One night a week, Jack goes to comedy class, which means it’s the night that I have all to myself. In lieu of doing anything productive, I usually eat toast for dinner in front of the computer and let myself go down a rabbit hole of Youtube videos. I watch what people eat in a day, I watch people who live in vans and make vegan food (#vanlife), I watch people who live in vans and make vegan food while raising young children, and I read the scroll of crazy judgy comments that come as a result of that lifestyle choice. By the time the night is over, I’ve had my fill of Youtube.
One person I’m happy to have discovered is Lauren Toyota of Hot for Food (go get her book, it’s awesome)… and through her videos/IG stories, I also came to know Timothy of Mississippi Vegan and his insanely gorgeous Instagram account. Later, Timothy and I connected because it turns out that we share the same book publisher.
Fast forward – his book, Mississippi Vegan – is out today(!) and it’s a stunner! It’s packed with primarily southern-inspired vegan recipes, and they all look so delicious! There’s vegan gumbo (four versions, actually), “sausage” biscuits, fried popcorn tofu po’boys, slow-cooked red beans & rice, and a ton more. I chose to make this Oyster Mushroom Soup. I suppose it’s not terribly southern, but it sounded ridiculously delicious, and it was!
I love brothy mushroom soups, and when I saw the ingredients for this one – lemongrass, ginger, miso, etc – I had to make it because it’s full of so many of my favorite things.
In the book, Timothy often uses unlikely ingredients to build rich umami flavors (kombu, various types of mushrooms, etc)… but he also mentions that you can still make the recipes if you don’t have one or two of the ingredients called for. After making this recipe, I can tell you that it’s packed with a ton of wonderful flavor, but it would absolutely still be delicious if you had tamari but no miso, or if you didn’t have kombu, or if you had cremini mushrooms instead of fancy oyster mushrooms.
This healing soup makes my soul so happy – it’s a great one to make now that the nights are getting colder.
Make this, and then go check out Mississippi Vegan!
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 cups chopped leeks, white part only
- 1 cup chopped celery
- ¼ cup minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons minced ginger
- 1½ tablespoons white miso paste
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- 5 cups filtered water
- 3 cups oyster mushrooms, sliced or torn (4 ounces)
- 2 cups peeled and julienned carrot (1 large)
- 5 dried bay leaves
- 1 stalk lemongrass, crushed with a rolling pin and minced
- 2 tablespoons tamari
- 1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1-inch piece dried kombu
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 8 ounces cubed tofu, optional
- Optional garnishes: scallions, sesame seeds and/or red pepper flakes
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and celery and saute until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger. Cook for another 5 minutes. Add the miso, garlic powder, and onion powder and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add the vegetable broth, water, oyster mushrooms, carrots, bay leaves, lemongrass, tamari, lemon juice, vinegar, and kombu. Mix well. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook for another 30 minutes.
- Season with freshly ground black pepper and add the tofu, if desired. Discard the bay leaves and kombu and serve. Serve with scallions, sesame seeds, and/or red pepper flakes, if desired.