When the flu came to call, I did my level best to evict that bastage with a great big pot of mushroom soup. I say MUSHROOM SOUP up front so if you are one of those fungi haters, you can click out right now. But let me tell you. Mushrooms stimulate the immune system. According to Nutrition Facts.org, mushrooms are little powerhouses of nutrition. Lovely. But the real point was making it massively tasty for someone so congested she could taste remarkably little. This fit that bill. It was also really soothing on a sore throat. So.
Mushroom Soup (vegan, gluten free, blah, blah, healthy)
For the stock:
1 TBSP olive oil
2 crushed cloves garlic
For the soup:
1 lb mushrooms - pick Shiitake, Maitake, Oyster, Trumpet, Crimini, whatever you can find - the broader the array of mushrooms, the better immune boosting profile. White button mushrooms are fine, but they will not impart the deep, rich flavor of the other mushrooms. My base was Shiitake with Oyster and Maitake mushrooms for variety. You'll want about a pound. Or more. Depends on how much soup you want.
2 TBSP olive oil
4 - 6 Cups Stock
1/2 cup Arborio rice
2 crushed cloves garlic
Salt to taste
Clean your shrooms. Take out the stems - reserve those for the stock - wipe gritty mushroom caps with a damp paper towel. Slice the caps and set them aside.
Make your stock:
In a soup pot, heat olive oil. Quarter an onion and toss in the oil. Peel and cut up your carrots into chunks. Toss those into the stock pot. Add the mushroom stems and crushed garlic. Sautee until the onions turn golden and translucent. Add water to cover (about 6 cups). Cover, bring to a boil. Remove the cover, turn down to a simmer. Cook 30 minutes.
Make your soup:
In a crockpot (because I am ALL about the easy), put the uncooked rice in the bottom. Add a cup of water. Turn on the crockpot and put on the lid while you sautee your mushrooms. In a large skillet, heat 1 TBSP of oil. Add half of your mushroom caps. Sautee until the caps begin to brown. Scrap them into the crockpot with the rice. Repeat until all your mushrooms are cooked. Deglaze the frying pan with a little water and add the browned bits and liquid to your crockpot. Salt the mushrooms to your taste as you cook them if you like. Check the moisture level in the crockpot - the rice will begin absorbing water. Add another cup if the rice is soaking up water. Once the stock is done, strain the liquid into your crockpot. (Those cooked carrots and onions make a fine snack.) Add your garlic cloves. Stir and taste for seasoning. The mushrooms will need plenty of salt. Pepper is optional. Let the soup cook for about an hour to blend flavors.
If you want to be really fancy, cook the rice in the veggie stock before adding your mushroom caps. After cooking for 30 minutes, use an immersion blender to puree the cooked rice into the broth. Presto. 'Cream' of Mushroom Soup.