Cream of Mushroom Soup
3 tablespoons vegan margarine (I use Earth Balance)
2 celery stalks, diced
1 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3-4 cups mixed mushrooms, roughly chopped (I used mostly creminis and some shiitakes)
4 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
3 cups cashew cream (I use this recipe: http://www.talronnen.com/recipes/cashew-cream/)
sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1. You will need to soak the cashews overnight if making cashew cream. For soup, place a large stockpot over medium heat. Sprinkle bottom with pinch salt and heat for 1 minute. Add the margarine and stir until melted, making sure not to let it burn. Add the onion, celery and garlic and cook for 6 minutes, stirring frequently.
2. Drop in the mushrooms and cook until tender, about 6 more minutes. Add the vegetable broth, thyme and bay leaf. Bring liquid to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 25 minutes. Add the cashew cream and cook for another 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Remove the bay leaf and any mushrooms you would like to keep whole. If you want some mushroom chunks, pick out about 1/2 cup or so and set them aside. Working in batches, ladle soup into your blender and blend for a few minutes until smooth. Remember to cover the lid with a towel and hold down tightly.
4. Pour the soup back into your stockpot along with any mushrooms you've picked out and keep warm until ready to serve. Ladle into bowls and garnish with a sprig of fresh thyme or fresh, chopped parsley.
Source of recipe: My own recipe inspired by my childhood favorite canned variety.