Friday 21 October 2022

Vegan mushroom and wild rice soup

Although a wild rice soup has never been part of my culture, it is just the sort of hearty soup I love.  It is very creamy - too much dairy for my liking in fact but delicious with a vegan creaminess.  And the wild rice and vegies were nubbly and satisfying.  It is almost a year since I made this recipe, which I have dredged up from my drafts, but I still remember the soup fondly.  Every now and again I have intended to post it and then been distracted. 

It might seem wrong that I didn't actually have any wild rice when I made this but I had lots of leftover red basmati rice.  It had some of the nubbly quality that I like in wild rice.  And it had to be used.  It was more annoying that as I was about to make it, I discovered I had no white miso.  This is something I usually have about the house but had run out of.  The white miso is key to the unmami flavour of the slightly cheesy cashew bean sauce.

And that is all my notes say about this soup other than that it was lovely and creamy.  I love the speckled look of this creamy soup.  It was a pretty crazy time at the end of last year.  There have been many changes since then and I hope that some might help my life settle and make room for more cooking.

Soups have always been a favourite and easy meal but I just haven't made many lately.  However I am starting to make a few more casseroles baked in the oven.  As it comes into spring I hope to have a few more salads and stirfries.  And I would love to make this soup again.  One day!

More wild rice recipes on Green Gourmet Giraffe blog:

Asparagus, artichoke and wild rice salad (gf, v)
Pumpkin, corn and wild rice chowder (gf, v)
Stuffed apples with wild rice, mushroom and cranberry nut roast (v)
Wild rice, cranberry, celery and walnut salad (gf, v)
Wild rice burgers

Vegan mushroom and wild rice soup
Adapted from The Kitchn and Yup It's Vegan

Cashew bean sauce:
3/4 cup raw cashews (soaked for 2 hours to overnight)
1 small cooked potato, chopped
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp white or yellow miso
400g tin of cannelini (or white) beans rinsed and drained

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced

4 celery stalks, diced

200g mushrooms, diced

1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1 red capsicum, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 cup white wine
 (or more stock)
1 bay leaf

5 cups vegetable stock
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary

4 cups cooked wild rice (or red basmati rice)
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Salt, as required

[If your rice is not cooked, start cooking it before starting.]

First make the Cashew bean sauce.  Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  If you have a high speed blender you don't need to soak the nuts but you will need to add a bit of water to get it moving to make a smooth consistency.  

Now cook the soup.  Heat a stockpot on medium high heat.  Fry the onion and celery with a pinch of salt for 3-5 minutes.  Add mushrooms, carrot and capsicum and another pinch of salt.  Continue frying on medium heat for 15-20 min until browned on medium heat.  Add garlic and oregano and stir for about 30 minutes until fragrant. 

Add the white wine, bay leaf, stock (you can set aside a couple of cups to rinse out the blender when you add the cashew bean sauce), rosemary and cooked rice.  Simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until vegies are well cooked.  Add cashew bean sauce (if you have set aside some stock to rinse out the last bits of sauce from the blender) and pepper.  Check taste and adjust seasoning.  Serve with fresh parsley.

On the Stereo:
Talking with the Taxman about Poetry: Billy Bragg

Thursday 6 October 2022

In My Kitchen: October 2022

October sees us heading towards the end of the year with the scent of jasmine on a balmy spring night, the sight of  trees in blossom lining the streets, the warmth of the the sun on my back, and the joy of laundry drying by the end of the day on the washing line.  Yes spring can be full of hope (once we get past losing an hour when daylight savings starts).  September has been busy with finishing up at my job of 5 years, getting out and out on leave, and enjoying Geelong winning the AFL grand final.

Above is a savoury platter I put together with Sylvia for the Grand Final.  This is why I love the grand final.  It is a great excuse for fun snacking, though if my team wins it is all the sweeter.  (Carn the Cats!)  I especially love it as an excuse to bake vegetarian sausage rolls.  Add some chips, crackers, cheese, vegie sticks and hummus and we have a feast!

We were given some leftover cake pops from my niece's birthday party.  My sister always organises such classy parties.

Last month I bought some fresh kelp pasta.  I stuck it in the freezer for a few weeks and then I took it out and made a fine meal in my cast iron frypan.  I first fried some diced pumpkin in olive oil, then some cauliflower (with a bit of water to help it along) and then diced capsicum and crushed garlic.  Then I took the vegies out and gently fried the pasta adding water a few times and letting it cook off.  I seasoned it, then added lemon juice and parmesan to the leftovers.  It was really good.
As I mentioned above, I recently left my job of 5 years.  It was sad to say farewell to some of the lovely folk I worked with.  I hope I might stay in touch.  We had a farewell lunch at the pub and there were gifts.  The green tea and lemongrass candle smells wonderful.  The Readings vouchers were raelly appreciated (see below).  And I really loved the phoenix coasters.  It is the perfect symbol for a new job - rising from the ashes into a something new and wonderful!


We tried to get out and about while I had my leave.  One great foodie expedition was the Queen Victoria Market (I wrote about this market many years ago).  I bought the Hickory Barbeque Boulder crisps and then the temptations rose when I saw the Vegan Rob's Cauli Crisps.  They are a vegan version of Pringles and very very good.  (Sylvia not a fan!)

I bought some Pac Man bamboo socks - a fine combo of retro video gaming and modern sustainability.  Sylvia's choice was to try soy whip to see if it was as good as the dairy whipped cream in a can.  She did not like it because it was so sweet.  I have never liked cream of any sort so cannot recommend this at all.

I can never resist the American doughnut kitchen hot jam doughnuts.  They are still as good as when I was a child, which is amazing consistency for many decades.  I still don't think I have found any other doughnut that  is quite as amazing.  Yes I love nutella doughnuts but even they pale beside these golden crispy sugary doughnuts with soft warm yeasty insides oozing berry jam.


I bought these Veggie Bratwurst.  I am always hoping to find a bratwurst that lives up to my memory of the meat ones - which is now so many decades ago that I expect my memories are not so strong any more.  I am yet to try these but they look pretty good.

I got excited by the baked goods in the deli hall at the Queen Vic Market.  Irewarra sourdough is the best.  The baguette was chewy and dense as it should be.  The pretzel was amazingly chewy and all the more prized for being the last one in the stall.  I used to have the spinach and feta boreks from time to time.  They aren't quite as cheap as they used to be but they are huge and very filling compared to the ones I have being having near work lately.  And you might even spy another pair of bamboo socks.

Lastly I bought this spinach gnocchi in the deli hall.  It was such a beautiful green colour.

I was searching for something for dinner and came across Smitten Kitchen's Skillet Ravioli with Spinach.  There was no ravioli in the house but I had that packet of spinach gnocchi in the freezer.  It worked pretty well but was slightly mushy from defrosting in the pan.  Topped with garlicky spinach and lots of parmesan and just a little mozzarella.  Then crisped up under the grill.  Sylvia Delicious, even if a little rich.  And I was pleased Sylvia had some too.

It had been a while since we had browsed the centre aisles of an Aldi supermarket.  But when you leave your purse at a clinic and have to return for it the next day, a touch of Aldi does the trick!  We even ventured outside the middle aisle to try some Aldi brand Tim Tams, salted pretzel chocolate (really good) and reed infusers to make the house smell a bit nicer!

This is our dessert platter we put together for the Grand Final.  Lamingtons cut into triangles like my nan used to do, lots of chocolates, pear, banana, strawberries, caramel popcorn and some garnishes from the garden!  It was pretty amazing.  And there was no need for making dinner with all the leftovers of two platters.  In fact they lasted longer than that!

We had a day trip to Daylesford while I was on leave so we could visit the Sunday market.  It is so long since I have been there.  We bought a jar of black garlic salt.  It smells amazing but I am yet to use it.  I am still not sure how to use it.  Pasta?  Risotto?  Dips?  Any suggestions?

Also at the market were these lovely wooden carved roses.  They even sprayed them with scent so they smell amazing.  And we had twister potatoes from one of the food vans.  There was a queue and we were lucky to get the last ones.  Then we went to the juice van where Sylvia got oj and I had an apple and blackberry juice icy pole.  Great for a nice sunny day out of town.

Let's finish with my purchase with my Readings gift cards that my colleagues gave me as a farewell gift.  Readings is a favourite bookstore that I have been visiting for decades.  Firstly I made a beeline for Jarvis Cocker's Good Pop Bad Pop that sounds like a delightful ramble through his detritus.  And then I found Van Demonians by Janet McCalman.  She writes such insightful and interesting Melbourne history.  I also bought a very nice block of fingerlime chocolate and a New Yorker card that took my fancy.

I am sending this post to Sherry of Sherry's Pickings for the In My Kitchen event.  If you would like to join in, send your post to Sherry by 13th of the month.  Or just head over to her blog to visit more kitchens and her wonderful hand drawn header.