This Vegetable Soup is a hearty vegan meal that gets its deep umami flavor from a base of half shiitake dashi and half kombu dashi, which we make separately ahead of time using a cold steeping method. It’s as simple as adding water and waiting (instructions below). A few minutes of prep the night before will really pay off. Dashi can also be frozen, so make it a double batch and freeze in containers or ice cube trays for future use.
Once the dashi is made, a quick boil and steep with green onions, garlic, and fresh ginger transform it into a flavorful broth. Savoy cabbage and sliced carrots make this a nutrient and fiber packed dish and we add marinated, pan seared baby bella mushrooms at the end to make it a satisfying meal without using meat or soy.Print
A hearty vegan soup made with shiitake mushroom and kombu dashi and vegetables.
For the Kombu Dashi
- 4 cups cold water
- 2 4×4″ sheets dried kombu
For the Shiitake Dashi
- 4 cups cold water
- 1 1-ounce package dried shiitake mushrooms
For the Vegetables
- 4 green onions, whites and greens divided
- 4-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and halved lengthwise
- 5 large garlic cloves, peeled and halved lengthwise
- 1 small head savoy cabbage cut into 6 wedges, tough core removed
- 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
For the Mushrooms
- 1 16-ounce container baby bella mushrooms, rinsed and stems removed
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and halved lengthwise
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos (do not substitute)
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- Pinch of salt
- Optional garnishes: Thinly sliced daikon or other radish, shaved ginger, toasted sesame seeds, reserved greens from onions
For the Dashi Bases
- Use a damp cloth to gently wipe both sides of the kombu, then place the kombu in a large container or jar with a lid.
- Use a pastry brush to brush any loose dust and debris from the gills of the mushrooms. There will initially be some grit in this dashi. It’s cool, don’t worry. Just don’t rinse the dried mushrooms. Place the brushed mushrooms in a large container or jar with a lid.
- Pour 4 cups of cold water into each container, then cover tightly and refrigerate both containers overnight.
- After 8-10 hours of steeping, discard kombu sheets. There may be some liquid that is like an egg white consistency. That’s normal and you’ll strain it out. Remove mushrooms from their liquid and discard or use them in another recipe.
- The remaining liquid is dashi. It’s that easy. Line a fine mesh strainer with paper towel or a coffee filter and strain each container of dashi into a clean container. Repeat as necessary to remove all grit and particles. Goodbye nasties. Store the dashi in the fridge until ready to use.
Marinate the Mushrooms
- Combine the coconut aminos, coriander, and salt in a small measuring cup. Place the mushrooms in a single layer, cap side down in a shallow dish (we used a Pyrex dish).
- Drizzle the coconut aminos mixture over the mushrooms, getting some into each cap. Let the mushrooms marinate while you prep everything else and make the broth.
Start the Broth
- Add both containers of prepared dashi to a large pot (strain again while adding, if necessary).
- Trim the bottoms of the onions and discard, then cut the greens away from the white part of the onions. Slice the white parts in half lengthwise and add to the dashi. Thinly slice the greens crosswise for garnish and set aside.
- Peel and halve the ginger and garlic lengthwise, then add to the dashi. Bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 5 minutes, skimming the foam off the top of the pot constantly.
- Reduce to medium-low, cover and cook for 10 minutes, then remove from heat and skim foam again if necessary. Let rest 15 minutes, then strain liquid into a heat safe container. Discard the ginger, garlic, and onions and return dashi liquid to the pot (rinse the pot first if necessary). Cover and set aside.
Sear the Mushrooms
- While the dashi is resting, heat a large, deep sauté pan over medium heat and add sesame and avocado oils and garlic. Sauté garlic until golden brown (1-2 minutes), then remove and place garlic in the bottom of the mushroom bowl with the coconut aminos.
- Use tongs to pick up mushrooms and pour as much of the coconut aminos mixture back into the bowl as possible (we’ll add it later). Place the mushrooms, round cap side down, in a single layer in the hot sauté pan. We want a nice sear on the top of the mushroom cap to bring out the meaty flavor. Cook about 2 minutes, watching closely. Once the tops are seared, flip the mushrooms to sear the bottom of the cap for another 2 minutes or so.
- Reduce heat to medium-low, pour reserved coconut aminos mixture and garlic over the mushrooms, cover and cook 2-3 minutes. Flip the mushrooms again, season with a pinch of salt, remove from heat, then cover and set aside.
Putting it Together
- While finishing the mushrooms, add carrots to the dashi and return to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 5 minutes then add cabbage, cover and cook another 3-5 minutes until cabbage is just tender, then remove from heat. The soup is now ready to serve.
- Ladle the dashi and carrots into six bowls, then use tongs to add mushrooms and cabbage to each bowl. Drizzle some of the reserved mushroom sauce over the cabbage if desired. Garnish with sliced green onions, sesame seeds, radishes, ginger, etc. Serve immediately.
Refrigerate leftover mushrooms and soup in separate airtight containers up to 4 days.
Not a fan of cabbage? Try using Chinese broccoli or broccoli rabe, shredded spinach, or even shredded kale in place of the cabbage. Add spinach or kale when plating. Broth just off the boil will be hot enough to wilt and soften the spinach or kale without overcooking.
If you have a dashi preference, simply use a total of 8 cups of one or the other.
Keywords: DASHI, JAPANESE DASHI, SOUP, ASIAN VEGETABLE SOUP, VEGAN, VEGETARIAN, LOW-CARB, GLUTEN-FREE, GRAIN-FREE, SOY-FREE, SUGAR-FREE, COCONUT AMINOS, SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS, KOMBU, COLD STEEP, BABY BELLA MUSHROOMS, KELP, MAKE AHEAD, MEAL PREP, WEEKNIGHT MEALS, HEALTHY MEALS, PALEO