This is my entry for the 52 Weeks of Vegan Cooking challenge on Reddit. This is week 1 and it’s the Comfort Food challenge.
So comfort food. For me comfort food is warm and simple. I chose a soup. For me a good winter soup (it’s actually spring in Australia, but the weather is a bit crap right now) has barley in it. I love barley, at our house mum used to make a risotto with barley instead of rice (note to self: get the recipe). I’ve also always wanted to try making french onion soup so I had a bit of a Google to see what I could find.
So my recipe today is based on this recipe here. I’ve altered it to make it vegan.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons nuttalex or other vegan margarine
2 large brown onions, thinly sliced
1 dried bay leaf
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
450 grams (16 oz) mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup dry sherry (sherry is also called apera in Australia)
1 litre (32 oz) beef style stock (I used Massel)
1 cup cooked barley
Salt and pepper
Melt the olive oil and butter in a large pot.
Add sliced onions and cook, stirring often, until they start to soften.
Add bay leaf, thyme sprigs, mushrooms and a pinch of salt and pepper. Saute, stirring often for 20-25 minutes until mushrooms and onions start to caramelize.
Turn the heat to medium and add the sherry. Stir just until the sherry has evaporated.
Add the beef stock and bring to a boil. Return heat to low and let the soup simmer for 30 minutes.
Add the cooked barley and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Verdict: I hate cutting onions! Even with the ceiling fan on (which usually helps) I ended up with hurty eyes.
Other than that making the soup was pretty easy. The smell of the mushrooms onion and thyme sauteing was wonderful. The end product tastes fanatic. The flavor of the thyme comes through well, which surprised me. The initial flavor is thyme and mushroom with the sweetness of the caramelized onion coming later. Very yummy. I would definitely make this again (if I can find someone else to cut the onions for me).