Rinse the cashews well and steep them in hot water for 25 minutes. Drain and rinse again then add them to a powerful blender with one cup of water and the juice from half a lemon. Puree until smooth and creamy. Refrigerate until needed. (NOTE: If using a Vitamix blender or something equally powerful there's no need to soak the cashew)
Prepare the Wild Rice:
Rinse and drain the wild rice in a couple of changes of water. Bring 2.5 cups of water to a boil, add a pinch of sea salt and the wild rice. Bring back to a boil, turn the flame down to low and cover with a lid. Simmer for 45 minutes until all the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and allow to sit covered for 10 more minutes before fluffing with a fork. Set aside until needed.
Prepare the Soup:
Preheat a heavy bottom soup pot over medium heat. Add a splash of veggie stock or a light drizzle of olive oil ( omit oil for WFPB + Plantricious diets) and the leeks with a pinch of salt. Saute until wilted and the leeks start to get a little color. Keep a close eye on it and add more stock as needed so the leeks won't burn.
Stir in the red pepper flakes, carrots and celery together with the bay leaves and thyme and continue cooking until they start to soften. Sir in the garlic and cook just until you start to smell its fragrance taking care not to burn it.
Depending on their size make sure to tear the mushrooms into smaller pieces if needed and separated the hen of the woods and enoki varieties from the cluster. (If using shiitakes make sure to discard the stem as it is tough and woodsy).
Add the mushrooms to the pot and give everything a good stir. Allow to sweat until they release their moisture and it evaporates almost completely. Stir the onion powder and the white wine. Bring to a simmer and bubble away until all the liquid has been absorbed.
Meanwhile warm up the veggie stock and whisk in the chickpea miso until incorporated.
Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms then pour in the miso veggie stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for a good 10 minutes until the soup has thickened. ( To get the most benefits from the miso you can wait to add it once the soup is cooked).
Add the cashew cream, taste and adjust seasonings with the sea salt and black pepper. Stir in the cooked wild rice and remove from heat. Sprinkle with fresh herbs and serve.Optional: ladle the soup into oven proof bowls and top with a sheet of vegan puff pastry to make pot pies. Bake at 375"F until golden brown on top. Alternatively you can top with homemade vegan biscuits.
WFPB + Plantricious
To make this soup WFPB + Plantricious compliant make sure to completely omit the oil and sautee your leeks in veggie stock or water.
You can substitute the wild rice in the recipe with barley, farro even lentils. To make the recipe WFPB & Plantricious compliant make sure to use water or broth for sauteeing, omit adding any oil nor puff pastry on top.
If wild chanterelles or other wild mushroom aren’t available you can still make this soup with baby bellas or shiitakes. Brown mushrooms will change the color of the soup to a darker brown.
Sub the cashew cream with a 15 oz can coconut milk or cream. The flavors will change so keep that in mind if making this substitution.
Add chopped kale, spinach, collard greens or broccoli florets.
If you are a fan of pot pie this combination is your best friend. Ladle the soup into some oven proof bowls and top them with a sheet of puff pastry or vegan biscuits. 15 minutes later voila: the ultimate pot pie in your face!