I make a lot of recipes up off the top of my head. I dream them up at random times, like in the shower, and they stick with me just long enough to make it into the kitchen and begin crafting them. Then, I make the fatal mistake of not writing them down. Someone will want me to make it again and I’m at a complete loss, not only having forgotten what I did, but the inspiration for it is now a faint memory too.
So, as per usually this idea just popped into my head and then for several days I was fretting for an opportunity to make it. I borrowed some of the idea from another mushroom soup recipe I have and some of it from the concept behind gezpacho and some of it just kind of came together going through the cupboard and fridge.
The mushrooms can be substituted by any you prefer, we just happen to have the fresh creminis in the house and I’m very familiar with working with them. Roasting in the oven or a short toast in the broiler will also suffice but I really enjoy using the cast iron skillet and in this case it helped speed up the cooking process while reducing the overall heat in an already summer steamy apartment. As for some of the other ingredients although red onion was my preference again, you can use whatever you like for onions as well as the Zucchini can be subbed out for yellow crooked neck squash, English cucumber or your personal preference. As for the seeds, originally I thought we had leftover brown rice to include but when we didn’t have that or stale bread the next thing I came across was the flax. It has a lot of health benefits, acts as a natural thickener and provides a nutty undertone that supports well the roasted mushroom flavor. I guested on the flax amount honestly and didn’t measure at all, it was more, or less, eyeballing the consistency adding them in.
There’s a lot you can do with the spices as well to take the flavor in a number of different directions, this is simply a basis for creativity below.
Of course this is a meatless meal but you can easily add some smoked meat products to it to enhance the depth of flavor if you wanted, along with swapping out the veggie stock for beef and still end up with a nice dish. Furthermore, it’s served chilled because it was a super hot day, but warmed would work just as well.
I also wanted to note you could make nice homemade croutons for it, float some sliced and cooked mushroom pieces, or even add some regiano cheese or other dusting to the top of it when serving. It’s all about how you want to present it at that point. I used the pinenuts for this step.
Package of Baby bella mushrooms
half a red onion
extra virgin olive oil
apple cider vinegar
cracked black pepper
fresh grated ginger
toasted pine nuts
veggie stock (as necessary)
cast iron skillet with a cover
vessel to chill soup in
Preheat the cast iron skillet very lightly covering it in oil
Cut the onion into eighths and peel the layers apart
Clean the mushrooms and remove just the very bottom woody part of the stem
de-paper the garlic cloves
place the mushrooms stem down in the skillet and then cover with the onion and garlic
Offset the cover on the skillet so steam can escape and either place in hot oven or over medium heat on a rangetop
Cook until the onions begin to slightly caramelize and the mushroom bottom have taken on a rich, dark tone while the caps are softened
Turn everything once in the pan and begin to cook of the cap side of the mushrooms until they take on the same just shy of being charred roasted color
Remove them from the heat and let them begin to cool off, do not add them hot to the blender
Cube the cleaned Zucchini, you can leave the skin on or peel it
To the blender add a table spoon of olive oil plus cider vinegar, cracked black pepper, salt and then puree the Zucchini cubes into it
Add the flax seeds and stock and blend until you reach the desired consistency.
Add the onions and garlic and blend in the ginger, sage (or your preferred seasonings) and pulse till it just becomes smooth
Add the mushrooms and pulse till the mushrooms just begin to break down and everything comes together. If you like a smoother soup, puree the mushrooms completely, if you want slightly chunkier then pulse less.
Serve as noted above