9 cups fresh homemade stock, with a Not-chick’n bouillon cube thrown in
3 bay leaves
1 cup oyster mushroom stems, sliced into scallop-sized pieces (optional)
Make the cashew cream by placing the cashews in a blender. Add enough water so it slightly just covers the cashews. Blend for 3-4 minutes. Set aside.
Boil the diced potatoes in plenty of water until softened, but still al dente, about 8-10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Heat 2 cups of the stock in a small saucepan. Turn off the heat and add the mushrooms. Place a lid on top and let sit for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside with the potatoes.
In a large stockpot, melt the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the liquid smoke, soy sauce and onion. Saute for about 7 minutes. Add in the garlic and saute for 2 minutes more. Add in the thyme, pepper and salt. Add in the flour, stirring briskly to avoid scorching. Add in the mirin to deglaze the pot.
Add in the 7 cups of remaining stock and bay leaf. Bring the stock to a boil and then immediately turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Test the stock and add more salt and pepper if desired.
Add to the pot the cashew cream, potatoes, mushroom pieces and cashew cream. Simmer for just a few minutes more. If you’d like to top the soup with some mushroom scallops, toss them in some melted earth balance and dried parsley and saute for a few minutes, until they are slightly toasted around the edges.