I have unilaterally decided that February is Vegan Soup Month. I received a lovely soup tureen for Christmas and with the cold weather I have been making a lot of soups. I came up with a a quick and easy vegan soup base made with dried mushrooms and sauteed onions (similar to my ramen soup base), and from that recipe I’ve riffed several variations. Throughout the month of February I’ll be detailing those vegan soup recipes here.
The first of these recipes is the simplest one. Start by soaking some dried mushrooms in hot water. While they soak start sauteing half of a sliced onions in canola oil with salt and pepper over medium heat. Let them get nice and soft and brown, and once they do add the soaked mushrooms and the soaking liquid (there may be some grit at the bottom of the bowl, try not to get that into the soup). Season liberally with soy sauce and then add several cups of water and bring the mixture to a boil. Let it simmer on low heat while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
Slice some king oyster mushrooms into half moons and brown them in some canola oil with salt, pepper, and some chili oil (if you like). Put these aside.
Boil some heavily salted water and blanch some Chinese broccoli. You could also use bok choy or even standard broccoli. After removing the broccoli from the water let it come to a boil again, and then boil some dried udon noodles. When they are just soft drain them and get them ready.
Strain the soup base to remove the onions and mushrooms, they’ve given up all the flavor they are going to give up. Check for seasoning — it may need more soy sauce for flavor. Return the strained broth to the pot and bring it to a boil again, then turn off the heat.
Add the noodles to the bottom of your serving bowl, then pour the hot broth over it. Garnish with the Chinese broccoli and the browned mushrooms, and serve while still piping hot.
This is a pretty straightforward broth, but it has lots of flavor. Next week we’lladd some more complexity to the broth.
Do you have a favorite vegan soup recipe? Leave it in the comments below.