I’ve chosen a nurturing recipe this month – the plant based version of Chicken Soup. This is a nod to a local plant based legend, Derek Sarno of the Sarno Brothers, who lives in Welwyn Garden City and has developed the Wicked Healthy range for Tesco. A true pioneer and keen meditator, he’s on a mission to change how we view plant based foods, making them readily available, easy and innovative. He’s sometimes known as the mushroom man and this recipe, adapted from the Wicked Healthy website – check it out – is no exception.
The “chickn” is created by shredding King Oyster Mushroom stalks – taking a fork and running it along the stalks to create strips of the flesh (the heads are then sliced up). Tesco stocks King Oyster Mushrooms but if you can’t get them this recipe works as well with chopped oyster or shiitake mushrooms – it’s less “chicken-y” in texture but still really delicious.
I’m a massive fan of Naturya’s Mushroom SuperBlend which you can get from Holland and Barrett. A dessertspoon stirred through just before serving boosts the vitamin and mineral content although this recipe is already a big hitter as a source of vitamins A,C,D and K, iron and protein (plus iodine if you add the seaweed). Miso is also a nice addition. I’ve left the recipe “pure” – when we have this I add ginger, soy and chili but that’s just us!
Ingredients (Feeds 4)
- 8 King Oyster mushrooms, shredded (substitute Oyster and/or Shiitake if you can’t find them)
- 3 carrots, rough diced
- 3 celery stalks, rough diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4–5 cloves of garlic, rough chopped
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1-2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp granulated onion
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 Tbsp+ ‘chicken seasoning” (Check labelled vegan – add to taste)
- 6 tsp vegan bouillon powder or 2 Kallo vegetable stock cubes
- 1 cup noodles (Udon works well) or vegan pasta
- 1 cup white beans (cannelloni, borlotti or butter beans)
- 2 litres water
- stir in 2 handfuls of spinach, a handful of chopped parsley, – optional 1 tsp dry seaweed, 1 dessertspoon of Naturya Mushroom SuperBlend or Miso.
- Heat large soup pot on medium to high heat. Add oil, then carrots, onion, celery and garlic. Sauté for 3-4 minutes then add the shredded mushrooms. (To shred the mushrooms, run a fork along the stems so it comes away in long strips – the remaining mushrooms can be chopped).
- Add the bay leaf, paprika, turmeric, granulated onion, black pepper, ‘chicken’ seasoning and stir to coat evenly.
- Add the liquid, bouillon or stock cubes, and bring to a boil then add noodles and white beans to the pot, stir to combine and bring back to a boil then lower heat to simmer for 10 -15 minutes.
- Before serving, stir in the baby spinach, and parsley – and optional seaweed, mushroom blend or miso.