This Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup is just like it sounds – rich, silky, and creamy with an intensely mushroomy flavor. The recipe uses a couple of vegan food hacks to take it to the next level.
Intro to the Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup
I ate canned cream of mushroom soup all the time growing up and mushroom soup is very much a comfort food for me. I wanted to develop a plant-based version that uses everyday ingredients with no additives.
This soup uses lots of mushrooms – both fresh and dried – some garlic and onion, plant milk, and cashew butter to form a well-rounded base with huge mushroom flavor and a thick, velvety texture.
What Makes This Soup Great?
- Huge mushroom flavor. Blending dried mushrooms gives it a lot of earthy, mushroomy goodness. Sauteing fresh mushrooms with garlic and onion helps develop the flavor as well. The bay leaf and soy sauce act as natural flavor enhancers to help the mushrooms sing.
- Irresistible creaminess. This comes from the flour, cashew butter, and plant milk. The flour gets toasted and a little nutty and helps the soup cling together and clot slightly. The cashew butter adds a silky, buttery mouthfeel. And the plant milk thins it out just a little, while still keeping everything creamy.
How to make Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup
First, you rehydrate the dried mushrooms to make them easier to blend.
While the dried shrooms are rehydrating, you saute some fresh ones in vegan butter with garlic and onion. Stir in some flour and get it a little toasty and nutty, then stir in a bit of dry sherry (or veggie stock).
When the rehydrating is done, transfer your sauteed ingredients to the blender (you’re going to need a blender, by the way) and add the rehydrated mushrooms, along with some cashew butter, vegetable stock, and plant milk. Blend it up nice and smooth.
Now, it goes back into the pot to thicken a little and infuse with bay leaf, which adds a certain “brothiness” to it. A dash of soy sauce to further enhance the flavors. Add salt to taste. Use truffle salt if you have it (but don’t overdo it).
Garnish the soup if you want – I like to use parsley, homemade croutons, and a drizzle of olive oil – and it’s ready to serve!
Some Cooking Notes Before You Jump In
Mushroom pieces can add a nice bit of texture to the soup. If you want, set some of the sauteed mushrooms aside (don’t blend them) and then add them to simmer with the soup after you’ve transferred it to the pot.
Lumps. Some people like lumps in their cream of mushroom soup. Some people can’t stand lumpy soup. This soup can get slightly lumpy and if you don’t like that, keep a whisk or fork handy to whip the lumps into submission.
More Flavorful Plant-Based Soups for Nourishing Comfort
- Minestrone, Milanese Style – Tomato-less minestrone with kale, carrot, celery, potato, white beans, and risotto in an herby saffron broth. I make this one every week in the winter.
- Chinese Hot and Sour Soup – An absolute classic, made vegan. Fresh veggies and tofu in a warming broth flavored with vinegar and white pepper.
- Meaty Vegan Chili – It’s more of a soup than a stew, but it uses vegan chorizo, lots of veggies, and a well-rounded blend of spices to create that iconic Texas chili flavor.
- Japanese-Inspired Ramens – I have a number of different varieties, which all use homemade broths and fun toppings. They range from supremely rich to light and refreshing.
A Few More Plant-Based Comfort Foods
- Vegan Cheese Grits – I grew up in the American South and these bring me back to every childhood breakfast.
- Shepherd’s Pie – It’s earthy, hearty, and deeply warming. It’s like a hug in meal form.
- Spaghetti Bolognese – The classic “meaty” red sauce gets its big, round flavor from lentils, eggplant, mushrooms, and other veggies.
- Crispy Roasted Sweet Potatoes – These are really simple, but my stomach smiles every time I take a bite of one of these. It’s gooey and satisfying like cake.
As always, if you try this recipe out, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it @gastroplant on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with.
Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup
- 1/2 cup dried mushrooms
- 1 pound white and/or brown mushrooms sliced (450 grams)
- 1 cup onion coarsely diced
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 2 Tablespoons vegan butter
- Salt and pepper
- 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup dry sherry or vegetable stock
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 1 cup plant milk of your choice unflavored and unsweetened
- 2 Tablespoons cashew butter
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 Tablespoon soy sauce
Season and Garnish
- Sea salt or truffle salt to taste
- Toasted croutons or bread
- Olive oil
- Chopped parsley
- Combine the dried mushrooms and 1 cup of hot (but not boiling) water in a bowl. Place something weighty on top of the mushrooms to keep them submerged.
- Heat the vegan butter in a heavy pot over medium heat. When melted, add mushrooms. Saute until tender, 5-6 minutes. Add onion and garlic. Saute until onion is translucent, 2-3 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper. Sprinkle in the flour and stir well until the ingredients are coated with flour and the flour is slightly toasted, 1-2 minutes. Add sherry (or the 1/2 cup of vegetable stock) and scrape loose any stuck bits.
- Once the mushrooms have rehydrated for at least 20 minutes, combine the mushrooms, the mushroom soaking water, cashew butter, 1 cup vegetable stock, the plant milk, and the sauteed mushroom-onion-garlic mixture (see note on keeping whole mushrooms) in a high-speed blender. Blend on high until smooth, 2-3 minutes, depending on your blender.
- Wipe any solid bits out of the pot you were using and transfer the blended mixture and any reserved mushroom pieces into it. Add the bay leaf and soy sauce and turn the heat to low. Cover and simmer for at least 10 minutes (see note), stirring occasionally, to infuse the bay leaf flavor.
- Before serving, stir in (truffle) salt until the soup is sufficiently salty. Garnish to taste with croutons, parsley, and a drizzle of olive oil and serve immediately.