Spiced and Sour Mushroom Soup


Kelly Rossiter Photo
Kelly Rossiter

Difficulty Level Easy

I've been doing a lot of cooking with bacon and cream these days, and it's time to get back to something a little healthier. I was really looking for a soup that would be a bit of a palate cleanser after all the creamy fare, and an Asian style soup seemed the way to go. On the surface of it, this vegan soup doesn't seem particularly hearty, but it hit the spot on a cold afternoon.

Every once in a while I make my way down to Chinatown and stock up on all kinds of Asian ingredients and then we eat Chinese food for a week, which makes my husband deeply happy. This time, however, I didn't have time to get there, so some substitutions were necessary. I used ginger rather than galangal and I minced it. I used the zest from a lime rather than the kaffir lime leaves, which really isn't the same at all, but still adds some lime flavour. I've always bought my lime leaves fresh, but you can get them dried. If you do find fresh leaves, rolls them up together like a cigar and then slice them.

I was too lazy to walk to my son's garden to pinch some of his bird's eye chilies, so I just used some crushed chili flakes. I was surprised that my local grocery didn't have straw mushrooms, also know as enoki mushrooms, so I ended up with oyster mushrooms and regular button mushrooms. I used a locally made miso paste that is really dark and it was a bit too strong for the soup. Ideally, you would be better off with a white miso, or a lighter red miso. I used some fantastic apple cider from our farmers's market as the apple concentrate.

Still, despite the changes, it was still quite tasty and came together in no time at all. I love this kind of recipe where you just toss everything into a pot and 15 minutes later you have something delicious.


2 cups vegetable stock
3 medium shallots, quartered and crushed
3 tbsp julienned galangal
3 tbsp finely diagonally sliced lemongrass
3 kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced
3 bird's eye chiles, pressed
3 1/4 oz oyster mushrooms, sliced
3 1/4 oz straw mushrooms, trimmed and halved
2 1/4 oz cherry tomatoes, halved
4 tbsp miso paste
3 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp apple concentrate or honey


  1. In a saucepan, bring vegetable stock, shallots, galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and chiles to a boil. Continue to boil for 4-5 minutes. Add oyster and straw mushrooms and cherry tomatoes. Once cooked remove from heat and season with miso paste, lime juice and apple concentrate.
This recipe appears in: Soups
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