Sara Oteri’s Soulful Mushroom Soup: Recipe

Non-perishables like canned and dried food have a bad rep amongst foodie health conscious Aussies, so most people would be surprised to know that you can actually create nourishing tasty (and affordable) meals from non-perishable food items alone. MasterChef finalist and Wesley Mission Victoria ambassador Sara Oteri knows that fresh foods are often a luxury for those who are struggling with the cost of living, especially around Christmas time and is keen to show that eating well doesn’t have to cost much.

Sara was kind enough to give us the recipe for her Soulful Mushroom Soup, and also answered some questions for us about her involvement with the Wesley Mission Victoria’s ‘Food For Families’ appeal, which you can read here. To donate to Wesley Mission Victoria’s ‘Food for Families’ appeal please visit

souful mushroom soup

Preparation Time: 5 minutes     /     Cooking Time:  20 minutes     /     Serves 4


  • 3 cups chicken stock or ½ stock cube to 3 cups of water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • a pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • 3 tbsp (45ml) light soy sauce
  • a few dashes of sesame oil
  • 1 tsp (5g) minced ginger
  • ½ tsp minced garlic (2.5g)
  • 1 packet dried shiitake mushrooms (40-50g)
  • 1 tin Champignon mushrooms (425g)
  • 200-250g Vermicelli noodles
  • 1 tbsp (15g) sesame seeds


  1. Bring your stock to a boil then turn it down and add all the broth ingredients. You want to let this simmer for at least 10-15 minutes to allow the spices to infuse.
  2. Strain off your broth, removing the spices, and return to the heat. Add a handful of dried shitake mushrooms and a couple champignons to the soup to absorb the stock and release their unique mushroom flavour.
  3. In the meantime, pour boiling water over your vermicelli noodles and leave for 2 minutes. Strain your noodles off, place in a large bowl and pour over your warming mushroom broth. Finish with a tablespoon of sesame seeds.


The base broth of this soup works really well in a variety of dishes that call for a vegetable broth.

Although not non-perishable, you can top the soup with some spring onions for a bit of extra flavour.

Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.


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