7 Spice Shiitake Mushroom Soup

With a new year that already doesn’t feel too celebratory (besides the incredible senate seat wins in Georgia!), I truly hope you are taking care of yourself, friends! My gift to you today is this spicy, warming soup–I hope it can help you find a moment of zen during this brutal, cold beginning of 2021.

I don’t know about you, but the beginning of 2021 has already been wearing heavy on me! The political climate (of oppression, double standards, and the normalization of fascism) in the United States continues to be infuriating and depressing, to say the very least. As I reflect on the state of the country, I am continuing to focus on what I can do from where I am–recipe testing for the next Bakers Against Racism event, and taking care of my mental and physical well-being, to make such efforts possible and sustainable. Prioritizing self care this year so far has included a renewal of a daily yoga practice, and lots of homemade food!

Veganuary Recipe Roundup

A few blogger friends and I have teamed up to share a roundup of fun recipes for #Veganuary! For those unfamiliar, it’s a month-long challenge where people try veganism at the beginning of the year. It is a great way to dip your feet into veganism, whether you are considering long term veganism or not! While I think positive lifestyle changes can (and should) be celebrated any time of the year, there is something invigorating about starting a challenge at the beginning of a new calendar year. Whether you are interested in veganism for the animals, your health, or the environment, I wholeheartedly support you and your journey! Remember that you can’t care for others if you aren’t also taking care of YOU. Check out the other recipes below.

Vegan BLT’s with Tempeh Bacon by The Baking Fairy

Breakfast Cookies by Cook with 5 Kids

Cranberry Coffee Cake by This Wife Cooks

Creamy Vegan Spiced Carrot Soup by Chickpea & Herb

Easy Vegan Mac & Cheese with Broccoli by Simple And Savory

Favorite Pumpkin Quinoa Waffles with Pecans by Melissa Traub

Hara Bara Kebab by FoodTrails25

Instant Pot Dal Soup by Palatable Pastime

Raspberry Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal Muffins by Return to the Kitchen

Roasted Banana Almond Butter Breakfast Cookies by Shockingly Delicious

Sweet Potato Patties by Flavours Treat

Tofu Benedict with Hemp Hollandaise by Upbeet Kitchen

Vegan Chickpea Shawarma in the Air Fryer by Kate’s Recipe Box

Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches by My Kitchen Stories

Vegan Cinnamon Rolls (Tangzhong Method) by The Urben Life

Vegan Lemon Poppyseed Muffins by Messy Vegan Baker

White Bean Dip with Homemade Pita Chips by Blogghetti

Seven Spice Shiitake Mushroom Soup
makes 4-5 servings

You can purchase Chinese five spice at any Asian supermarket, or you can DIY.
Active time: 20 minutes
Total time: 1 hour

  • 8 cups water
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 medium daikon, chopped
  • 1 inch knob of ginger, sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 small apple, sliced (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons mushroom powder (available at Asian markets)
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into ribbons (turns out to be 2.5 cups of carrot ribbons, loosely packed)
  • 3″ knob of ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks (about 1/4 cup of matchsticks)
  • 10-12 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 teaspoons Chinese 5 spice
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce (or liquid aminos)
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne powder (or to taste)
  • 10 Chinese dates (AKA jujube–also available at Asian markets. These are optional!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder (omit if not using the Chinese dates)
  • white pepper and sliced scallions, for serving


  1. In a medium to large soup pot, bring 8 cups of water to a boil. Add the chopped carrots, diakon, 1″ ginger knob, celery, onion, and apple. Let the broth simmer for 45 minutes on medium low.
  2. Meanwhile, prep the other veggies–cut the 2 medium carrots into ribbons, peel and cut the 3″ knob of ginger into matchsticks, and slice the shiitake mushrooms.
  3. In a saucepan, heat up a couple teaspoons of neutral oil (I used grapeseed) on high heat. Add the ginger matchsticks and the shiitake mushrooms, along with 1/2 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice and 2 teaspoons of soy sauce (or liquid aminos). Toss to incorporate and sauté until the mushrooms are lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes. Take them off the heat and set aside.
  4. After the broth has finished simmering for 45 minutes, strain it and put the liquid back into the pot. Add 5 cups of water and the 10 Chinese dates (if using).
  5. Bring the broth to a boil, and let boil for 5 minutes for the Chinese dates to soften. During the last couple minutes or so, add the carrot ribbons and seasonings (mushroom powder, Chinese 5 spice, cayenne powder, cocoa powder).
  6. Once the carrots are tender, turn off the heat, and add the sauteed shiitake mushrooms to the pot. Serve hot, with a generous dash of white pepper and some sliced scallions. Feel free to add noodles and protein for a full meal, or serve as is for an appetizer. I had this for breakfast recently with noodles, and it was divine, especially on a snowy Sunday morning!

In closing, I want to note that you will not see me taking a “neutral” stance on any of the events in the U.S. right now, or ever. To be neutral is to empower the oppressor.

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”

— Bishop Desmond Tutu

We must recognize and call out the recent events at the Capitol for what they are: white supremacy and fascism running unchecked. I want to make it very clear that there is no room for hate of any kind on this platform, or in the vegan movement.

Here are a few posts that I have learned from lately–I encourage you to check them out and take them to heart: