This easy recipe for a basic vegetarian and vegan mushroom gravy is surprisingly full of flavor. Mushrooms provide plenty of umami-like richness, substituting for the animal fat which provides flavor in meat-based gravy recipes. Umami, or "pleasant savory taste," translated from Japanese, is one of the five basic tastes that includes sweetness, sourness, bitterness, and saltiness. It can best be described as meaty or brothy. Dried shiitake mushrooms, in particular, are especially full of umami.
The addition of poultry seasoning in this vegetarian and vegan recipe adds a familiar and Thanksgiving-like aroma. There isn't any actual poultry in poultry seasoning -- it's completely vegan.
Your mushroom gravy will be a lovely addition poured over whipped potatoes as a side dish. For a special occasion, this vegetarian gravy goes quite well with a Thanksgiving tofurky. Or, pour it over a homemade lentil loaf. Got leftovers? Here's what to do with your vegetarian Thanksgiving leftovers, including gravy.
- In a large skillet, melt the vegan margarine and add onion and mushrooms. Saute for just a minute or two over high heat.
- Reduce heat to medium-low, then add the vegetable broth and soy sauce.
- Slowly add flour, stirring well to combine and prevent lumps from forming. Keep on stirring, just like you would when preparing an animal-fat based gravy.
- Bring to a simmer or a low boil for just a minute to help it thicken up, then reduce the heat again to low. Stir, stir, stir!
- Add poultry seasoning, salt and pepper, stirring consistently. Allow to cook for another few minutes, stirring regularly, until the gravy thickens.
- Remove it from the heat.
- Your mushroom gravy will slightly thicken as it cools. You can always add a little water, soy milk or vegetable broth to thin it out, or a bit more flour or a touch or cornstarch to thicken it up again if needed.