Today we’re making a plant-based version of chicken noodle soup. That must mean we’re adding cubes of tofu to our soup, right? Not so fast! Notice those shreds of “chicken” in this soup? They aren’t chicken. They aren’t tofu. They aren’t unhealthy mock-meat. Nope, these are oyster mushrooms.
The day I discovered that oyster mushrooms, look, feel, and taste like chicken (in a good way) was one of the happiest of my life. These fragile white mushrooms grow in the shape of oyster shells (thus the name) and I buy them from the mushroom guy at my farmer’s market (don’t we all have mushroom guys?). They’re really incredible for a million reasons, but their chicken-like properties makes them one of my new favorite ingredients.
In this soup, these mushrooms not only replace the chicken’s shape and texture, they also enhance the broth, giving it a rich and meaty and comforting taste to go along with the bounty of fresh veggies, comforting pasta, and fragrant herbs. I mean, I had high hopes for this soup, but it really blew me away. Best of all, it’s dead simple to make and takes no time at all. I don’t care if it’s 100º outside (like it is in California this week), make this soup ASAP.
Makes 4 servings
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small white onion
- 3-4 carrots
- 4 stalks celery
- 3 cloves garlic
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups (chopped) oyster mushrooms
- 1 1/2 cups pasta (I used fusilli)
- 1/3 cup (chopped) fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- Salt & black pepper
This soup starts with a solid base of chopped carrots, celery, and white onion (mirepoix). A typical mirepoix would be finely-chopped, but I like to add larger, more rustic chunks to this soup by loosely chopping the onion and slicing the carrots and celery into half-moon pieces. Also, finely-chop 3 cloves of garlic. Add all this to a large stockpot that has been heated with a splash of olive oil.
Give these veggies about 5 minutes in the stockpot over medium-high heat to soften and turn more translucent. Then, add the vegetable broth + water and bring to a boil.
Next, add all the other ingredients into the pot (loosely-chopped mushrooms, pasta, parsley, oregano, thyme, salt (to taste), and liberal amounts of black pepper. Let this return to a boil and turn down the heat to a low simmer. Cover, and let simmer for about 30 minutes while the flavors work together to turn this soup into something magical.
That’s it! Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for several days.
15 CommentsLeave a Reply
Wow..those really do resemble chicken. Would like to make this…looks delicious!
I made this tonight and my kids got all excited and said, “Mom put chicken in this soup!” I told them it wasn’t chicken and to guess what it was. They guessed beef, pork, tofu, and all sorts of other things before I disclosed the truth! So funny. (I made them taste and guess before I told them since they think they don’t like mushrooms.)
Hahaha, what a great story, Danielle! Thanks so much for sharing and I’m really happy you (and the kids!) liked this soup 🙂
This and the tomato basil soup were both so easy to make and so so good. You are my vegan-friendly hero!
Aw, thanks Eliza! I’m so glad you liked both the soups! 🙂
I’d like to make this soup today, where it’s 32 degrees here in Colorado and my wife and I are observing a Day of Silence. However, in addition to being vegan, we don’t eat pasta (As my nutrition-oriented MD asked recently, “Did you ever see pasta growing in a field?”). I’ve thought of substituting spaghetti squash cut into smaller pieces…but I’m not sure.
Would diced eggplant or cauliflower be a good substitute for the pasta?
Hi Eric! I wish it was 32º here, it’s still in the 80’s in California 🙁
Hmm, that’s a good question. You could definitely just substitute the pasta with more vegetables, squash, or cauliflower, etc… I think all your ideas sound great to me! 🙂
Thanks, Andrew. I’ll tell you how it turns out. BTW, I use Benson’s Table Tasty seasoning instead of salt…per the doctor’s orders. And I just got some fresh organic tarragon. WIll that blend in well?
Awesome! Ooh, I bet tarragon will be a great addition to this soup, and I’m sure the seasoning will be a fine substitute for salt.
Sorry, probably a dumb question… do you need to cook the pasta before adding it to the soup? If so, should it be firm or tender?
No! Not a dumb question, Scylla. You don’t need to cook the pasta beforehand, just throw it in the soup dry – the broth will cook it as the soup cooks 😉
Do you think this soup would be good with regular mushrooms instead of oyster mushrooms?
I think it probably would work fine with other varieties… it wouldn’t quite have the same effect or texture but it would still be good!
This was good my husband like it. Everything was nice and soft. I am in love with vegan food. It’s been a week and no meat. It’s a journey and I am love it.
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