Preheat a heavy bottom soup pot over medium heat. Add a light drizzle of olive oil (or a splash of veggie stock) and saute the leeks with a pinch of salt until wilted and the leeks start to get a little color.
Stir in the red pepper flakes, carrots and celery together with the bay leaves and thyme and continue cooking until the veggies start to soften. Sir in the garlic and cook just until fragrant taking care not to burn it.
2 carrots, 2 celery ribs, 1 pinch red pepper flakes, 2 bay leaves, 8-10 sprigs fresh thyme, 4 cloves garlic
Depending on their size make sure to tear the mushrooms into smaller pieces if needed and separated the hen of the woods and enoki varieties from the cluster. (If using shiitakes make sure to discard the stem as it is tough and woodsy then tear the caps into smaller pieces).
Add the mushrooms to the pot and give everything a good stir. Allow to sweat until they release their moisture and it evaporates almost completely. Stir the onion powder and the white wine. Bring to a simmer and bubble away until all the liquid has been absorbed.
1.5 lb wild mushrooms, 1 tbsp onion powder, 1/3 cup dry white wine
Meanwhile warm up the veggie stock and whisk in the chickpea miso if using.
8.5 cups veggie stock, 1 Tbsp white miso paste
Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms then pour in the veggie stock. Bring to a gentle boil and cook for a good 10 minutes until the soup has thickened.
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
Add the cashew cream, taste and adjust seasonings with the sea salt and black pepper. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with fresh herbs and serve with wild rice mixed in. Alternatively you can ladle the mushroom soup into oven proof bowls and top with a sheet of puff pastry (vegan) to make pot pies. Bake @375" for 15 minutes or so until golden.
sea salt + black pepper to taste