Hi, I’m back! I’ve been cheffing and managing for a vegetarian restaurant
these past two years, and my musings have been posted elsewhere on the web.
Speaking of musings, I am going to keep my future posts short and sweet. I usually scroll right down to the bottom of most food blogs, skipping the novel that precedes the recipe. I find all that writing to be superfluous. In addition, in writing less words, the likelihood of my sharing recipes and other useful information will be greater.
So, without further ado, I would like to share with you the recipe for this vegan mushroom cioppino, a standout soup that was originally created in the late 1800s by Italian fishermen in San Francisco. This version swaps oyster and trumpet mushrooms out for the seafood. I am a big fan of my food processor and used the slicing attachment for the leeks, trumpet mushrooms, garlic, fennel, celery and tomatoes. I suggest you do the same if you have the luxury, its a real time saver.
Omnivores and vegetarians alike go bonkers for this amazing vegan soup, which was in regular rotation at the caffe. Enjoy!
VEGAN MUSHROOM CIOPPINO
Makes about 12 servings (can easily be halved)
1 pound royal trumpet mushrooms, ends removed and sliced into bite sized pieces.
1 pound oyster mushrooms, ends removed and torn into bite sized pieces
1/2 cup olive oil
3 stalks leeks, tough green ends removed, rinsed & thinly sliced (see bottom pic)
18 cloves sliced garlic
2 cups fennel, sliced thin
1 bunch celery, sliced thin
2 cups dry white wine
8 cups water
1 vegetarian bouillon cube
2 1/2 lbs chopped tomatoes
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoon white pepper
3 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Fresh oregano, chopped
In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil until it ripples. Add the leeks, celery and garlic, and brown for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the sliced mushrooms and continue to brown (another 3 to 5 minutes)
Stir in the fennel, then the wine. Let the wine come to a boil, then simmer for 2 minutes.
Add the water and bouillon cube, tomatoes, salt, pepper, chili flakes and Old Bay. Simmer for 30 minutes on low until the mushrooms are tender and the fennel is soft. Remove from heat and add a small handful of chopped fresh oregano. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Ladle into bowls. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with sourdough bread.
Quick tip for cleaning leeks I learned from David Lebovitz: slice lengthwise up to the root, making them very easy to rinse off. Then slice as needed.