Chopping vegetables is an activity that I hate. I find it tedious and, given my notable lack of coordination, slightly dangerous. But now I breeze through the task by giving my veggies a whirl in the food processor. It’s true that the resulting mismatched pieces aren’t as pretty as vegetables that are uniformly diced. But they’re small enough for a quick three-minute saute, which is all you need to deepen their veggie flavor before adding the broth.
Prepared broth is a no-brainer time saver. Unless you happen to have homemade vegetable broth hibernating in the freezer, in which case you have my admiration and permission to skip ahead. I use vegetable broth because the light flavors balance the earthy mushrooms. If you want a more savory soup, swap a cup of chicken or beef broth for one of the cups of veggie. But don’t substitute it all, or the taste will be meaty, not mushroomy. For your healthiest heart, choose a broth that is labeled low-sodium. Worried that low sodium equals low flavor? A few pinches of ginger give your soup some unexpected peppery heat. Fresh herbs make the brightest seasonings; throw in a cheesecloth bouquet garni of fresh thyme and parsley if you have a windowsill herb garden. Otherwise, dried herbs get the job done quickly and easily.