Holy crapballs Batman, do I *love* green bean casserole! It is my FAVORITE part of the holidays… the ooey gooeyness of Campbell’s combined with excessive amounts of cheese and canned green beans still melts my heart. However, in an effort to avoid cans and stick with my gluten free/less animal products diet plan I needed to modify things a bit (which made me SUPER nervous, because green bean casserole MAKES my Thanksgiving!). With some digging on Pinterest, I found a FANTASTIC from scratch grain free and completely vegan mushroom soup recipe. Keep in mind, this makes a TON so what I did was make the soup the night before and ate it for dinner with the kiddos, and used the leftovers for the casserole. It worked out perfectly! The recipe was followed almost exactly (from Vegan Sparkles) and can be found here. The secret to it is the cashew cream! OMG delicious.
- 450g / 1lb fresh mushrooms, sliced (I used portabello)
- ½ small brown onion, peeled and diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (I substituted minced garlic as it was what was in my fridge)
- 1 tbsp vegan margarine (I used Earth Balance)
- 4 cups vegetable broth/stock
- 1 cup cashews
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- Place cashews in a bowl of water and leave to soak (I usually try to let mine sit overnight, but this time let them sit for just an hour or so and it worked just fine. The cashews have to be raw!).
- In a large pot, sauté the mushrooms, onion and garlic in vegan margarine for 3 – 5 minutes, until onions are translucent.
- Reduce heat to medium low and add the vegetable broth. Cover and allow to simmer for 45 minutes.
- Drain and rinse cashews and add them to a blender with half a cup of water. Blend until smooth and creamy. (I did this while the soup was simmering, and I let simmer close to an hour. I have a crappy blender, so this process took about 20 minutes. You have to be patient! The longer it blends, the less gritty it is and eventually I got mine to get to a very, very creamy and DELICIOUS texture. I also used soymilk instead of water, because I wanted my soup to be CREAMY).
- Add the cashew cream and dried herbs to the soup pot, stirring well to combine. Allow to simmer for another 20 – 30 minutes.
And that’s that! Like I said, we used the soup for dinner and the leftovers for the casserole. Prepare fresh grean beans by blanching (boiling) or you can use the canned version (I used canned this time because I got really pressed for time, just be sure to rinse them to get off the excess sodium). I tossed the green beans and the soup together and let sit overnight in a casserole dish to absorb the excess liquid. In the morning I saw the soup seperated JUST A BIT, so I put it in a pot and reheated it, stirring it all up, just to be sure. This probably isn’t necessary but again I was really paranoid about how this would turn out. Place in oven at 350 for 25-30 minutes, and you’re done. You can of course put cheese on top, but honestly, it gets super creamy itself and probably doesn’t necessarily need it. I even toyed with the idea of doing another batch of cashew cream and making it into a “cheezy” sauce using nutritional yeast. I’ll try that for Christmas and see if it works! This recipe was DELICIOUS, and will DEFINITELY be replacing the old canned, super processed, super UNhealthy version. I’m very pleased with it 😀