This recipe began with a challenge from my husband - he'd been in the city and had stopped in at the Ferry Building Marketplace where he soon found himself at the Far West Fungi shop. He came home with a pound each of oyster and shiitake mushrooms which he ceremoniously handed to me and said "Battle Mushroom." I made a simple soup that we both loved - one that I've been wanting to recreate ever since. When I went to my favorite little market yesterday and saw oyster mushrooms for only $3.99 a pound I knew that despite the hot weather, it was time for Battle Mushroom II.
For this soup you will need:
1 pound oyster mushrooms, stems removed and coarsely chopped
1 pound crimini mushrooms, stems removed and coarsely chopped
6 heads garlic
32 oz vegetable broth
32 oz plain unsweetened soy milk
2 T. nutritional yeast
fresh thyme and rosemary
salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar
I based the soup on the garlic cream sauce from the Millenium cookbook. Start with six (yes, six!) heads of garlic and cut about an inch off the top. Place in a small baking dish and sprinkle with fresh thyme and rosemary, then add one cup vegetable broth.
Cover tightly with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 11/2 hours until soft and lightly browned, let cool.
In the meantime, toss the chopped mushrooms with some olive oil (or spray oil), salt, pepper and a few splashes of balsamic vinegar. Spread out on a lightly oiled jelly roll pan. You don't want anything too deep or the mushrooms will just steam, not roast. These will roast in a 450 degree oven for about 45 minutes (it's a good idea to stir them up once or twice). I have two ovens so I can braise the garlic and roast the mushrooms at the same time using different temperatures. If you have one oven you could probably meet in the middle (400 degrees) and do both at the same time.
Once the garlic has cooled and you can handle it, squeeze out all the softened garlic into a blender. Add as much soymilk as will fit plus the nutritional yeast. Blend until all the garlic is incorporated. Put this into a large pot and add the rest of the soy milk and the remaining 3 cups of vegetable broth. Heat this up and once the mushrooms are finished add about half of the mushrooms to the pot. I used my immersion blender to blend this together and then added in the rest of the mushrooms. If the people in your household aren't crazy about mushrooms, particularly their texture, you can blend all of it - or none of it. Once everything is added you will need to season with salt and pepper.
The garlic flavor is mellow and tastes like a soup made with cream and butter. I baked bread (again) and this time made individual rolls topped with gomasio (sesame seeds and sea salt). Hubby's reaction was "this is good, will you make it every day?" :-)