Winter is real and therefore, we need soups that are hearty and have deep, rich flavors to warm us back up. I have felt the chill of this winter to my very core. Biking around in the freezing cold everyday at 5am probably isn't helping, but that's life. This winter has actually been pretty mild here in Philly. Not much snow, mild temperatures, spots of warmth scattered through the past few months. But.. it's always cold at 5am. And what we have lacked in snow we have made up for in rain, which is probably worse. I've worked while soaked through my clothes too many times in the past couple of weeks and my [vegan] Doc Martens smell like dirty city rain. But enough about me, thank goodness for mushrooms, amirite?
Unlike me, mushrooms love all things cold, moist, and dark. Which is the one, ironically, bright light shining through all of this wintery gloom: I get to eat so many mushrooms. I really do enjoy and adore mushrooms more than most foods, but they are so especially delightful when it's cold out. They have a deep, earthy flavor. They're rich in flavor and texture. Which is what makes them so perfect for this creamy, pureed soup. As for the mushrooms used, I chose to use a blend of dried porcini and fresh cremini and shiitake mushrooms. You can use whatever combination you'd prefer. Dried morels, portabello, etc.
The other stars of this soup are caramelized onion and parsnips. The sweetness of these two vegetables will add some contrast and deepen the flavor of this soup. The parsnips will also add a creamy texture when blended. As for seasonings, we're going to rely mostly on salt and pepper with some thyme and garlic. There are already a lot of really lovely flavors going on here, we don't want to overcrowd it. To brighten things up a touch, consider using chopped fresh parsley to dress this soup when serving. I would also suggest reserving a few of the mushrooms to sauté separately and top the soup, drizzling with an herb infused oil, topping with fresh cracked pepper, or serving it with thinly sliced and toasted baguettes.
Creamy Mushroom Soup with Roasted Parsnips and Caramelized Onion
My name is Ellen Jane and I spend my free time doing vegan experiments in my kitchen so you don't have to. Take a look around.