Saturday, April 2, 2011

Cajun Mushroom Soup

This recipe caught my eye because in its omnivorous incarnation it was billed as "mock turtle soup." This sounded promising, but I soon learned that since turtles are hard to find outside of Louisiana they had been replaced with veal. There was even a note in the margin saying "no reptile was harmed in the making of this mock turtle soup." Oh, good. So, a calf was taken from its mother, kept in the dark in a confinement pen, feed an iron deficient diet, and slaughtered at a young age; but at last the turtles got a pass! This recipe is an experiment in using seaweed to keep a seafood-like stock, which I think worked very well. The original recipe also called for diced hard boiled eggs which I replaced with some tofu and black salt. Feel free to leave this out and just add more mushrooms.

Seaweed Stock
- 8 cups water
- about 1 cup seaweed (I had dulse on hand , but you could use kombu)
- 2 nori sheets, crumbled

1. Bring all ingredient to a boil in a stockpot. Cover and simmer for 30 mins. Remove from heat and strain.

Mushroom Soup
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1 large yellow onion, small dice
- 2 celery stalks, small dice
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp minced fresh thyme
- 1 tsp paprika
- cayenne pepper to taste
- 1/2 lb oyster mushrooms, washed and roughly chopped
- 1/2 lb shitake mushrooms, sliced
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 2 clove garlic, chopped
- 2 cup minced fresh tomatoes (chop as finely as you can)
- 6 cups seaweed stock
- 1 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp vegan oyster sauce
- 1 cup tofu, small dice
- black salt (or regular) and pepper to taste
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions
- 1/2 cup dry sherry

1. Heat the oil in a stock pot over med-hi heat. Add the onion, celery, bay leaves, thyme, paprika, and cayenne and cook, stirring frequently, until tender and golden brown (about 10 mins). Add mushrooms and cook until just beginning to release their water. Add flour, mix well, and cook for 5 mins (add a splash more oil, if needed).
2. Add garlic, tomatoes, seaweed stock, sauces, and tofu. Mix well, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for about an hour.
3. If the soup is too thick, add more stock. If too thin, add some tomato paste. Taste and adjust all seasonings as you see fit.
4. Add lemon juice, parsley, and green onions and simmer for 30 mins. Remove bay leaves, stir in sherry, adjust seasonings one last time and serve with crusty bread.


Gypsytrill said...

I am going to try this but w/out the nori and other seaweed, cuz I hate it. I'll just use regular veggie broth. Also going to leave out the bay leaf, because I hate them too. But everything else sounds great! :-)

Gypsytrill said...

I am going to make this without the nori and seaweed broth, and without the bay leaf, cuz I hate them. I'll just use regular veggie broth instead. Everything else sounds great! :-)

Studio Vegetarian said...

Oh my goodness, this sounds sooo delicious! I will have to make this, if I can figure out where to find vegan oyster sauce!

Shear Sensations said...

nothing better than some great soup...just add some crusty homemade bread and its to die for.

Keri - I Eat Trees said...

This soup looks fantastic!

ReneeMBM said...

Interesting! It's like Japanese-Cajun fusion cuisine. I'll have to try this one. Thanks.

The Vegan Snorkeler said...

This soup sounds amazing! I love the seafood taste that seaweed gives to dishes. Do you have trouble finding vegan oyster sauce? I can't seem to find any around here.

Tamara said...

Fabulous recipe! Love the addition of seaweed! I'll be trying this one out later in the week for sure. Thanks for the great post!

Sue in Ohio said...

Couldn't agree more about the veal.....looking forward to trying the recipe.
Sue in Ohio

Elisabeth said...

What a great idea for a soup! The note about reptiles reminds me a similar note that I have seen on some canned fish (or canned fish soup, I cannot remember). "No dolphins were harmed", but what about the fish that was in the can? The fish was killed, but as long as dolphins weren't killed it makes it O.K. for some people.

Happy Go Lucky Vegan said...

I love following your blog because your recipes are always a great meal for the whole family - the Mushroom Soup in particular sounds savory and delicious.

Lauren said...

This looks great! I am a huge soup fan and love anything with Mushrooms. The more the better!

BrokenJawed Muse said...

You do realize that very few veal calves are actually crated any more, right? And the ones that are turned into milk veal are impossible for the average consumer to buy. It's akin to prime grade beef, restaurants snatch it up before the consumers even have a chance.

So most veal is simply baby beef. Nothing that different from lamb.

I love your vegan recipes. But get your facts straight, okay? No reason to be militant.

Vegan Dad said...

Saying that veal is cruel is hardly being militant, crate or not.

Get Skinny, Go Vegan. said...

I haven't looked for so long for vegan oyster sauce! When I looked a decade ago, there was none!
Is this something that is at Whole Foods now? What brand is this?

Um, and Mr. Veal Man, really, does it even matter?

Hm....maybe I should go eat a human's babies and see if anyone gives a flying f***!

Vegan Dad said...

A story about veal in today's Columbus Dispatch (with crates)

todd said...

We didn't find vegan oyster sauce, even at Whole Foods... BUT... I'm making the soup as I write this, and holy cow it smells absolutely delicious!!! Thanks Vegan Dad! My wife and I check your blog every week when we're making grocery lists. You have wonderful recipes. =)

Lisa said...

Mock turtle soup is famous from the Alice books. Tenniel drew the Mock Turtle character as a turtle with the head, feet and tail of a calf.

The chapter about the Mock Turtle is here ( and it's worth reading (though all of Alice is worth reading).

The soup you made looks great, and I will try to make it sometime.