Saturday, January 31, 2015

Creamy Red Lentil Mushroom Soup

I love soups! There is no sense hiding my soup love from the world. To add to that, I believe creating new soup recipes has become my specialty of sorts. In fact, I secretly dream of publishing a vegan soup cookbook in the near future. I made this Creamy Red Lentil Mushroom soup when my refrigerator content was depleted of goods. However, my refrigerator did contain a package of Baby Bella mushrooms and some raw slivered almonds, hence this soup creation. While I would like to remain humble about my culinary abilities, I do believe this soup is one of my best soup recipes yet. It is creamy, satisfying, and so freaking good for you. Try making it if you dare.

Aside from that, my other love currently is this winter season. I am sure you have heard about a gigantic snow storm enveloping Massachusetts. In Boston, Massachusetts where I reside, the snow was cumbersome at times, but mostly, it was beautiful.
The calm before the storm. View of Boston's Charles River. 
Sure there are snow mounds on the sidewalks making it difficult to walk, but I am willing to accept this burden for the sake of having snow. Peace out!
That's our car hidden in the snow blanket. By the way, I am wearing fake fur on my head. 
Creamy Red Lentil Mushroom Soup

1 tablespoon sunflower or vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 (24-oz package) Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup red lentils
1 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper, about 1/4 teaspoon
1 teaspoon dried dill
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast flakes
1 bay leaf
6 cups strong vegetable broth
1/2 cup raw slivered almonds or raw cashews for the cream, soaked in water for 2 to 3 hours
*See below for instructions on how to make almond or cashew cream.
Creamy Red Lentil Mushroom Soup
In a large soup pot, sauté the onion in oil over medium-high heat, for 3-4 minutes. Add mushrooms and continue sautéing for another 5-6 minutes. Add carrots, red lentils, all the spices and vegetable broth. Mix all of the ingredients in the soup pot, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to medium-low and cook for about 15-20 minutes until the lentils are cooked. The lentils should be almost mushy consistency. Turn off the heat and add the almond cream. See below for instructions on how to make almond cream. Mix in the almond cream and taste of additional seasonings. Serve with your favorite hunk of bread. Garnish with your favorite herb. I used parsley. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Big hunk of bread! 
Almond Cream Directions 
First soak the raw slivered almonds in water for 2-3 hours prior to making this soup. All you have to do is place 1/2 cup of raw slivered almonds in a medium bowl and completely submerge them with room temperature water. Follow the same directions if using cashews. Leave the soaking almonds on your counter. After 2-3 hours of soaking, drain the almonds and place them in a blender or a food processor with about 3-4 tablespoons of room temperature water. Blend until a very smooth consistency. That's it!
The almond cream adds a silky and rich flavor to this soup. 

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