Comfort Food

No-Fancy-Tricks-Needed Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup

April 21, 2016

It's easy to complicate recipes in the quest to make vegan food taste as "authentic" as possible. Replacing dairy can mean long hours of soaking cashews or fermenting nut cheese; replacing chicken or beef can mean kneading and simmering a block of seitan.

Even if your approach to veganism is largely devoid of meat replacements, even if you take a vegetable-centric approach, it’s easy to slide down the rabbit hole of trying to find the perfect hack for an omnivore recipe or two.

This soup, however, demonstrates how easy it can be to create a taste or texture that we associate with non-vegan food (here, that's creaminess) without having to flex too many culinary muscles. It’s cream of mushroom soup, and yes, cashew cream is an option, but you can also simply pop open a can of coconut milk to get all of the creaminess you need. If you don’t have coconut milk, unsweetened soy milk would be a suitable replacement, too.

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In the meantime, mushrooms add texture and umami to this meatless dish, and the wild rice gives it plenty of staying power. Heat up a bowl for an easy lunch, or serve with a big, fresh salad as an easy option for spring entertaining. Despite the creaminess, the soup doesn’t feel heavy, which makes it perfect for bridging the seasons.

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Gena is a registered dietitian, recipe developer, and food blogger. She's the author of three cookbooks, including Power Plates (2017) and Food52 Vegan (2015). She enjoys cooking vegetables, making bread, and challenging herself with vegan baking projects.

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