I love soup, always have. Especially the super thick, really rich, and creamy soups. Soups like creamy tomato basil or cream of mushroom were my favorite growing up. Unfortunately, most of those are full of heavy cream. Not so good. So, I have been on the hunt to try to discover ways to replicate some my favorite creamy soups while keeping it raw and vegan. Sounds challenging but I promise its not.
That is where the beauty of nut milks comes in. Nut milks are a nutritiously healthy alternative to the milk or cream you would find in a restaurant version of these soups. Ideally, making your own fresh nut milk is the best. It just tastes so much better than store bought plus, its devoid of all those unnecessary and potentially harmful added ingredients. For this recipe I had some freshly made walnut milk, which is nice and think and has this pretty soft pink color to it. You could use almond, brazil or any other nut or seed milk as you seed fit. It's always fun to play around and try different things.
But what if I want this creamy soup warm? No problemo! Thanks to the vita-mix, when I am in the mood for a hearty soul-comforting soup, I can run that baby just long enough to warm it up and still keep it raw. The blender won't cook your soup, but running it on high for a few minutes will create enough friction to give you that heart-warming flavor. Mmmmm.
For this soup recipe we've used Shiitake, but you could use any mushroom you like or a blend of different mushrooms. All mushrooms are medicinal superfoods! When it comes to mushroom flavor though, shiitake is my jam. As a superfood mushroom, it has been shown to fight obesity, strengthen the immune system, support cardiovascular health, & boost energy and brain function. It is also full of your necessary B vitamins, minerals, and even vitamin D. It also tastes super yummy, especially in a creamy mushroom soup. Now, if you wanted to make it even more medicinal, you could substitute some of that nut milk for a cup of chaga or reishi tea. Bam! Wouldn't that be a perfectly creamy concoction on a cold wet day to keep that immune system rocking?
Check out our simple version of this classic:
Raw Cream of Shiitake Soup
- 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, ideally fresh or if dried, soaked
- 2 cups nut milk of your choice (I used freshly-made walnut milk but almond is great too!)
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
- dash or two of sea salt
Put the mushrooms and nut milk and dash of salt in the blender and blend on high for 4-5 minutes so it is nice and warm. Sprinkle the chopped parsley on top and voila! This makes 2 servings of super filling creamy mushy goodness.
That's it! It literally took me 5 mins and was way easier to make than the original stove-top version you grew up with. Feel free to try with other mushrooms or a different nut milk and see what taste best to you or add in some spices to ramp up the flavor. If you love mushrooms and hearty soups like I do, I am sure you will love the natural creaminess of this vegan and raw alternative. It makes a perfect meal for a chilly or rainy day when having another green smoothie or salad seems too light. Also thick enough to make into a good gravy for a raw mash or another hearty recipe.
How did it turn out? Let us know what you think!