soup, however, demonstrates how easy it can be to create a taste or texture that we associate with non-vegan food (here, that's creaminess) without having to flex too many culinary muscles. It’s cream of mushroom soup, and yes, cashew cream is an option, but you can also simply pop open a can of coconut milk to get all of the creaminess you need. If you don’t have coconut milk, unsweetened soy milk would be a suitable replacement, too.
In the meantime, mushrooms add texture and umami to this meatless dish, and the wild rice gives it plenty of staying power. Heat up a bowl for an easy lunch, or serve with a big, fresh salad as an easy option for spring entertaining. Despite the creaminess, the soup doesn’t feel heavy, which makes it perfect for bridging the seasons.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 pound mushrooms, diced (I used a 50/50 mixture of baby bella and shiitake)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup white wine (optional)
- 1 teaspoon crushed thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup wild rice
- 1 cup full fat, canned coconut milk or cashew cream (https://food52.com/recipes/20679-classic-cashew-cream)
- 1 pinch black pepper, to taste
- 1 splash white wine or sherry vinegar