Steam-fry onion in a heavy nonstick skillet over medium heat until soft, but on browned, adding very small amounts of water as needed to prevent sticking or burning (or place in a microwavable dish, cover, and microwave on high for 3 minutes
Place broth, bay leaf, thyme, and oats in a medium saucepan. Add onion and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes or until oats are soft
Meanwhile, steam-fry mushrooms in a large, heavy nonstick skillet over high heat, adding a sprinkle of salt and very small amounts of water as needed to prevent sticking or burning. Cook until mushrooms release and reabsorb their liquid. Remove from heat and set aside.
When oats are soft, remove bay leaf and puree the soup until creamy with a hand-held blender or in batches in a blender or food processor. (Remove the middle part of the blender or food processor's lid so hot air can escape. Cover the hole loosely with folded clean cloth while blending.)
Return the soup to the pan and add mushrooms, soy sauce, sherry (if using), salt, black pepper, and cashew/nutritional yeast blend, if using. Serve hot.
This recipe is a mild adaptation from https://www.pcrm.org/good-nutrition/plant-based-diets/recipes/creamy-mushroom-bisque. Enjoy, and let us know what you think!