Sunday, August 25, 2013

Grilled Portobello Mushroom Bisque: Made Dairy-Free for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

Some soups taste far better than their looks will have you believe. This Grilled Portobello Bisque would be one of them. There just isn't a lot you can do to make mushroom soup "pretty" besides put it in some colorful bowls to brighten up all the brown. This soup came from Fine Cooking. I was drawn to it when I saw it in an email but wanted to make it a bit healthier. Removing the butter and dairy and replacing them with vegan options reduces the calories, saturated fat and cholesterol but keeps all of the rich decadence of a good bisque. 

Fine Cooking says, "This fresh take on cream of mushroom soup gets deep flavor from grilled mushrooms, sun-dried tomato paste, and a dash of brandy."

Grilled Portobello Bisque 
Adapted from Judith Fertig, Fine Cooking Issue 124
(Serves 4)

4 medium portobello caps, wiped clean with a damp towel and gills scraped out with a table knife
olive oil, for brushing
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp unsalted butter (I used vegan Earth Balance butter stick)
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
2 Tbsp sun-dried tomato paste
1 cup lower-salt chicken broth (I used a low-salt veggie broth)
1-1/2 cups half-and-half (I used coconut non-dairy creamer)
2 Tbsp brandy
snipped fresh chives, for garnish
Asian chile oil, for garnish (optional)

Prepare a medium-high gas or charcoal grill fire. Brush the portobellos on both sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the portobellos gill side up until grill marks form on one side, about 3 minutes. Flip and continue to grill until  tender, about 2 to 3 minutes more. Finely chop the portobellos. (Note: I used a grill pan)

In a 3-quart saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute, then whisk in the broth and portobellos. 

Purée the soup in a blender until smooth. Return to the pot, add the half-and-half and stir over medium heat until hot, about 5 minutes. Add the brandy and salt and pepper to taste.

Serve garnished with chives and a few drops of chile oil, if you like.

Notes/Results: Rich and satisfying. The mushrooms add their earthiness, enhanced and slightly sweetened by the grilling. If you wanted to make this alcohol-free, you could omit the brandy, but it does add another level of flavor which is nice. This soup goes together really quickly and easily, making it great as a starter to a nice dinner. In fact, I think it would be a great way to use up any portobello leftovers after your next vegan grilling spree. ;-) I would make this again. 

We have some soups and salads waiting in the Souper Sundays kitchen, let's take a look.  

My pal Heather of girlichef is here with a big bowl of Food 'N Flix, Harry and Sally-inspired Smoky Chicken Paprikash Soup. She says, "I went back and forth on what I wanted to make, but in the end, I went with a spin on Chicken Paprikash. In the form of soup. I used smoked paprika and smoked sea salt, which lent a deep...well...smoky (duh)....flavor to the dish. I found it utterly addictive. And I ate it for every meal that followed until it was all gone." 

Sue of Couscous & Consciousness, my I Heart Cooking Clubs co-host and friend sends over creamy Tahini Soup and says, "My first impression when I tasted for seasoning before serving it was "pleasant enough, nice nutty flavour, but somewhat ordinary".  But, don't be fooled ... add the topping of toasted sesame seeds, smoky paprika, warming cayenne, and zesty lemon, along with a drizzle of the best quality extra virgin olive oil you can lay your hands on, and all of a sudden you have wow factor in spades.

Tigerfish of Teczcape - An Escape to Food shares this summery Arugula and Cucumbers Pasta Salad and says, "Yes to more salad-type one-dish meals, and more easy and light cooking. This is how summertime has changed our eating habits. In the hot summer days, a flavorful pasta salad that is easy to put together is definitely welcoming to the appetite which yearns for light and refreshing taste. What's better - a pasta salad that also stands as a main dish.

Kim, of Stirring the Pot, my friend and fellow IHCC host sends this full-of-flavor California Chopped Salad with Shrimp and says, "This salad is bursting with bright fresh flavor and hits all the notes that a good salad should.  You get the crispness form the lettuce and tortilla strips, the creaminess of the avocado, the smokiness from the grilled corn and zucchini, tender bites of sweet grilled shrimp, and the fresh flavor of juicy summer-ripe tomatoes.  This colorful salad gets tossed in a zingy and refreshing lemon vinaigrette that quite simply brings all the flavors to life."  

Thanks to everyone who joined in this week! If you have a soup, salad or sandwich that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sundays logo on the side bar for all of the details.

Note: Souper Sundays is posted a little early this week as I am picking up my best friend from junior high/high school at the airport to hang out here for a couple of days. If any entries come in after it posts, I will add them later tonight. ;-)

Have a happy, healthy week!


  1. The soup may be quite brown but it also sounds quite delicious! Love how you made it creamy without actual cream.

  2. www.teczcape.blogspot.comAugust 26, 2013 at 6:12 AM

    Your soups always look so good! SO smooth-looking and I am sure they taste delicious too.

  3. Couldn’t
    take my eyes off the pictures!! Now this is something really really delicious!!
    I loved this recipe of mushroom bisque, although I will make mine without alcohol. Well done!

  4. Thanks Purabi--I think it will still be delicious without the alcohol.


  5. Mahalo Tigerfish! ;-)

  6. The taste is definitely better than the color Joanne! ;-)


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