If you love mushrooms, this vegan cream of mushroom soup will not disappoint! It uses both fresh and dried mushrooms for maximum mushroom flavour, and coconut milk for a perfectly creamy broth that’s also gluten free!
- Why this is the best vegan cream of mushroom soup
- Creamy soup without cream
- How to thicken cream of mushroom soup
- What kind of mushrooms for cream of mushroom soup?
- How to make vegan cream of mushroom soup
- Substitutions and variations
- How to store, reheat and freeze
- What to serve with it
- More vegan soup recipes
- Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup
Why this is the best vegan cream of mushroom soup
This vegan cream of mushroom soup is rich and creamy, with an intense mushroom flavour.
The secret to the best-tasting mushroom soup is dried porcini mushrooms.
Instead of using plain vegetable stock like most recipes do, this recipe soaks the dried mushrooms to make a super flavourful and umami-rich mushroom stock.
The rehydrated mushrooms are then added as an ingredient to the soup for even more texture and flavour!
Now, dried porcini mushrooms are not the cheapest ingredient, but they have a super concentrated flavour so you only need a small amount.
In addition to the dried porcini mushrooms, this recipe also calls for white button and cremini mushrooms.
With three types of mushrooms, this dairy-free cream of mushroom soup is a mushroom-lover’s dream!
In addition to superior flavour, making your own cream of mushroom soup from scratch is much healthier than buying canned cream of mushroom soup.
Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup isn’t vegan or gluten-free and has a very high sodium content (don’t be fooled by the ½ cup serving size on the can, no one eats a portion that small!).
Unfortunately, dairy-free cream of mushroom soup can be hard to find in stores.
Luckily this recipe is super easy, does not call for a long list of ingredients and is ready in just 30 minutes!
Creamy soup without cream
When you google “vegan cream of mushroom soup”, you’ll find that most of the recipes are pretty much the same.
They usually call for thickening plant-based milk with flour or cornstarch.
Sure, that’s one way to do it.
It makes a thick soup, but personally, I don’t really find them to be very creamy and the flavour can vary wildly depending on what type of plant-based milk you use.
Another popular option for making creamy soup without cream is by blending cashews.
I do this sometimes, like in my green pea soup recipe. Unfortunately, the price of cashews has gone up a lot and I avoid buying them when possible.
My favourite dairy-free creamy soup solution is to use a little bit of coconut milk. Just enough to make the soup creamy, but not enough that it tastes like coconut.
I’ve done it before in my vegan tomato soup and my vegan broccoli soup recipes.
Finally, in recent years a lot of vegan cooking cream substitutes have come on the market.
They tend to come in small boxes which makes them more expensive than coconut milk.
The Oatly one is good, but I’ve also had some really disgusting, goopy ones! They can be hit or miss.
How to thicken cream of mushroom soup
To keep this vegan cream of mushroom soup gluten-free, it is not thickened the usual way of making a roux with flour.
The best way to thicken homemade cream of mushrooms soup is simply by blending a portion of it.
Blending up some of the mushrooms not only thickens the soup, but also releases more mushroom flavour and makes it extra creamy!
I like to transfer a few ladles to a blender because I find it works a bit better, but an immersion blender would probably get the job done too.
But if you want to simplify, you can use just white or just cremini for this recipe.
What kind of mushrooms for cream of mushroom soup?
This recipe is unique in that I used three different types of mushrooms.
The most important mushroom in this recipe are dried porcini. Not only are they super flavourful umami bombs, they make a deep mushroom stock when rehydrated that’s then added to the soup.
In terms of fresh mushrooms, I used a combination of white button and cremini / baby bella mushrooms.
But if you’re worried you can add it little by little while tasting until you reach a point that it’s creamy enough without tasting of coconut.
Additionally, this recipe calls for blending a few ladlefuls of the soup, which not only brings out more mushroom flavour, it also thickens the broth and makes it extra creamy.
This vegan cream of mushroom soup has a short list of ingredients that are big on flavour. You should be able to find everything in a well-stocked supermarket.
Dried porcini mushrooms: This is the key ingredient that makes this vegan cream of mushroom soup recipe the best! They’re packed with flavour and are used to make a mushroom stock as well as one of three types of mushrooms this recipe calls for.
Fresh mushrooms: You can’t have cream of mushroom soup without the mushrooms! I use a combination of white button and cremini (aka baby Bella) mushrooms. If you can’t be bothered to buy two types of mushrooms, you can just use one.
Onion, garlic: The flavour base of the soup.
Vegetable stock: A good quality vegetable broth in combination with the mushroom stock that this recipe makes will add more flavour.
Coconut milk: To make a creamy vegan soup without the cream, I like to use coconut milk. Not enough that it tastes like coconut, but just enough to make the soup creamy. I use full fat coconut milk for maximum creaminess.
Thyme: Thyme and mushrooms go well together. You could also use rosemary, sage or tarragon.
Water, olive oil and salt: Of course you’ll need olive oil for frying the onions and mushrooms, salt for seasoning, and water for the mushroom stock.
How to make vegan cream of mushroom soup
1. Rehydrate the porcini mushrooms: The first step is to rehydrate the dried mushrooms and make the mushroom stock.
It’s important not to use hot water. Hot water will pull too much flavour out of the porcini mushrooms and leave them tasteless.
Place the dried mushrooms in a bowl and pour over room-temperature water.
Leave them to rehydrate for about 20 minutes.
2. Chop and sauté the onion and garlic: While the mushrooms rehydrate, chop the onion and garlic.
Heat the olive oil in a pot over medium-low heat and add the onion to gently fry.
Frying them slowly over low heat will bring out more flavour.
Once the onion is soft and transparent, add the garlic for a further 30 seconds.
3. Prep the mushrooms: While the onion is gently frying, prep the mushrooms.
If the stems are dirty, snap them off.
There are a lot of opinions about how to clean the dirt off the caps.
There are those who believe mushrooms should never touch water and the best way is to use a brush or a damp paper towel to gently brush the dirt off.
I agree with this method when it comes to delicate wild mushrooms.
For tough button mushrooms, I don’t find that a quick rinse under running water prevents the mushrooms from frying and browning nicely.
So clean them however you prefer, then slice them.
4. Cook the mushrooms: Add the mushrooms and the thyme to the pot and raise the heat to medium-high.
Fry, stirring from time to time, until they are release their liquid, are soft and beginning to brown.
It takes about five minutes.
5. Simmer: Now add the vegetable stock and the liquid that the porcini mushrooms were soaking in.
Dried mushrooms usually have a bit of dirt and grit that gets released during rehydration.
Pour the mushroom stock into the pot slowly to keep that dirt on the bottom of the bowl and prevent adding it to the soup.
Let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes to meld all of the flavours.
6. Add remaining ingredients: Take the soup off the heat and add the coconut milk, rehydrated porcini mushrooms and salt.
The reason this is done off the heat is because coconut milk can curdle if boiled and you want the porcini mushrooms to keep their flavour rather than it leeching out into the soup.
7. Blend: Finally, transfer about a cup of the soup to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
Pour it back into the pot of soup and give it a good stir. It’s ready to serve!
Substitutions and variations
Mushrooms: This recipe calls for both white and brown mushrooms. You can use just one if you prefer. You can also substitute for another mushroom like portobello. I don’t recommend omitting the dried porcini mushroom, though, since they are what makes this recipe so good!
Herbs: Instead of thyme you can use rosemary, sage, tarragon or whatever herb goes well with mushrooms.
White wine: White wine is a popular addition to vegan cream of mushroom soup. You can add ¼ - ½ cup of dry white wine after the mushrooms are cooked. Give it a few minutes to simmer off the alcohol before proceeding with the stock.
Mushroom powder: Mushroom powder is dried, pulverized mushrooms. Similar to dried porcini mushrooms, mushroom powder adds a lot of flavour and umami. If you’d like even more mushroom flavour, sprinkle in some mushroom powder.
Yes, this vegan cream of mushroom soup is gluten free.
Green bean casserole calls for condensed cream of mushroom soup. This recipe is not condensed so you would need to thicken it by adding less vegetable stock or using a thickener like flour or cornstarch.
If you would like the soup thicker, you can blend it more. Alternatively, you can combine a couple tablespoons of cornstarch with a couple tablespoons of water and add it to the soup.
Instead of coconut milk you can use blended cashews or a store-bought vegan cooking cream.
How to store, reheat and freeze
Vegan cream of mushroom soup can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 - 4 days.
Coconut milk separates when frozen so ideally you would want to freeze the soup without the coconut milk and then add it in after thawing and while reheating.
To reheat the soup, transfer the soup to a bowl and microwave it for a couple of minutes or transfer it to a pot and gently reheat it on the stove.
What to serve with it
Vegan cream of mushroom soup can be served as a starter to something like risotto or pasta.
It’s also a great main dish to be served with a side salad, a baked potato or some crusty bread.
Of course you can never go wrong with soup and a sandwich. A vegan grilled cheese sandwich or a hummus vegetable sandwich are great options.
More vegan soup recipes
If you love soup, check out our collection of over 50 hot and cold vegan soup recipes!
Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup
- 0.75 oz (20 grams) dried porcini mushrooms
- 1 cup (250 ml) room temperature water
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 20 oz (565 grams) fresh mushrooms (white button or cremini or a combo of both)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 cups (500 ml) vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (250 ml) coconut milk
- Place the porcini mushrooms in a bowl and cover with the water. Set aside to rehydrate while you dice the mushrooms and garlic.
- Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium-low heat. Add the onion and gently fry, stirring from time to time, while you clean and slice the mushrooms.
- When the onion is transparent, add the garlic and fry for another 30 seconds to a minute until soft and fragrant.
- Add the sliced mushrooms and thyme and raise the heat to medium-high. Allow the mushrooms to cook, stirring frequently to avoid burning on the bottom, until they begin to release their liquid and are soft - about 5 minutes.
- Remove the porcini mushrooms and give them a squeeze to get out some of the water. Chop them into smaller pieces if necessary.
- Add the vegetable stock, salt and mushroom soaking liquid to the pot. Be careful when adding the mushroom stock because there will be some grit and sand on the bottom of the bowl, don’t add that.
- Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and add the porcini mushrooms, coconut milk and salt.
- Carefully transfer 3 - 4 ladlefuls (about 1 cup / 250 ml) to a blender and blend until creamy. Return to the pot, stir it well and serve.
This looks amazing! If I have porcini mushroom powder instead of the actual dried mushrooms, I guess I could blend some with stock or water, right? And just up the quantity of fresh mushrooms to compensate.
Yes, that's probably work.
Cathy Gunn says
Can I use fresh portabello mushrooms? What quantity please?