Creamy Mushroom Soup (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Today, I completed my nursing school coursework!  No, I’m not quite finished with my program…this summer, I will be doing an intensive practicum on our hospital’s Med-Surg floor.  I’m so nervous/excited to get started.  It’s hard to believe that this journey has gone by so fast and that I’m just months away from being a nurse!  I still have a lot to learn and I suspect that will hold true for the rest of my life.

Now for the obligatory nursing humor:

Source: tumblr.com via Karen on Pinterest

As I move ever closer to a challenging and rewarding career, I am gaining a greater understanding of the importance of self-care.  In some instances, self-care might take the form of humor (see above) or it might mean going to a yoga class.  For me, a huge component of caring for myself as I slog tough coursework and clinicals is cooking nourishing food.  One of the winning recipes I found this week was this mushroom soup, from VeggieNumNum.

I played around with the types of mushrooms in the recipe and settled on mostly crimini and shiitake with a few maitake thrown in.  I’m sure you could play with this and try and endless number of combinations.  Regardless, you’ll end up with an impressive nutritional profile.  Mushrooms are a wonderful source of B vitamins.  Different types will provide different micronutrients but you don’t have to go the exotic and expensive route to get amazing health benefits.  The common crimini (the baby version of portobellas) may provide even more immune system and anti-inflammation benefits than shiitakes.  Now, I still love shiitake mushrooms for the taste but it’s nice to know that I don’t have to spend a fortune to get all the health benefits of eating mushrooms regularly.

I hope you enjoy the soup.  You can just think of it as your daily dose of self-care!

Creamy Mushroom Soup
makes 4 servings
adapted from VeggieNumNum 

Ingredients
– 1 Tbsp olive oil
– 2 cloves garlic, chopped
– 1 shallot, chopped
– 1 celery stalk, sliced
– 1 lb crimini mushrooms, chopped
– 1/2 lb shiitake mushrooms, chopped
– 1/4 lb maitake mushrooms, chopped
– 2 sprigs fresh thyme
– 2 cups vegetable broth
– 1/2 cup cooked rice (jasmine works well)
– 2 Tbsp soy sauce
– 1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk of your choice
– salt, to taste

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add garlic, shallot, and celery and cook until softened, about 7 minutes.

Increase heat to medium-high and add mushrooms and fresh thyme.  Cook, stirring constantly for a couple of minutes and then add vegetable broth.  Gently simmer for about 15 minutes, until mushrooms are soft and aromatic.  Add rice and cook for a few minutes until warmed through.

Remove thyme sprigs.  Use a blender to puree soup.  You may need to do this in batches or you can use an immersion blender if you have one.  Return soup to pot and add milk.  Season to taste with salt and serve hot.

* I shared this link with this week’s Mix-It-Up Monday, My Meatless Monday, Just Another Meatless MondayFight Back Friday, Fresh Bites Friday, Foodie Friday, and Wellness Weekend.

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