This month was my turn to host No Croutons Required, and because I adore mushrooms so much, I asked for a soup or salad that focuses on these succulent bites. I've been a vegetarian for over 20 years and I haven't missed meat since giving it up. I also don't go for faux meat products. Mushrooms are rather meaty though, and if you find yourself missing that texture that you may once have enjoyed, skip the products that try to masquerade as meat and try one of these dishes. Thanks to everyone who submitted a recipe this month. As usual, they are all lovely, but please do cast your vote in the comment section or via email to help us crown a winner. Please do note that my submission is not eligible for the vote.
First up is this lovely Low Calorie Cream of Mushroom Soup from Fiona posting at London Unattached. Autumn is arriving and it's that time when we crave comforting soups. Here, we have a version that is easier on the waistline but surely not lacking in flavor. Mushrooms of any variety that you crave, both fresh and dried, are combined here with shallots, quark, parsley and seasoning. I certainly wouldn't have much trouble eating a few healthy bowls of this blended soup.
Next up is Lauren of Raw Lau with this heavenly Raw Mushroom Soup. This bowl is just packed with goodness and flavor. Described as "a green smoothie moonlighting as a bowl of delicious creamy soup", combined are white button mushrooms, portobellos, cashews, garlic, ginger, tamari, avocado, lemon juice and greens. This luxurious mixture is then pureed in a blender with some warm water and garnished with parsley and pepper. I feel healthy just reading about it.
Shaheen of Allotment 2 Kitchen serves up this warming and filling bowl of Chestnut Mushroom and Barley Broth. How could I resist chestnut mushrooms, onion, barley, carrot, garlic, tamari and chickpeas all nestled into the same dish? Certainly a well balanced vegetarian meal that surely will be appearing on my table soon. Adore the photo too.
Janet of the Taste Space is up next with this glorious Holy Shiitake Lentil Soup. I've always maintained there has never been a mushroom that I've met that didn't fill me with joy. Shiitakes and oyster mushrooms steal the show here, with lentils making their presence known along with kale, balsamic vinegar, rosemary, and garlic. Any mushroom would be just fine in this earthy soup no doubt. The blend of flavors here would have me going for a second bowl.
After some warming soups, you may want to try some salad. Katie has just the thing with her Couscous Salad with Mushrooms. Designed to be part of a lunchbox meal, I would gladly eat this anytime of day. Button mushrooms, leek, courgette and yellow pepper are dressed with olive oil, lemon juice and black pepper and then tossed with little gems of couscous and toasted almonds. Served with a mixed salad and coleslaw, you truly couldn't go wrong. Power packed and bursting with goodness.
I didn't get a chance to come up with anything new this month due to time constraints, but I am sure you will agree that this luscious Creamy Thai Coconut Mushroom Soup is worth serving up again and again. It's certainly one of my favorites. Fresh and dried mushrooms with shallots, galangal, carrots and lemongrass are fried up and then simmered with bean sprouts, coconut milk and stock, tamari, kaffir leaves, paprika, and homemade red curry paste . Rice noodles are then stirred in for even more texture and flavor, along with lime juice and scallions. It's a long list of ingredients, but absolutely worth the effort and easier than you might think at first glance.
Our final entry is from Ruth of Makey-Cakey. Here we an intriguing Stale Bread Creamy Mushroom Soup. Stale bread soup might not sound appealing we are told, but after looking at the photo and reading through the post, I think it would be delightful and Ruth assures us it is. Slices of stale whole meal bread come together with some onions, mushrooms, corn, oat milk and and some seasoning. It's very creamy without any dairy added and that's a bonus if you are a vegan.
Jacqueline will be hosting the October 2013 edition of No Croutons Required. Check back at the beginning of the month for the theme.