Mushrooms have a remarkably low environmental footprint. Research shows that a pound of mushrooms requires only 1.8 gallons of water to grow. Comparatively, it takes 2,000 gallons of water to produce a pound of beef.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium shallot, diced
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 2 pounds mixed mushrooms, roughly chopped (white button, portobello and/or oyster mushrooms)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups chopped Swiss chard, stems and thick stalks removed
- 1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk
- Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
FOR THE THYME TOAST
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 5 slices gluten-free sandwich bread
- In a large sauté pan over medium heat, heat oil. Sauté garlic and shallots until softened, about 3 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons thyme and mushrooms; cook 4–5 minutes, until mushrooms begin to brown. Season with salt and pepper; then cover pan with lid and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove lid, and cook until all the mushroom liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes more.
- While mushroom liquid is cooking, in a large pot, bring vegetable broth to boil. Once mushroom liquid has fully evaporated, carefully transfer mushrooms to a food processor and pulse several times until finely chopped. Add mushrooms and Swiss chard to broth. Reduce heat to medium-low, and stir in coconut milk. Continue to cook until heated through, about 8 minutes.
- Meanwhile, to prepare Thyme Toast, in a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons oil. Remove from heat, and add thyme sprigs to hot oil. Let steep, off heat, for 5 minutes, and then remove sprigs. Add 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves to oil. Preheat oven to 450°, and line a sheet pan with foil. Brush both sides of bread slices with flavored oil. Toast in oven 3–4 minutes, flip bread over and toast another 3–4 minutes. Let toast cool slightly before cutting into cubes.
- To serve, ladle soup into bowls and garnish each serving with a small pile of toasted croutons and pinch of red pepper flakes.