Thursday, 21 February 2019

Shiitake, basmati and wild rice soup

easy midweek dinner

We lead such busy lives nowadays that finding any enthusiasm for cooking during the week is a bit of an issue, especially when you have fussy eaters at home. I cook about 3 different dinners almost every evening, and it is tedious.
I know it's my own fault partially that I pamper to all the preferences.
With our elder son, his relationship with food is part of his condition, so there's not much I can do about it. He eats a certain range of foods, every day of the year, Christmas or birthday.
With younger one, I don't know where I went wrong.
When he was little, he was such a good eater. It was a job to watch him eat stem broccoli and all kinds of vegetables, which he now wouldn't touch with a barge pole.
And in the last year my husband decided to go meat-free, which I find trickier to cater for. It's so much easier to cook meat or fish than a variety of vegetarian dishes, without relying all the time on pasta or risotto. Especially that he is a crappy ungracious vegetarian who doesn't eat salad leaves or many vegetables (and just to clarify, the crossed out word refers only to him, it's not a generalisation of any kind. As I said in the comment below he doesn't eat beetroot, cabbage, broccoli, sprouts etc etc, the list is endless, so that doesn't make my life easier).

I confess I started to rely on convenience foods a bit too much recently, buying pizza or vegetarian quiche which only need 10 minutes in the oven.

I still cook a lot of meals from scratch, but I don't do elaborate dinners any longer, as I used to in the past. Even my cakes and bakes are of the easier variety.

Soups are easy and relatively quick to prepare, from a mixture of fresh ingredients and kitchen cupboard staples.

easy vegetarian dishes

Shiitake, basmati & wild rice soup
2 shallots, finely chopped
2tbsp olive oil
150g shiitake mushrooms
1tsp garlic butter
70g basmati and wild rice (I used Tilda)
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 vegetable stock pot (Kallo)
40g mild cheddar cheese (optional)

Start by frying finely chopped shallots in the olive oil for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the grated carrot, and cook for another couple of minutes. Add the chopped mushrooms. Season with sea salt.
In a medium sized pan bring water to boil, add the stock, rice and mushroom mix. Cook for about 15+ minutes on low, until the rice is cooked. Add the grated cheese (optional, I wanted to finish off the leftover cheese).
Serve hot, with a nice chunk of bread, or breadsticks.
We like Italian grissini with soup. Crosta & Mollica are a great brand of flatbreads and breadsticks. But Tesco own Italian Original breadsticks at 75p per pack are a steal.

You could choose different mushrooms for this soup - chestnut or portobellini. Shiitake give an almost meaty, rich smoky taste.

easy mushroom soup

In this soup I used a Kallo organic vegetable stock pot. This is a handy stock product to keep in your pantry, whenever you need stock for a soup, curry, risotto, stew or gravy. It's made with celery, carrot, onion, red pepper, sunflower oil, spices (garlic, lovage, turmeric) and more. It contains no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives, it's gluten free and is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
This stock product was one of the foods delivered in the Degustabox (November 2018).
If you don't have this particular stock pot, any good quality vegetable stock would work (liquid, powdered or cubed).

Tilda is my favourite brand of rice, both for uncooked and pre-cooked varieties (in pouches).
Tilda basmati and wild rice is a tasty combination. Basmati is a fluffy light rice which goes well with the nutty wild rice. I buy a bigger 500g bag, and add it to all kinds of soups.

easy midweek dinners

Adding this recipe to #KitchenClearout linky run by Cheryl at Madhouse Family Reviews, as I used the last piece of cheese and last stock pot in this soup recipe.


  1. Hmmm I haven't made any homemade soup since Mike died - I don't think the kids would be keen, but I should try it out. You never know ! I know what you mean about kids no longer liking veggies as they get older - I'm hoping it'll come back because Pierre is turning his nose up at all sorts of things that he used to love too !

    1. Thank you, Cheryl! Will your kids eat smooth soups? Sasha would only eat a soup blitzed to death, so no chunky bits for him. sigh

  2. I think this soup is fab! I love shiitake mushrooms and they do taste great in a soup.

    Why do you say is difficult to cater for vegetarians? I find it so easy to make all sorts of foods that don't require lots of time preparing. Houmous and baked houmous can be enjoyed by all family, so would be English breakfast (just switch the sausages with veg*n ones and skip the bacon), stews, risotto, veggie bean burgers or falafel burgers.

    1. Thank you, Anca, I only mean my DH, he is a nightmare vegetarian. He doesn't eat beetroot, cabbage, broccoli, sprouts, doesn't like beans of any kind, kale, spinach etc etc, the list is endless. I try to cook something colourful, and he would only eat a little bit, then ends up eating bread and cheese. So I tend to cook the same range of risotto, pasta, pizza, soup.
      It wasn't a generalisation of any kind, only our family situation. I subscribe to Veggie magazine, and there are lots of lovely recipes, if only my DH would eat them. :)

    2. I haven't bought veggie magazines, if you can imagine that. With my passion for cooking and a food blog... I'm going to get it next time I see it.
      I do understand though. After becoming vegetarian, I've started experimenting with cooking and this is how my passion started. But my husband is not as adventurous when it comes to food and it took a bit of time for him to open up to new dishes. He would eat anything I cook, as he knows is healthy and vegetarian, so there aren't any reasons not to eat. The things that aren't healthy are cakes and he would eat those without a doubt. :))

  3. The soup looks delicious. Thanks for the recipe, I am definitely going to try making it tomorrow.

  4. This looks lovely, I love mushroom soup anyway and the addition of rice would make it filling. Must give it a try