Creamy Mushroom Soup with Shiitake Bacon


Photo Credit: Peter Taylor

Serves 4

Braising mushrooms and onions in oat milk provides an opportunity to create a richly nuanced plantbased version of traditional cream of mushroom soup. And if you’ve never had Shiitake Bacon before, prepare to get addicted!

1 pound cremini mushrooms, washed, trimmed, and quartered

2 tablespoons plantbased unsalted butter

3 large shallots, peeled and quartered

2 cloves garlic

1/4 cup dry sherry

2 cups Califia Oat Barista Blend

3 sprigs of fresh thyme (reserve 1 sprig for garnish)

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1 cup Califia Unsweetened Better Half Creamer

1 cup Shiitake Bacon (recipe below)

Heat a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms to the dry pan and cook for 1-2 minutes to allow them to brown and evaporate any moisture. Lower the heat to medium and add the plantbased butter, shallots and garlic. Stir in ½ teaspoon of salt, and then pour the sherry over the shallots and mushrooms, stirring occasionally while the liquid steams and evaporates. Pour the Califia Oat Barista Blend into the pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then add 2 sprigs of thyme, reduce heat to medium low, and allow to simmer gently until the vegetables are very tender. Remove the pan from the heat, remove the sprigs of thyme, and stir in the remaining salt and pepper. Allow to cool for about ten minutes.

When the braised vegetables and liquid have cooled slightly, pour them into a blender and add the Califia Unsweetened Better Half Creamer (this can be done in batches). Purée until smooth and adjust to taste with salt and pepper as needed; if the soup is too thick, add more of the Califia Oat Barista Blend, 1/4 cup at a time, until it reaches a thinner consistency. Return the puréed soup to a medium saucepan and reheat, then serve garnished with Shiitake Bacon and fresh thyme leaves.

Shiitake Bacon

Makes 1-1.5 cups

12 ounces shiitake mushrooms caps (stems removed)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons soy sauce

Spray vegetable or olive oil

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Slice the shiitake mushroom caps thinly, then toss with the olive oil and soy sauce in a large bowl. Use a nonstick sheet pan or line a regular sheet pan with parchment paper. Spray the pan lightly with vegetable or olive oil, then spread the sliced shiitake mushrooms on top. Spray the tops of the mushrooms very lightly with oil, then bake for about 30 minutes, or until the slices become browned and crispy. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

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