Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup With Garlic-Herb Croutons

February 27, 2018
15 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Cook time 5 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

From Sarah Britton's Naturally Nourished cookbook: "The only cream of mushroom soup I ate as a kid was the canned variety—the one that plopped out of its claustrophobic aluminum home and retained its cylindrical-tin shape. You know the one I mean.

These days, I still love mushroom soup, but I make it from scratch without dairy. What is the secret to the creaminess without the cream? By blending cooked beans with vegetable broth, you end up with a totally luxurious texture that mimics heavy cream but is virtually fat free. In addition, beans deliver healthy, vegetarian protein and a serious dose of filling fiber. It tastes as if you are eating the richest soup of all time, but it’s a delicious illusion that warms you up, fills you up, but doesn’t fill you out!

To take this delicious soup to the next level, you must make the Garlic Herb
Croutons. They are ridiculously rich, perfectly seasoned, and extra
crunchy. You’ll be finding reasons to make soup just to eat them!"

Featured in: A Luxurious, Warming Cream of Mushroom Soup—Without the Cream. —Food52

What You'll Need
  • For Luxurious Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 1 large leek
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or ghee
  • 3 medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried), plus more for garnish
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 14 ounces / 400 grams cremini mushrooms
  • 2 cups / 500 vegetable broth
  • 1 cup / 250 ml plant-based milk of your choice
  • 1 1/2 cups / 250 grams (about 1 15-ounce an) white beans, such as navy, butter, cannellini, or great Northern, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • Garlic-herb croutons (recipe follows)
  • For Garlic-Herb Croutons (makes 4 cups)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 4 cups 330 grams cubed whole-grain bread
  1. For Luxurious Cream of Mushroom Soup
  2. To prepare the leek, cut the white and light-green parts in half lengthwise and then crosswise into chunks.
  3. In a large stockpot, melt the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the onions, leeks, salt, black pepper, thyme, and bay leaves. Cook until the onions and leeks are soft, about 5 minutes. Mince the garlic, add it to the pot, and stir.
  4. While the onions, leeks, and garlic are cooking, clean the mushrooms by removing any dirt or natural debris with a damp cloth (do not wash them in water). Cut the mushrooms into quarters and add them to the pot. Cook until they are dark brown and very soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the broth and stir.
  5. Meanwhile, combine the milk and beans in a blender and blend on high until smooth.
  6. When the mushrooms are cooked, add the vinegar and about one third of the soup to the blender with the blended beans. Blend on high until creamy, then pour the mixture back into the pot with the remaining soup, stir well, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 5 minutes. Thin the soup with water if desired.
  7. Season with plenty of freshly ground black pepper and sea salt. Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with the croutons and some fresh thyme sprigs.
  1. For Garlic-Herb Croutons (makes 4 cups)
  2. Preheat the oven to 325F/160C.
  3. In a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion powders, thyme, oregano, and salt, whisking to combine.
  4. Place the bread cubes on a rimmed baking sheet and pour the oil mixture over the top, tossing very well to coat the bread. Bake until the croutons are golden, fully toasted, and dry, 35 to 45 minutes. Store leftovers in an airtight glass jar at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Stephanie B.
    Stephanie B.
  • sl(i)m
  • Nan
  • Eunice

6 Reviews

sl(i)m February 18, 2020
This is a WONDERFUL mushroom soup! I made it nearly 2 years ago and the family loved it. Mostly followed the directions, but used olive oil instead of coconut oil, a homemade chicken broth, and a mix of heavy cream and whole milk instead of a plant-based milk. A definite keeper! Trying again with portobello mushrooms, because that's what I have on hand.
Nan January 6, 2019
I bet if you cook the canned beans till “overdone”will make this way creamier. That’s what a hummus recipe called for. I’ll try it. This sounds delish.
Eunice January 3, 2019
I had my doubts about this recipe, but it turned out great! I took the advice of another commenter and cooked down some sherry (didn't have red wine) with the mushrooms. I also used a vitamix blender on high to puree the beans and "milk" and I think that helped make the texture smooth and creamy. I'd definitely make it again.
Nicole March 22, 2018
I tried this receipe exactly as written and found the same as previous commenters, the soup was not velvety in texture at all more so almost grainy. The color was also very unappealing. It feels that maybe doubling the bean amount may help to balance out the darkness of the mushrooms. Overall very tasty but not a soup I'd make for guests.
Stephanie B. March 20, 2018
I did not try this soup exactly as written (no fault of the soup, following recipes exactly is only something I do in baking). With the addition of carrots and celery along with onion, and some red wine once the mushrooms were I added, I thought this tasted great. I used one big onion instead of 3 medium (3 sounds like a lot for such a small pot of soup). I whisked in some miso paste at the end. Tasted fabulous.

I did not achieve that velvety texture in the picture, not by a long shot. But I did tweak the recipe a lot, and the texture wasn't unpleasant so I would recommend.
palerma March 5, 2018
I tried this exactly as written. I found it bland and the color off putting. This did not feel or taste like a creamy soup. I would not recommend.