Vegan Pan Asian Mushroom Soup

This soup is all about the broth. Layers of flavor come together to create a complex broth in a relatively short amount of time.

It has a strong chinese influence, but it draws from various cultures.

It's great on its own and delicious over rice too. All the flavor is in that deep, dark, unctuous broth.

1 pint mushrooms, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 large red bell pepper, diced
3/4 cup diced carrots
1 poblano pepper, diced
2 jalapeno peppers, minced
1 serrano pepper, minced
1 cup chopped kale
1 can kidney beans, rinsed
1 can black beans, rinsed

4 cups water
3 tbls olive oil
1 tbl horseradish, the one with just vinegar, no mayo
1 tbl soy sauce
2 tsps chinese mustard
2 tsps dill
2 tsps crushed pepper flakes
2 tsps celery seed
1 tsp coriander seed
1 tsp paprika
3 tsps salt
1 tsp black pepper

In a large stock pot cook down your mushrooms with 1 tsp salt. I used cremini mushrooms, but it's dealer's choice. When they start to take on a little color add olive oil. Give it a stir the add th…

Texturally Delicious

People often overlook the importance of texture in the foods we eat. If you haven't been to culinary school or are not otherwise obsessed with watching the food network, you may not realize just how critical texture is to the quality of a dish.

Crispy lettuce and crunchy onions take a simple bean sandwich into the stratosphere.

Panko breadcrumbs or faux bacon bits bring a soft pasta salad to life in your mouth.

Fresh juicy apples elevate peanut butter to glorious new heights.

Some nicely toasted wheat bread can be the difference between a so so lunch and a great one.

The tart and garlicky snap of some pickles might be just the thing your bean salad's been missing.

The wonderful way roasted potatoes have a crispy skin that melts into a buttery interior. Orgasmic.

The chewy outside on a bagel that leads to the soft and flaky core. Genius.

Flavor is of great importance. Especially when eating vegan or vegetarian. Psychologically, a limited or restricted diet demands you kick it up a notch taste wise. And while taste is of extreme importance, texture is a not so distant second.

What is Italian bread if it isn't chewy. It's just boring old white bread. A flaccid sandwich of beans, meat or other is not something anyone will want to revisit. Fresh and crisp vegetable add the snap your mouth is wanting. Every dish needs texture. Contrasting textures. A little soft, a little chewy and some snap. A focus on flavors is admirable and wise. But we mustn't neglect texture. How it feels to eat it is just as important as how it tastes.