Quick, Easy & Tasty Vegan Mushroom Soup (& Not a Drop of Milk in Sight!)

I love organic mushrooms. They are one of my must-haves on every weekly shopping list. I like different types but especially chestnut mushrooms. I like the firm, ‘meaty’ texture.  This week we had a glut, 2 weeks’ worth, as I’d been doing a juice cleanse and we forgot to cancel them. Most of them were little button mushrooms.

I really fancied some soup yesterday and thought I would try using some of them. I swithered about whether or not to use coconut milk and make a creamed soup, but really I just wanted it plain and simple, the milk felt too rich for my stomach. So here’s what I came up with. It’s not for the purists – the real chefs – I’m sure, but I loved it.

It’s quick and easy with only 2 ingredients apart from the oil and the seasoning. The only thing that may need adjusting is the salt levels: there is salt in the celery, tamari, stock cube and miso. We used 1 Tbsp of Miso but I’ve reduced it to a teaspoon in the recipe. I’m not even sure it needs it at all, I added it for the nutrients as much as for the flavour.

Miso paste is made from fermented soya beans and is a good source of probiotics (to keep the gut healthy), Vitamin K for bone health, copper, manganese and zinc as well as dietary fibre.

Chestnut Mushrooms are high in copper and vitamin B5 and are a source of B2, B3 and folate as well as potassium and selenium.

Celery is also an excellent source of vitamin K, and is a very good source of folate, potassium, dietary fibre, manganese and B5. It’s also a good source of vitamin B2, B6, copper, vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and vitamin A.

So all in all, this soup is very good for you (adjust the sodium if you need to keep it low).

Serves 2.

All ingredients organic, vegan and gluten-free.



1 Tsp Coconut Oil

Approx. 350g/13oz Chestnut Mushrooms, washed and skin left on

Celery Stalk, scrubbed


Mushroom Stock Cube + approx. 450-500mls Hot Water

2 Tsps Cornflour + a drop of Cold Water to mix

1 Tsp Miso Paste + a drop of the soup to mix

 Black Pepper


Chop the celery finely and most of the mushrooms roughly, reserving a few small whole ones for garnish.

Dissolve the stock cube in the water.

Melt the oil till hot but not smoking.

Place all the celery and mushrooms in the oil, a little at a time, stirring to keep them moving.

Add a couple of splashes of tamari and a few twists of black pepper.

Stir again.

Place the lid on and leave to cook on a low heat for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove the whole button mushrooms and leave them aside.

Add the stock, stir, replace the lid and cook for about 35-40 minutes, making sure the celery is cooked. Stir a couple of times. Don’t boil it, just let it cook gently.


Add a little cold water to the cornflour and stir until smooth, add a spoon of soup to the mix then add it into the pan and stir on the heat until the soup is slightly thickened.

Add the miso paste then blend with a stick blender.

Add more black pepper if required.

Serve with a few button mushrooms on top.


Copyright: Chris McGowan

Zoodles with Garlic Mushrooms, Beansprouts & Lemon Avocado & Pine Nut Dressing

The title pretty much describes the recipe. This is a light, quick meal conjured up when I wasn’t feeling very hungry but knew I needed to eat something or I would be hungry during the night. As usual, once I began eating I was glad I had made the effort to come up with something to stimulate my appetite.

First, we spiralised a small Courgette (zucchini) and arranged it on the plate. (see Spiralising: A Great Way to Get Your Kids to Eat Their Greens, Reds, Yellows …)

Next, the avocado dressing was prepared in a small chopper: we had no fresh avocado so we used some from the freezer – did you know you can freeze stoned and peeled avocado? We use it to blend with freshly extracted juices.

For one person, blend 1/4 – 1/2 Avocado, a good squeeze of Lemon Juice, a little Water, some Pine Kernels and Black Pepper. Season with a little Pink Himalayan Salt if liked.

I love Chestnut Mushrooms and we seemed to have rather a lot that needed using. So about 7 or 8 were washed, stalked and chopped in quarters before the whole lot was tossed in a teaspoon of Coconut Oil with some crushed Garlic and lightly stir-fried with Tamari.

The mushrooms were placed on the top of the zoodles. The avocado dressing in the middle, a reserved mushroom on top. We had some Mung Beans sprouting and we scattered some over the rest of the food. (See Sprouting for Health, Energy and the Environment!)

It was finished off with more black pepper.

It doesn’t look very exciting, but it tasted good and was surprisingly satisfying. Raw food is more filling than cooked, with plenty of fibre and nutrients to keep you healthy. Avocado is the ultimate in healthy convenience food with its protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and fibre. (See Raw Energy).

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Warm Apricot & Ginger Rice Salad with Tamari-Splashed Garlic Mushrooms

imageThis was born on a very chilly, wet and windy July day a few days after I had finished a 7 day juice challenge. I had been having salads since, and this was my first fully cooked meal. I wanted something light but warming – it didn’t feel at all like summer – but we had a lot of summer vegetables and fruit so we decided to combine a little of both with some filling and nourishing basmati rice and served with large chestnut mushrooms lightly stir-fried with crushed garlic and tamari.


Once the rice has been soaked for an hour, the preparation and cooking only takes about half an hour from start to finish.

All ingredients are organic and measurements are as always approximate.

Have a warm dish and a warm plate ready to serve.


1 Cup Basmati Rice, soaked for an hour, rinsed and drained. Cook as normal.

While rice is cooking, prepare:

1-2 or 3 thin slices of Ginger – depending how spicy you want it -chopped finely

1-3 Spring Onions, depending how big or small they are, sliced

5-6 Sugar Snap Peas or Mangetout, sliced

2″ of Courgette/Zucchini, chopped

Floret of Broccoli, thinly sliced

3″ of Carrot, shaved

1/2 Cup Sweetcorn

A few Small Broad Beans

3 Large Chestnut Mushrooms with Stalks separated per person, whole

1 Large Garlic Clove

2 Tsps Coconut Oil


Black Pepper

Lightly toasted Pine Nuts

1 Fresh Apricot, sliced

A few Sprouted Mung Beans (optional)


Just before rice is cooked:

Heat 1 Tsp oil each in 2 frying pans

In one, lightly stir-fry all the ingredients on the list up to the mushrooms.

In the other, stir-fry the whole mushrooms and stalks with a crushed clove of garlic and a couple of splashes of Tamari.

Keep everything slightly undercooked with a bite to it.

Place cooked ice in a hot dish and fluff it up with a fork to release the steam. Add some black pepper.

Lightly mix in the stir-fried vegetables, top with, mung bean sprouts, sliced apricot and toasted pine nuts. Place the garlic mushrooms on a hot plate


The mushrooms have a salty, meaty texture giving you something satisfying to chew.

Copyright: Chris McGowan