As it has been freezing in the -30 for a bit, our little family has been eating more soup. There was one particular soup that has been our go-to; mushroom soup. When I think back to my childhood, it brings back the little memories we often forget. My mom would always have a warm bowl of mushroom soup waiting for me when I came home for lunch. Her taking the time to make me my favourite soup was special to me. My dad liked chicken noodle, so she made each of us our own soup haha. And I will never forget the time I was staying with my grandma, and she knew I loved the mushroom soup and made it for supper. I remember telling her the soup tastes a bit off, and she giggled. Then when we were doing dishes, I discovered the soup can, and it was broccoli. We had a good laugh. Growing up, we generally had soup from a can. It was delightful, quick and came with many memories. Not to mention love!
Developing this recipe was much more than making soup. It was to relive beautiful memories and creating something healthy and nourishing. Many don’t know there are ingredients in canned soups that are very hard for our body to process and cause issues. Food additives like MSG, yeast extract and “natural flavourings” are often found in canned soups. They have no nutrient value to our bodies and should be avoided. Don’t be fooled by Natural Flavorings; they aren’t so natural. I know I have fallen into the trap of thinking I was getting something better for me. Natural flavours are made by food chemists using a combination of ingredients to make the flavouring, but not disclosing what these ingredients are, which then become part of the foods we eat.
For me, trying to minimize my exposure to these types of additives to food, I opt to make it at home in the simplest way possible. Adding things that are healing and beneficial to the body are at the top of my list, like mushrooms. Yes, they are fungus but have a significant impact on our health. You can get the potent medicinal constituents from mushrooms by cooking with them in the whole form and adding a mushroom powder to our cooking, baking, smoothies or warms drinks.
I think it is essential to be a conscious eater and be mindful of what we are putting into our bodies. Next time you grab a can of soup, take a look at the ingredients and see if that is something you want to consume. We are our own advocates when it comes to our health and the food we chose to eat.
P.S. …. And a little tip to try. When we put love and gratitude into the food we prepare; share the cooking experience with people who mean a lot to us; the end product will undoubtedly taste amazing.
Warming Winter Mushroom Soup
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
3 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 small portobello mushrooms chopped into 1-inch pieces
100 g shitake mushrooms, sliced in half
454 g white mushrooms (3 cups thinly sliced and set aside. Roughly slice the remaining)
4 cups of vegetable broth
2 cups of water
1 cup of soaked cashews (at minimum 1 hour in hot water)
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp mushroom powder (optional)
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
· Heat olive oil in a large pot.
· Add onions and garlic sautéing for approximately 5 minutes until the onions start to caramelize.
· Add carrots and celery, cooking for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.
· Add portobello’s, shitake, and roughly sliced white mushrooms, sauteing until they start to cook down, stirring frequently.
· Next, add vegetable broth, water, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then turn down to simmer for 20 minutes.
· In a blender, add the cashews, nutritional yeast and mushroom powder (if using), and soup from the pot. NOTE: Keep approximately one cup of soup (liquid only) in the pot. Blend until smooth.
· Add the 3 cups of white mushrooms to the soup liquid in the pot. Cook until mushrooms become soft.
· Pour the ingredients from the blender back into the pot with the mushrooms and mix thoroughly. Taste to see if additional salt or pepper need to be added.
· Serve and enjoy.
NOTE: You can also use an immersion blender if you have one. Just remove a cup of the soup liquid to be able to cook the 3 cups of white mushrooms in a smaller pot and then add them to the soup.