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I think our original plan was to share something bright and spring inspired. But faith intervened with a few cold days, a bag of portobello mushrooms showing up in our CSA box and a sudden calling for soup. So this happened. A warm and comforting vegan mushroom soup with tones of white wine, forest, rosemary and thyme. It’s an ideal dinner soup, especially when served with wholegrain rice and a few pieces roasted sourdough rye slathered with mashed avocado and chili flakes. Think of it like one final winter hug before spring is taking over the kitchen.

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Mushroom Soup with Red Rice & Avo Toast
Serves 4

Rice
1 cup uncooked red rice
2 cups water 
sea salt 

Mushroom Soup
2 tbsp coconut oil, olive oil butter or ghee

2 garlic cloves
2 sprigs thyme
2 sprigs rosemary
4 (250 g) portobello mushroom, cleaned
8 (250 g) brown button mushroom or champignon, cleaned
a large glug of white wine, optional
4 cups / 1 liter water
1 tbsp (or 1 cube) vegetable bouillon
sea salt and black pepper

fresh parsley, for serving
plain yogurt, for serving (optional)

Cooking the rice: Rinse the rice well in water and drain. Place in a saucepan with the 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, immediately lower the heat to a bare simmer, let simmer for 45 minutes or until tender. Add salt towards the end of the cooking time. Drain any excess water. Meanwhile make the soup.

Making the soup: Finely chop garlic cloves and slice the mushrooms. Heat oil in a large saucepan and add garlic and cook until fragrant but not browned. Add mushrooms and herbs and cook for about 5-8 minutes until soft and slightly browned, stirring occasionally. Reserve some of the cooked mushroom slices for serving. Add a glug of wine to the saucepan and cook for a few minutes. Now add water, bouillon, salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and bring to a simmer. Use an immersion (hand) blender to mix the soup until completely smooth (or a stand-blender). Season to taste. Serve in bowls with a spoonful of cooked rice, some mushroom slices, fresh parsley, olive oil, a dollop of yogurt if using, and an avocado toast.

Avocado Toast
Makes 4 half-slices

2 slices sourdough rye
1 ripe avocado
1 tsp cold-pressed olive oil
chili flakes
flaky sea salt

Toast the bread in a toaster, a frying pan or in the oven on high heat for a few minutes until golden and crispy. Cut the avocado in half, remove the stone and scoop out the flesh. Use a fork to mash the avocado and then slather it on top of the toast. Drizzle oil on top and sprinkle with chili flakes and salt. Cut in half and serve with the soup.

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