vegan-lemongrass-mushroom-soup

VEGAN LEMONGRASS-MUSHROOM SOUP

Chilis, ginger, and garlic heighten the aromatic flavors of this broth.

This bright, spicy soup gets the bulk of its flavor from mushrooms, lemongrass, ginger, garlic, and chili, says New York City–based recipe developer Sarah Jampel. Fresh lime leaves, if you can find them—they’re often sold in specialty stores—add a hit of tartness. Smashing the garlic, ginger, and lemongrass will release more aromatic notes into the soup.  

Because sweet potato noodles tend to fall apart if they simmer in broth, Jampel recommends sautéing before adding them. If you’re short on time and less bothered about texture, feel free to add the uncooked noodles to the soup for the last 5 to 7 minutes of cooking. 

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Serves: 4 to 6

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FOR THE BROTH:

  • ½ cup dried porcini mushrooms
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • One 1-inch piece of ginger, smashed and roughly chopped
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, bottom 4 inches only, peeled, smashed, and chopped
  • One 2-inch piece lime peel
  • 4 lime leaves (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste

FOR THE SOUP:

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1¼ pounds mixed mushrooms (like cremini, shiitake, and oyster), wiped clean, woody stems removed, and chopped into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced, light and dark green parts separated
  • 2 small hot chilis (Fresno, serrano, or Thai bird), thinly sliced, divided
  • 1 large bunch lacinato kale, finely chopped (4 packed cups)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)
  • Torn cilantro, for serving
  • Lime wedges, for serving

Directions

  1. In a large pot, bring 8 cups water, dried mushrooms, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, lime peel, and lime leaves, if using, to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, until fragrant. Strain broth, reserving dried mushrooms and discarding other aromatics, and transfer to a large bowl or container. Season broth with salt and pepper, then taste and add more salt as needed. Set aside. Rinse dried mushrooms, finely chop, and set aside. Wipe out pot.
  2. Using the crude shredding blade, spiralize the sweet potato into noodles. Return large pot to the stove, add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, and heat over medium-high. Add sweet potato noodles and 1 teaspoon salt and sauté, stirring to coat in oil, until cooked through but still firm, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a large plate or a rimmed baking sheet to cool.
  3. Wipe out pot, then add 1 tablespoon oil over high heat. When the oil is very hot, add the mixed mushrooms and cook, without stirring, for about 3 minutes. Then, stir the mushrooms and sauté until brown all over, 4 to 5 minutes more. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and cook for 30 seconds more. Transfer to large plate or rimmed baking sheet. You can cool the mushrooms on the same surface as the sweet potato noodles, but separate them to prevent overcooking.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-high and add remaining tablespoon oil. Add the white and light green parts of scallion, half the sliced chilis, and chopped dried mushrooms (reserved from the broth). Sauté until the vegetables are soft, 1 to 2 minutes. Add mushroom broth and 4 cups water, increase heat, and bring to a boil. Taste and adjust salt as needed.
  5. Reduce heat to a simmer, add kale, and cook for 10 minutes, until tender. Add the sweet potatoes, sautéed mushrooms, and fish sauce, if using. Taste and adjust salt as needed. When ready to serve, garnish with cilantro, remaining sliced chili, and scallion dark greens. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing on top.
Photography and styling by Jenny Huang