Edible mushrooms come in many shapes and sizes. They are nutrition powerhouses containing protein, B vitamins, and many minerals. They are also one of the few foods that provide a source of vitamin D.
More importantly, mushrooms are a source of prebiotic fibre, particularly in the stems, the things we usually cut off. In commercial food production, the stems are used for animal feed and compost, which is good news for the animals and the microorganisms in the dirt but not for us.
Not only does this prebiotic fibre help promote our own gut bacteria, a 2013 study found that the prebiotic fibre, even at relatively low levels, helps promote the survival of bacteria strains such as L. Acidophilus, L. Casiei and B. Longum. It also enhanced the levels of good bacteria found in foods such as yogurt and protected them from gastric acids.
Needless to say, I am going to recommend you use the stems, too.
And just so you know, the chewier the mushroom or the more stem the mushroom has, as in the case of the shitake or king oyster mushroom, the more prebiotic fibre is present.
Mushrooms themselves have been studied for a number of health benefits.
Phytonutrients known as beta-glucans, found in mushrooms, have anti-estrogen properties which may be helpful for preventing estrogen-related cancers. Beta-glugans are also credited as having anti-tumour properties for many other types of cancer.
There is a some new research that indicates that mushrooms may protect against the build-up of beta amyloid plaque, which is a factor in Alzheimer’s.
Mushrooms are also helpful for supporting immune system function especially against respiratory infections and flu.
These are powerful reasons to include more mushrooms into the diet and this is an easy recipe to do just that. And so be surprised if it helps you poop.
There are also other beneficial ingredients in this recipe such as the kimchi and miso as probiotic foods and garlic, onions, and spinach along with the mushrooms, as prebiotic foods. All of these foods have a cornucopia of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients so you cannot lose with this amazing soup.
I really believe the lime juice and miso are the key for this soup being more that just a bunch of really nutritious ingredients thrown together in a soup. They really tie all the flavours together and make the soup truly delicious.
Roasted Mushroom Kimchi Soup
2-3 tbsp olive oil or ghee
4 cups mushrooms, with stems, sliced (your choice: crimini, shitake, portabello, oyster*)
½ cup white onions, chopped
1 tsp sucanat or yellow sugar (optional)
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
Sea salt and pepper
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
Juice of 1 lime
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth (extra can be added if desired)
1/2 tsp dried basil
4 cups fresh spinach, chopped
1 cup zucchini half circle slices
1 – 1 1/2 tbsp unpasteurized miso paste, or to taste (1 tsp tamari or coconut aminos can be used instead but they are not as tasty)
1/2 cup enoki mushrooms (cut off the root part at the end)
1 green onion, chopped (for garnish)
1/2 – 2/3 cup kimchi, drained and chopped
To Prepare The Mushrooms: Wash. Cut of the very end of stem. Cut off stems (except for the crimini) and chop or slice the stems into pieces. Slice the heads of the mushrooms. If using portabello, peel the skin off the top of the mushroom. For the oyster mushrooms, cut off the bottom to allow all the fans to separate.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the mushrooms, stems, garlic and onion in in a baking dish. Add the olive oil to lightly coat the mushrooms and sprinkle in the sucanat or sugar. Roast in the oven (uncovered) for 20-25 minutes until the mushrooms are cooked. Remove from the oven and add the lime juice and ginger. Set aside. Place a saucepan on medium-high heat. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Add a pinch of sea salt (remember that miso and kimchi are salty tasting) and pepper (to taste). Add the zucchini and cook for 1-2 minutes. Then add the spinach. Cook for another 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the mushrooms and the miso paste. Taste and adjust the taste with sea salt if needed. Remember the kimchi will be adding more salt taste. Mix it all together. Add the enoki mushrooms. Mix. Serve the soup and top with the kimchi and green onions.
Note 1: If you are in a hurry and do not have time to roast the mushrooms, you can saute them instead. Place a saucepan over medium heat and lightly saute the onions in the olive oil until slightly translucent. Add the garlic and mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are the texture you like. Add the broth and follow the recipe as above.
Note 2: Other vegetables can be added. If they need a longer cooking time then add them to the broth before the zucchini and cook until they start to soften and then add the zucchini and the spinach as instructed above.
Note 3: This can be made into a whole meal by adding cooked brown rice for extra carbohydrates and legumes, meat or fish for extra protein.
*Oyster mushrooms can be roasted to be crispy. Roasted separately with olive oil and some of the garlic for 45 minutes at 400 degrees F. Setting them aside is best if you want them to stay crispy. They can also be cooked ahead of the other mushrooms for 20 minutes and then add the rest of the mushrooms and continue cooking all together. The oyster mushrooms will be crispy. However, if you add the sugar to the mushrooms they will make the whole mixture more liquidity and they will not be crispy.
- The Applications of Polysaccharides from Various Mushroom Wastes as Prebiotics in Different Systems, Wei-Ting Chou et al, Journal of Food Science (Impact Factor: 1.7). 05/2013; 78(7)
- Mushroom As Potential Source of Prebiotic: A Review, F.M.N.A. Aida et al, Trends in Food Science & Technology (Impact Factor: 4.65). 12/2009; 20(11-12):567-575.
- Mushrooms and Health 2014: Clinical and Nutritional Studies in Humans, Peter Roupas, Debra Krause and Pennie Taylor, CSIRO Food and Health Flagship, Australia
- Recent Developments in Mushrooms as Anti-Cancer Therapeutics: A Review, Seema Patel and Arun Goyal, 3 Biotech. 2012 Mar; 2(1): 1–15.