Recipe: Meave’s ma’s fresh mushroom soup!  »

It’s cold and rainy in the Bay Area! But I am neither whining nor complaining about it; when you are having a life crisis and more depressed than usual, you should not question a legitimate reason to stay the hell in bed all day, you know?

Luckily, in addition to sleeping your feelings away, you can eat them! That’s why I present to you today my mother’s recipe for fresh mushroom soup. It is hearty and healthy and warming and filling, so you can eat an enormous bowlful (or two or three or however many) and not add to your reasons to weep. What I’m saying is, this soup is John Mackey-approved, i.e., choke it down and it won’t lose you your PLATINUM DISCOUNT.

The directions are copied nearly verbatim from my ma’s recipe cards, which she keeps in a recipe tin she got from mailing in Grape-Nuts proofs-of-purchase a long time ago, when I was a small girl and cereal companies made it worth your while to shell out for postage.

2 medium onions, chopped
2 Tbs. (plus a little extra) non-dairy butter
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
5 Tbs. uncooked barley
3 fist-sized potatoes, diced
3 cups water
3 1/2 cups plain unsweetened non-dairy milk

1. Saute the onions in the non-dairy butter (we like Earth Balance at my house) in a pan.

2. Add the mushrooms, a bit more non-dairy butter, and continue to saute another 10 minutes over a low heat.

3. Place the onions and mushrooms in a large pot. Add the barley, salt and pepper to taste, the potatoes, and the water. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes. More water can be added now and then.
N.B.: Up to this point, everything can be done the night before, in which case you perform step 4 just before you plan to eat the soup. If you’re cooking to eat it now, the 45 minutes have fragrantly passed.

4. Add the non-dairy milk (we used soy) and very slowly heat soup, stirring constantly, just to the brink of boiling. A bit more or less milk can be added, depending on how you like the consistency of soup. Serve sprinkled with fresh parsley.

I like mine sprinkled with nutritional yeast as well, but I am in the minority around here. My ma reports that this recipe can be easily doubled, but you might not need to because it really makes a lot of soup.

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