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It's October in Maine and I don't know about y'all but... I'm freezing already. I'm a summer guy, and though I can admit that autumn in Maine is easy on the eyes, it's not so easy on the immune system (or my skin!). I've been hearing about people coming down with colds and fighting allergies, so when I found some maitake AKA hen of the woods mushrooms at work -- best bet I went to the soup drawing board.
For the most part I eat vegetarian (pescatarian, meaning I eat seafood, is more accurate a description, though I try to limit myself) but I've always been interested in becoming vegan. I've been following a particularly enticing vegan food Instagram for a while now called Rabbit and Wolves (@rabbitandwolves on IG), and have always wanted a reason to try one of Lauren's "simple yet exceptional vegan" recipes. She makes vegan food look decadent as hell, but more importantly for me, she makes it easy for a not-so-experienced cook like myself to execute!
After going through a list of seductive vegan soup recipes, I found her instructions for Vegan Creamy Balsamic Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup. In the post, she explains how this is one of her comfort foods when fighting a cold. I figured this soup would at least warm me up a bit, but maybe even ward off any viruses that might be interested in making a home in my body.
I made a few tweaks to her recipe, I used:
-Big chunks of maitake mushrooms to be a bit more like chicken noodle soup, rather than shiitakes and baby bellas.
-Soy milk rather than almond (though I'd suggest almond, soy always seems to smell super sweet to me and throw off my taste buds a bit).
-A wild rice and quinoa mix rather than wild and brown rice.
-No lemons (just not a huge fan).
I'll tell you what: this soup is different, but delicious. It's warm, creamy, earthy but delicate, and I found it to be quite filling (probably from those huge chunks of hearty maitake!). The colors, textures, and smells reminded me of fall and Thanksgiving. It was so easy to find the ingredients and to make, and not pricey.
Drink pairing: a harvest shandy.
Music pairing: Iron and Wine.
Stay warm, both in your body and your heart!
PS if you're interested in building up your health for the winter, check out North Spore's mushroom extract tinctures and chaga tea.