Thursday, March 17, 2011

Creamy Mushroom and Tomato Soup

Wednesday was another slow morning at our house though not nearly as slow as Tuesday thankfully. I think the change of seasons is having an impact on our sleeping patterns but I am not sure what is causing the problem.

Breakfast for both of us was kale today. Dan had his favorite kale and banana smoothie.

I had grapefruit juice with kale one of my new favorite breakfast foods.

Lunch was a bowl or anasazi beans from the prior day over quinoa.

Once it was time to make dinner I realized that we hadn’t had mushrooms in a few days. I knew I needed to rectify this situation immediately and decided to make soup with a lot of mushrooms. Before I realized we needed mushrooms I was thinking of cream of tomato soup and decided to combine the two into one soup. When I cook I always start with the base and then flavor the soup depending on what mood I am in. This soup seemed as though it needed a little Dijon to add a spark of flavor to the background. Additionally I also added thyme since that plays well with mushroom and tomato. If you don’t have raw cashews on hand you can use walnuts instead. Also if you want a more creamy soup you can add more nuts and oats. Here is what I did:

Creamy Mushroom and Tomato Soup
Serves 4 or 2 really hungry adults


4 cups dried shitake mushrooms that have been rinsed
6 cups water to soak the mushrooms
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
8 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
1 quart (32 ounces) peeled, diced tomatoes (I used no salt)
½ cup raw cashews (combine with the dry oats in your blender and process into “flour”)
¼ cup oats
Dijon mustard, to taste (I used approximately one heaping tablespoon)
dried thyme, to taste (I used approximately one teaspoon)
freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Combine the dried mushrooms and water and bring to boil. Allow the mushrooms to steep (soak) in the hot liquid until they are tender (at least 30 minutes). Removed the mushrooms from the soaking liquid and give them a rough chop if the brand you purchased is too large for your taste. Some people like the mushrooms to be in perfect whole slices (Alicia) others (Dan) prefer them cut small. ;-) Either way it will still taste the same.

Place the mushrooms in a large soup pot. Strain the mushroom soaking liquid through a fine wine strainer (chinois) or a regular strainer lined with a few layers of damp cheese cloth or one layer of damp natural (no chlorine) paper towel.

In your blender combine the raw cashews and dry oatmeal and process until they resemble flour. Add 2/3 to ¾ of the mushroom soaking liquid and process until everything is combined. Pour this into the soup. Use the remaining mushroom liquid to clean the blender and add that to soup pot. Now add the remaining ingredients except the mustard, thyme and pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the soup begins to thicken (this will happen when it comes to a low bubble). Now add the mustard, thyme and black pepper to your taste. I started with the mustard, got that right then added the thyme and finally the black pepper.

Nutritional Information (assumes 4 servings):

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 299.83
Calories From Fat (26%) - 76.66

Total Fat - 9.16g
Saturated Fat - 1.79g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 80.24mg
Potassium - 1333.3mg
Total Carbohydrates - 53.54g
Fiber - 9.4g
Sugar - 10.31g
Protein - 9.91g

If you are looking for a nutritious soup for a cool night this is a good one assuming you like mushrooms and tomatoes. This would be good with fresh parsley on top (as we had it) or sprinkled with walnut parmesan. It would also be good with some baby spinach wilted in just be serving.

Happy thoughts:

Wednesday was another good day but a busy one. Here are my happy thoughts today:

• While my day was busy I did take time to listen to a webinar put on by Health Coaching U. It was interesting and gave me some things to think about. I try to remain open to new ideas and things that take me outside my comfort zone which I think keeps me young at least at heart. ;-) Thank you Teresa for sending me the link.

• I had time to finish reading Dr. Barnard’s latest book “21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart”. I hope to have time to write the review of that next week. As much as I try I seem to keep falling behind on things. *rolls eyes*

• It was good to get better rest Wednesday night than earlier than in the week. When you don’t sleep well it doesn’t tend to result in the best day.

• I liked the soup we had for dinner. It was tasty, filling and immunity boosting. Not a bad combination if I do say so myself.

• Thursday I made soymilk without my soymilk maker so that I could explain it to you. Since I had fresh soymilk I also made my own tofu today. Much to my surprise tofu is as easier to make as ricotta cheese and the flavor is more subtle and fresher. I will be making tofu a lot more often know that I know how easy it is. While I know I am a food geek I thought this experiment was very exciting. I will give you all the details tomorrow.

Signing out:

It is much later than it should be so I need sign out. My day got away from me today but it was very productive. I think you will enjoy hearing about it tomorrow.


  1. Ali,
    Your soup sounds perfect. I love the cashews and oats for the creaminess. I haven't had dried shiitakes since we came back fro Hawaii and haven't been to Costco. I need to remember to pick some up somewhere.
    Thanks for sharing! xo

  2. Well, to no surprise, that soup looks so good to me. Love love mushrooms. And those beans over the quinoa - simple but hearty. Love that. I never thing to just do beans simply.

  3. Hi Ali. I know what you mean about feeling a bit sleepy. I think changing the clocks has something to do with it for me. Still trying to make up for that lost hour!

    I look forward to reading your review of Dr Barnard's book. My copy is on its way from Wisconsin Public Radio, so I will get to read your review first.

    Mmmm, I do love mushrooms like this. Have a great weekend!


  4. Aimee,

    I use raw cashews and oats often for the creaminess. That is also the base of my vegan queso that is very popular with omnis.

    Dried shitakes I buy from our local Asian market. I get the dried mixed mushrooms from Costco.

    I hope you have have a great Friday,

  5. Heather,

    You do love your mushrooms! It is nice when something we like is also good for us isn't it?

    I haven't been much in the cooking mood lately. Probably because the weather is changing and I want to spend more time outside. ;-)

    It is almost the weekend, I hope you have something fun planned,

  6. Colleen,

    Duh! The clocks changing why didn't I think of that? You may be on to something. Thanks for suggesting that as an issue. LOL

    The book was very well done. I liked it so much it went on my next Amazon order. I think you will like it.

    enjoy your weekend,

  7. Combining raw cashews and oats to make a "flour" is pure genius! I have always had a question about which type of flour to use as thickner as I am reducing my consumption of wheat- so whole wheat pastry flour is out, oat flour is well... too "oaty" by itself and quinoa and/or spelt flour can be hit or miss...

    Some of the fatigue folks are experiencing could be due to the upcoming Full Moon on Saturday the 19th, should be one of the biggest ones in 20 years (as far as appearance)....I enjoy your blog alot!


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