Plant Based 411
Scrumptious Season’s Eatings
By Nancy Eisman
Thanksgiving may be over, but the season of giving has just begun. We’ll be opening our homes to family and friends, and opening our hearts to those less fortunate. Volunteering your time and giving to causes close to you contributes to communities near your own backyard and as far as your generosity can reach.
Displaying holiday decorations and giving beautifully wrapped gifts is what helps make the season extra bright. It’s also the time to bring out the special tableware and fill the tables to overflowing with next level, tasty indulgences. Creamy Lobster Mushroom Bisque is sure to let your guests know that while living a plant-based lifestyle is usually heavy on the healthy, special occasions call for something deliciously more decadent.
Based on the classic recipe, I’ve easily replaced the crustacean part of the dish with these very special lobster mushrooms, with the essence and color of the original star ingredient. If you’ve never had them before, this is the recipe you’ll want to try.
So give and then give some more, and surround yourself with those you care the most about. Wishing you a wonderful winter holiday season filled with all things extra special and scrumptious.
Creamy Lobster Mushroom Bisque
1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight and drained
¾ cup + 1 tablespoon vegetable broth
1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 shallots, minced
1/3 cup carrots, minced
1/3 cup celery, minced or 1 teaspoon celery salt
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup roasted red pepper, puréed
3 ¾ cups vegetable broth
½ cup sherry or white wine
2 cups lobster mushrooms, rehydrated in hot water
(set aside a few pieces for garnish)
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon Bouqet Garni de la mar or kelp powder (optional)*
¼ cup Italian parsley
Salt & pepper to taste
Blend the 1st four ingredients on high speed until completely smooth. Set aside.
In a soup pot, heat the olive oil and then add the carrots, celery, shallots and garlic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and sauté about 4-5 minutes over medium heat.
Stir the roasted red pepper puree into the pot until combined. Add in the rehydrated lobster mushrooms, the broth, the sherry or white wine and the cashew “cream”. Stir in the smoked paprika, bring to a boil, and then lower the heat to a simmer for 10 minutes.
Puree the soup in batches. Season to taste with salt & pepper and additional Old Bay if desired. Pour the bisque into serving bowls. Garnish each with a slice of lobster mushroom and some fresh Italian parsley.
*Adds a hint of seafood flavor.