To make the soup extra-special you can make the Garlic-Herb Croutons. They are ridiculously rich, perfectly seasoned, and extra crunchy. You will be finding reasons to make sure just to eat them!
CREAM OF MUSHROOM SOUP
1 large leek
1 Tbsp coconut oil or ghee
3 medium yellow onions
1 tsp fine sea salt
1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, plus more for garnish
4 bay leaves
4 garlic cloves
14 ounces/400 grams cremini mushrooms
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup plant-based milk of your choice
1 1/2 cups/250 grams white beans (navy, butter, cannellinni, or great Northern) drained and rinsed
1 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1. To prepare the looks, cut the white and light-green parts in half lengthwise and then crosswise into chunks.
2. In a large stockpot, melt the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the onions, leaks, salt, black pepper, thyme, and bay leaves. Cook until the onions and leeks are soft, about 5 minutes. Mince the garlic, add to the pot, and stir.
3. While the onions, leeks, and garlic are cooking, clean the mushrooms by removing any dirt or natural debris with a damp clothes (do not was them in water). Cut the mushrooms into quarters and add them to the pot. Cook until they are dark brown and very soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the broth and stir.
4. Meanwhile, combine the milk and beans ina blender and blend in high until smooth.
5. When the mushrooms are cooked, add the vinegar and about one third of the soup to the blender with the blended beans. Blend on high until creamy, then pour the mixture back into the pot with the remaining soup, stir well, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 5 minutes. Thin the soup with water if desired.
6. Season with plenty of freshly ground black pepper and sea salt. Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with the croutons and some fresh thyme sprigs.
GARLIC HERB CROUTONS
1 1/2 tsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
4 cups/330 grams cubed whole grain bread (sourdough, if possible)
1. Preheat the oven to 325 F/160 C.
2. In a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion powders, thyme, oregano, and salt, whisking to combine.
3. Place the bread cubes on a rimmed baking sheet and pour the oil mixture over the top, tossing very well to coat the bread. Bake until the croutons are golden, fully toasted, and dry, 35 to 45 minutes. Store leftovers in an airtight glass jar at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.