Sunday, December 25, 2011

Hungarian Mushroom Soup From "The Vegan Slow Cooker" for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

Hungarian Mushroom Soup is a favorite of mine. It has made two other appearances at Souper Sundays, (The New Moosewood Cookbook version, and my favorite from Old Wives' Tales restaurant in Portland, OR). So when I saw a version of the Moosewood recipe in The Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Kathy Hester, I knew I had to try it.

This version uses cashew cream in place of the normal sour cream. I have used cashew cream in sauces both sweet and savory, and as a base for curry, but never in a soup and I was curious on how similar it would be to the soup I know and love.

Kathy Hester says, "There is a special place in my heart for Mollie Katzen. I taught myself how to cook from her Moosewood Cookbook. This is one of her recipes that I have veganized and adapted to the slow cooker. It is a thick, super-creamy, earthy treat on a cold winter's night. It's also one of my most requested soups."

Hungarian Mushroom Soup
By The Vegan Slow Cooker by Kathy Hester
(Yield: 4 Servings)
Total Prep Time: 15 minutes / Total Cooking Time: 6 to 8 hours

For the Cashew Sour Cream:
3/4 cup (100 g) raw cashews
1/2 cup (120 ml) water
juice of 1/2 lemon

For the Soup:
2 Tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
1 medium-sized onion, minced
2 packages (10 oz or 280 g each) mushrooms, chopped
2 cups (470 ml) water
1/2 Tbsp (3 g) vegan chicken-flavored bouillon
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
1 to 2 Tbsp (4 g) minced dill (to taste), plus extra for garnish
2 Tbsp (14 g) paprika

The Night Before:
To make the sour cream: Combine the cashews, water, and lemon juice in a blender or food processor and purée until fairly smooth. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

To make the soup: Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until they begin to brown and give off their liquid, 8 to 10 minutes, Store in a separate airtight container in the fridge.

In the Morning:
Combine the sautéed vegetables, water, bouillon, lemon juice, salt and pepper, dill, and paprika in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Add the sour cream and stir to combine. Adjust the seasonings to taste. Garnish the bowls of hot soup with extra dill.

Recipe Ideas and Variations: Don't have any cashews on hand? Use the same amount of silken tofu instead. It makes a great non-dairy sour cream, too!

Notes/Results: Excellent--as much flavor and creaminess as the original, but dairy-free and filled with more nutritional benefits than sour cream. Of course cashew cream is not low fat, but most of the fat is the healthier kind and there is about a 1/4 cup of it per serving of soup so not too bad. I plan to play around with it in more soups. This is a soup you could serve to anyone and they would have no idea it didn't contain dairy. I had a feeling I would like this soup so I doubled the recipe--plus mushrooms were on sale this week. I used low sodium veggie stock in place of the bouillon and added an extra cup of water and put my cooker on for 8 hours. It was nice to come home to a delicious-smelling kitchen and just have to mix in the cashew cream and have dinner ready to go. I would make this again.

I am sending this tasty soup to Cookbook Sundays, an event created by my friend Sue at Couscous and Consciousness and celebrating using all those cookbooks we all have stacked around. Check out her blog for the links to some tasty dishes and great cookbooks.

It's a little quiet this Christmas Day in the Souper Sunday kitchen, but we do have two glorious soups, a colorful salad and some delicious burgers on this busy holiday weekend.

Joanne from Eats Well With Others has a healthy, hearty Curried Eggplant Soup to help stay on track during a holiday week of eating. She says, "'s not the one slice of cake that's going to do the damage. It's all of chocolate and the cookies and the peanut butter I'm going to eat afterward that do. To combat that, this week. I planned. I planned light dinners on days that I knew that there would be lunch out. Lots of exercise on nights that I knew would involve birthday cake. And it worked. Fancy that. One of those light dinners was this curried eggplant soup. It's sweet and spicy and has a lot of staying power due to the white beans that are pureed into it and all the fiber from the eggplant and apple that are mixed in there as well. (Yes, there's an apple in it. Trust me. It's a good move.) And, um. Minus the feta I threw on top for photogenic-izing purposes. It's vegan."

Janet from The Taste Space has a soup and a salad to share this week. About her seasonally colorful Christmas Eve Borscht (or Barszcz) she says, "Polish barszcz has numerous variations, but the vegetarian version is commonly reserved for Christmas Eve. With the bloody blazing red beets you have a very festive soup with the dilly green accent. This version, tinkered from Rebar, makes a huge pot of soup filled with vegetables – beets, cabbage, carrots and tomatoes – and white beans for good measure. Lemon juice and balsamic vinegar add that necessary tang, a key feature in Polish barszcz. Traditionally, the soup was aged to get that acidic tang. Sounds like a project to tackle in the new year. ;)"

Janet's salad is this Garlic-Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale Salad with Pomegranate. She says, "First of all, let me apologize for the less-than-stellar photos. That’s the sacrifice for making a new recipe for guests away from home. Trust me, though, that the salad is stellar. Wilted kale. Garlic roasted butternut squash. Pomegranate arils. Smothered with a lemony vinaigrette. Oh so festive with a green base and sparkly red jewels. ... It is hard to muck up a salad with such delicious ingredients, so add what you like. :) This made a ton of food, and the beauty of kale salads is that the leftovers are just as good… which is what I brought home to photograph for you. ;)"

We have one luscious sandwich submission from Foodycat, these Burgers with Dan Lepard's Slider Buns. She says, "We were just having burgers for dinner at home, so I made large buns, not dainty little slider buns. I also didn't have an egg so I glazed them with milk. My burger patties were made from an equal quantity of bison mince and 12% fat beef mince, with a little chopped garlic and salt and pepper mixed in. I usually just do salt and pepper, but Paul particularly wanted garlic in them. They certainly don't need anything else added. I split the buns, piled in some shredded lettuce and topped with a cooked burger, with some mature cheddar melted on, and a good spoonful of chilli relish."

Thanks to Joanne, Janet & Foodycat for joining 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.

Happy Holidays, & Merry Christmas.

Have a healthy, happy week!


  1. Merry Christmas, Deb! Your mushroom soup looks so hearty and rich with flavor. I love the idea of a cashew cream..very intriguing.

    A short but delicious roundup in the kitchen today. I love the looks of that kale salad.

  2. Oh my goodness--I want to try every single one of these recipes.

    I love making mac and "cheese" with cashews instead of dairy, so I know I would love that "sour cream" mushroom soup.

    Merry Christmas!

  3. This is definitely a soup I could love. Especially love the idea of the cashew cream - I could imagine using that in all sorts of applications.

    Thanks so much for sharing this with Cookbook Sundays xo

  4. That soup looks really good! I sent you a burger for Souper Sunday!

  5. I've been wanting to experiment with nut creams more. This looks great!

    Belated Merry Christmas love! Thanks for hosting such a short but sweet roundup!

  6. Oh my gosh...that looks rich and fantastical!

  7. Oh Boy, I do love a good mushroom soup, and this one sounds like a keeper. Getting a slow cooker has been on my "maybe buy" list, and you maybe put me over the top here. Now to find room for one.

  8. Hermosas y deliciosas propuestas lucen tentadoras,abrazos y felices fiestas,hugs,hugs.

  9. I made this soup for a non-vegan Hungarian friend and he said it was just like his mother's! I added small dill dumplings as well.

  10. Yum!!! thanks for sharing the recipe.

  11. Soup looks and sounds yum! My daughter would love this soup.


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