amy chaplin

celebrating the art of eating well

Herbed shitake and oyster mushroom soup

POSTED ON December 12, 2015

mushroom soup 8


For as long as I can remember, I’ve gone into the holidays planning to keep things simple, but as you may imagine that becomes increasingly challenging as December progresses. When the month begins, I feel a sense of calm and am slightly removed from the buzz that is generating. Even as the city becomes more and more adored with lights, greenery and sparkles, I think to myself: I’m not going to get crazy and caught up in it all–and I try to go to yoga more.

But just this week something happened and, as it always does, the festive bug got to me. Walking around the farmers market, I suddenly found myself lusting over trees and fragrant wreaths with foraged branches, rose hips  and juniper. I’ve even started to think of my very small collection of vintage decorations and wondering where I put my strings of teeny lights! Even though I’ve not (yet) been baking or searching out gifts, I feel the intensity of the season with all the engagements and sugary treats that in turn make me crave simple, soothing meals. With recipes for holiday cookies all over the place, I feel pressure to post something festive that you could serve at a party; ultimately though, I’m not bursting to make another sweet creation and so the idea for this soup came about. It is both nourishing and comforting, yet once its topped with the garnishes it’s fancy enough to serve at a holiday dinner—and easy to make just in case you’re feeling a wee bit stretched or stressed.

Wishing you a calm holiday season!

Amy x

mushroom soup 4

mushroom soup

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mushroom soup 7


Shitake and oyster mushroom soup

Mushroom soups can result in a grey color which is not that festive or appealing; for this reason I add a little turmeric to give it a warmer glow.

This soup is also delicious simmered with a couple of sprigs of rosemary—tie them in a piece of cheesecloth or place in a reusable tea bag and remove after mushrooms are cooked. It also tastes delicious with leeks added after cooking the shallots—use white parts only as the greens will color the soup.

One last note: Choose smaller oyster mushrooms as the larger, thicker ones can take a long time to cook.


Serves 6 generous portions (makes 11 cups)


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 large shallots, sliced

½ teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste

4 cloves garlic, chopped

2 to 3 teaspoons minced fresh thyme

2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage

¾ pound fresh shitake mushroom, stemmed and chopped

1 ½ pounds fresh oyster mushrooms, chopped

4 bay leaves

1/3 teaspoon turmeric

5 cups filtered water, plus more when blending

2 teaspoons tamari, plus more to taste

Freshly ground black pepper



½ cup walnuts

½ pound shitake mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced

½ pound oyster mushrooms, sliced in about 1/3 inch slices

8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

Sea salt

¼ cup small fresh whole sage leaves

Coarsely ground black pepper

Sprigs of fresh thyme


Make the soup:

Warm oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté for 5 minutes or until lightly browning. Add salt and garlic and cook for another 3 minutes. Stir in thyme and sage and then add mushrooms. (I stir them in as I chop them, so they wilt and make space). Add bay leaves and water and bring to a boil over nigh heat. Cover pot, reduce heat to low and simmer for 18 to 20 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Remove from heat and remove bay leaves. Carefully blend in batches in an upright blender until completely smooth and velvety. This takes a couple of minutes. You will need to add more water to get it to blend well add ½ cup at a time until you achieve your desired consistency. Soup should be thick and creamy.

Return to pot and still in tamari, salt and pepper to taste.


Make the garnish:

Preheat oven to 300 degrease Fahrenheit. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and add walnuts. Toast nuts for 6 minutes and remove from oven. Slide nuts off parchment paper and onto a chopping board. Replace paper on tray and add sliced mushrooms and sage leaves. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil and a pinch of salt. Gently toss to combine and spread out over tray. Roast for 15 minutes, stir and return to oven for another 5 to 8 minutes or until mushrooms are browning and sage leaves are crisp. While mushrooms roast, finely chop walnuts and place in a small bowl. Add remaining olive oil and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine and set aside until ready to serve.


To serve:


Warm soup and ladle into bowls. Dot with toasted walnut mixture and a pinch of roasted mushrooms and sage leaves, a few thyme sprigs and blacked peppe

POSTED IN Gluten free, Soup

TAGGED UNDER: sage, thyme, vegan, walnuts

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  • Chau says:

    Hear, hear, Amy! I am trying to distance myself from the frenzy going about as well, and stepping on the yoga mat helps me find my grounding. Thank you for sharing this beautiful, earthy soup – it will go well with the calm I strive to carry with me through the holiday season 🙂 It was lovely meeting you at ABC this Nov!

    Cheers to you,

  • Oh my goodness, I could not relate to your words more about turning to simple and calm in the midst of the holiday season “storm”. And I love the walnut garnish on this soup – such a creative but perfect compliment to the earthy mushrooms.

    • Amy Chaplin says:

      🙂 Katie! It is a challenge! The walnuts were a gift from a friend who brought them back from France and I suddenly decided to crack them open….it did end up a perfect coincidence. Happy calm holidays!

  • Michelle says:

    I made this soup for my family last night and everyone (including my 9 & 13 yo) loved it! It was a perfect winter soup, especially in the dark damp days of Seattle. I would also like to say that I have your cookbook and I’ve made over a dozen recipes from it and each and every one of them has been fantastic! The flavors and texture are always so well balanced. So thank you for sharing your talent! I always look forward to trying your recipes.

    • Amy Chaplin says:

      Hi Michelle!

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment! It makes me SO happy to hear you’ve loved all the recipes you;ve made in my book! Thank you for your support and for following along here. Best wishes for endless inspirtation in your kitchen!

      Amy x

  • Raquel says:

    what do you think about pine nuts (BF allergic to most other nuts) for garnish? or any other thought?

  • marie says:

    I have to say that this is perfect for me right now.
    This year, I don’t feel getting excited by the holidays coming.
    What happened in my home country France in november (and the other events in the world) left me sad and drained. I am looking for comfort, cocooning and warmth.
    My favoite soup right now is one with kabocha and fresh roasted chesnut. Simple and delicious !
    Will try yours 🙂

  • Cindi says:

    WOW!! Just made this and it is Fantastic!! Served with a roasted squash salad and it was a wonderful pairing. Only change i made to the soup recipe was to add a bit of unsweetened almond milk after it was blended. Cheated on the garnish a bit by using regular mushrooms as i had already spent over $22 on the shitake and oyster mushrooms. Highly recommend this recipe!

    • Amy Chaplin says:

      Hi Cindi,

      Yes they are expensive! But they do seem to go a long way. Sounds like a delicious meal. Thanks for writing, I love hearing what people pair their meals with.

      Amy x

  • Willow says:

    Hello! Would this be good after freezing? Looking to stock my freezer for the next semester.


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