Meatless Monday – Vegan creamy cashew nut mushroom soup

Tuck into this hearty, delicious, dairy-free soup. It will win the family over and get you through the last of winter. Use crispy sage leaves for added flavour.

Serves 4-6

You’ll need: 650g mixed cultivated mushrooms (big browns, portabellos, portabellinis, buttons etc.); 1 large onion, finely diced; 2 garlic cloves, minced; 2 Tbsp sherry vinegar; 1 Tbsp white miso paste; 1 Tbsp fresh sage leaves, minced; 1 litre vegetable or mushroom stock; ½ cup raw cashew nuts

Crispy sage leaves – 1 handful fresh sage leaves; ¼ cup olive oil

Olive oil, for cooking; salt and pepper, to taste

How to: 

  • Roughly chop the different mushrooms. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large Dutch oven or pot.
  • Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are golden brown and their moisture has evaporated. Scoop out a few golden brown mushrooms for topping the soup when serving. Set aside.
  • Add onion and cook until softened. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add vinegar and cook for two minutes. Pour in the stock, and bring to a gentle simmer.
  • Stir in the miso paste and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for five minutes for all the flavours to come together.
  • Place cashew nuts in the jug of a blender. Scoop out half of the soup and add it to the blender.
  • Begin blending at a very low speed and work up to high until the soup is completely smooth. (Be careful when blending hot liquids – make sure you allow the steam to escape out the top of the jug.)
  • Return the blended soup to the pot, and stir to combine. Taste to adjust seasoning.
  • Just before serving make some crispy sage leaves. Place the ¼ cup of olive oil in a small saucepan.
  • Heat until a test leaf sizzles immediately in the oil.
  • Fry a few sage leaves at a time until crisp, ± 10 seconds.
  • Transfer quickly with a fork, before they brown, to a tray lined with a paper towel.
  • Sprinkle generously with salt.
  • Serve the soup scattered with a few reserved mushrooms, crispy sage leaves and a fresh crack of black pepper. Enjoy!

* Recipe & image by The South African Mushroom Farmers’ Association.

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