Vegan mushroom soup is a must for any mushroom lover. Easy to make and full of deep savory flavors, this soup will soon become your go-to favorite.
Ready in about 30 minutes and cooked in just one pot, this healthy vegan mushroom soup recipe is made with simple ingredients and is low fat, dairy free, vegan, paleo, Whole30 and keto friendly. See below for great additions, serving suggestions and substitutions.
Why you will love this recipe
- Simple ingredients – The simplicity of the ingredients makes the mushrooms the star of this soup. With such a depth of flavor from the fresh mushrooms and thyme, it’s better than any canned soup on the market.
- Quick and easy – Ready in under 30 minutes, this soup is better than store bought and will really be the best mushroom soup you have ever had.
- Thick and creamy – This vegan mushroom soup is thick and creamy without the use of heavy cream or milk making it dairy free and low fat.
- One pot meal – Vegan, dairy free, gluten free and Whole30 friendly, this creamy mushroom soup is great for entertaining or weeknight meals. Even better it all cooks in just one pot making clean up so simple.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Onions – onions help build the base of flavor for this soup. They help give it that cozy comfort food factor and go so well with fresh mushrooms. You can use white or yellow onions; I do not recommend red onions for this soup though as they have a slightly different flavor when cooked down. If you don’t have onions on hand, you could also use the white part of green onions.
- Sliced mushrooms – to keep the mushrooms in this recipe easy to find, I used a combination of white mushrooms and baby bella mushrooms (cremini mushrooms). However, you could use shitake mushrooms or larger portobello mushrooms cut down into bite size pieces. Also, if you have just white button mushrooms on hand or just baby portobello mushrooms on hand, you don’t have to mix them, the flavor will still be great.
- Fresh Thyme – fresh thyme is what really gives this recipe its fantastic flavor. Mushrooms and fresh thyme are made for each other, and the thyme really enhances the overall flavor of the dish. You can make this with dried thyme, just note that you won’t need as much dried as you do fresh.
- Salt – salt helps to elevate the flavors of the soup and is really an essential ingredient. Don’t add salt to the mushrooms too early or it can cause them to not release all their liquid.
- Garlic Powder – I love using garlic powder in this recipe because I find that fresh garlic can sometimes overpower the flavor. However, if you love fresh garlic, you can use minced garlic in place of the powder, you will want to use 2-3 cloves worth.
- Bay Leaves – bay leaves help make the soup taste like it’s been cooking all day long. If you don’t have bay leaves, it’s ok to leave them out. Just add 1-2 to the pot while it simmers. Be sure to remove the bay leaves before serving (and especially before blending if you choose to blend a bit with the immersion blender).
- Coconut aminos (or soy sauce) – coconut aminos or tamari (gluten free soy sauce) help to elevate all the flavors in the dish and give an even deeper flavor to the mushrooms. Coconut aminos are a gluten free and soy free alternative to soy sauce.
- Vegetable broth – vegetable broth (or vegetable stock) brings in so many flavors (celery, carrots, onions, spices) and helps the soup taste like it’s been cooking all day on the stove. If you are not vegan or vegetarian, you can also use chicken broth or chicken stock.
- Arrowroot powder – arrowroot powder helps to thicken the soup, helping to create a creamy mushroom soup texture without being too thick. You can also use tapioca starch or cornstarch in place of the arrowroot powder.
- Dairy free milk – dairy free milk helps create that creamy mushroom soup consistency and flavor without using any dairy. You can use almond milk, cashew milk, oat milk, canned coconut milk (full fat coconut milk), or whatever your favorite nondairy milk is.
How to make vegan mushroom soup
Chop the onions and slice the mushrooms. Bring a large pot over medium heat. Sauté the onions until slightly softened.
Add the mushrooms to the onions in the pot and cook mushrooms and onions for 5-6 minutes.
Add the fresh thyme, salt, garlic powder, bay leaves and coconut aminos to the mushroom and onion mixture.
Mix the arrowroot powder into the vegetable broth (or vegetable stock) and stir well until completely combined. Pour the arrowroot powder and vegetable broth slurry and the dairy free milk into the mushroom and onion mixture and allow it to come to a simmer for 15 minutes to thicken.
After 15 minutes, serve hot or you can blend up some of the soup with an immersion blender to thicken the soup a little more to create a creamy mushroom soup.
- Wipe off – Be sure to wipe down your mushrooms with a damp towel or paper towel if you notice they have soil/dirt on them. Unlike other vegetables, mushrooms can absorb a bit of water if you run them directly under water to wash them, so it’s best practice to just wipe them with a towel to remove dirt/debris
- Time saving tip – You can buy pre-sliced mushrooms (white baby mushrooms or cremini mushrooms) in most grocery stores. This can help save you time on the prep of this recipe.
- Use whatever mushrooms you have on hand – You don’t have to use the mixture of baby white mushrooms and baby bella mushrooms (cremini). You can use whatever you have on hand, just make sure they are sliced down to an appropriate size for soup. Cremini mushrooms would also be great in this soup, but they aren’t always easy to find in local grocery stores, so I used what is widely available to make this dish very approachable and easy to make.
- Double or triple the recipe – As written, this soup only makes 2 large bowls, which disappears quickly. You can double or triple the ingredients to make a larger batch of soup. Just note that it may take longer to sweat out the mushrooms when you are cooking such a large quantity. Also be sure to use a large pot as the soup will quickly start to fill up the pot.
This soup is incredibly flavorful but isn’t the most filling soup since it’s mostly mushrooms and does not have a ton of fat (unless you use canned full fat coconut milk). Because of this, I often serve something on the side to make it a more filling meal. Here are ideas on what you can serve with vegan creamy mushroom soup:
- Salad – Soup and salad go together so well (add a hunk of bread and call it a meal). Some great options would be Shaved Brussel Sprouts Salad, Vegan Greek Salad, or Cruciferous Crunch Salad
- Bread or crackers – Homemade Hemp Flax Crackers or Homemade Seed Crackers, Lentil Flatbread, Oat Flour Tortillas or your favorite gluten free crusty bread
- Veggies – Serve with 5 minute creamy kale, air fryer frozen broccoli or healthy sauteed broccoli for a low carb meal!
- Grains – To make the soup more filling you could add 1/2 cup of your favorite grain to the soup (rice, quinoa, farro) with a cup of water to make the soup more filling. You may need to add more cooking time to ensure the grains are fully cooked.
The mushrooms really are the star of the show for this soup, but you could add some simple toppings to help make the soup more enjoyable. Some great options include:
- Fried onions
- Parmesan cheese (regular or vegan)
- Microgreens (broccoli, kale, arugula would all be great)
- Fresh thyme leaves
Is this soup healthy?
This dairy free mushroom soup is packed with nutrient dense mushrooms and fresh herbs. This homemade mushroom soup is rich in flavor, low in calories and a great source of fiber and an easy way to get in more veggies!
Because of the simple ingredients, this soup is much more well balanced than most of the canned or premade soups you can buy at your favorite grocery shop or order at your local restaurant.
Typically, soup gets a bad rap because they are loaded with sodium and preservatives to keep them shelf stable. Since this is fresh and homemade you get to choose the ingredients to keep the sodium in check.
What are the best mushrooms for soup?
This healthy mushroom soup uses a mixture of cremini mushrooms (baby portabella mushrooms) and white button mushrooms. The cremini mushrooms add a depth of flavor and umami that you don’t get with just white button mushrooms, which is why I like to use a combination.
You could also use shitake mushrooms, but those are usually more expensive, so I stick to cremini and white button to save money.
To save time, you can buy the mushrooms pre-sliced but I prefer to buy them whole and slice them myself since the pre-cut mushrooms can go bad faster.
Tips for working with mushrooms
To prepare the mushrooms, use a dry paper towel to brush off any soil/dirt you see. Don’t run mushrooms under water, as they are very porous and will absorb the water, and never really develop their flavor fully.
Wait to salt the mushrooms until after they have cooked down for some time. Adding salt too early can cause the mushrooms to not fully release all their water, which can give them a squishy texture.
What herbs are best in this recipe?
- Fresh thyme – Fresh thyme and mushrooms are a match made in heaven! To remove the little thyme leaves from the stalk, simply hold the stalk at the very top (so the leaves are pointing up) and run your fingers down the stalk pulling the leaves down with your fingers. The stalks can be very fibrous and tough, so be sure to remove as much of them as you can.
- If you don’t have fresh thyme, you can use dried thyme. Dried herbs are much stronger, so you will want to use about 1 teaspoon.
- Herbs de Provence – this spice blend is incredibly flavorful and would also be a great addition to this healthy mushroom soup. It’s a spice blend from the South of France that often includes dried parsley, rosemary, fennel, tarragon, thyme, lavender and other herbs.
- To get the most flavor out of dried herbs, it’s best to rub the leaves between your fingers to crush them up before adding them to the soup to help release some of their natural oils.
- Fresh or dried rosemary – Fresh and dried rosemary can quickly overpower a recipe but using just a small amount (1 teaspoon fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried) would be a great flavorful addition.
- Dried Italian seasoning – Italian seasoning is a great go to spice blend if you don’t keep many fresh or dried herbs on hand. Use about 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning if you don’t have fresh or dried thyme or about 1 teaspoon to just elevate the flavors.
How to thicken without heavy cream
This recipe for dairy free mushroom soup uses arrowroot (or tapioca flour) to thicken the soup (no cream or milk needed). It’s important that you mix in the arrowroot powder into a cold or room temperature liquid before adding it to the heat. This is to ensure the mixture is smooth since the heat will cause any clumps to clump together more.
Tip: If you wanted a creamier soup, you could blend half of the soup with an immersion blender or high-speed blender to help thicken it more. You could also add pureed white beans or mashed potatoes to the soup to help thicken it without cream.
How to make this extra creamy?
The hearty vegan mushroom soup can also be made creamier with the addition of white beans to make the vegan white bean mushroom soup, or boiled potatoes for a vegan and paleo recipe. Both are an awesome way to add creaminess.
You could also add 1-2 tablespoons of vegan (or regular) cream cheese. The Kite Hill Chive Cream Cheese would be delicious stirred into this soup.
Can this become cream of mushroom soup?
Yes, to make this a vegan cream of mushroom soup recipe, reduce the vegetable broth by half and blend the soup in the blender in batches or using an immersion blender.
Once blended, continue to add more non-dairy milk as needed until it reaches your desired thickness. If you add too much liquid, you can always add in more arrowroot powder (just remember to dissolve it in water before adding it in so it doesn’t clump).
What dairy free milk can be used in this recipe?
Any dairy free milk you enjoy would be great. This includes but is not limited to:
- Coconut milk
- Cashew Milk
- Almond Milk
- Flax milk
- Hemp Milk
Can this soup be made ahead of time?
This easy mushroom soup is almost better the next day, so if you are having company, this would be a great make ahead meal. Just give the soup a few minutes to come back up to temperature over medium low heat before serving.
Note: This recipe only makes 2 servings, so if you are making it for company, you will want to double the recipe.
Can you freeze this soup?
Yes. You can freeze the soup in a freezer for up to 2 months. Make sure you allow the soup to cool completely before adding to a freezer safe container, soupercubes or freezer safe bag (I recommend stasher). See additional storage options below.
How to store mushroom soup
Fridge – This recipe will last 4-5 days in the fridge once prepared. Be sure to store it in a covered glass container or mason jar for easy storage. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove!
Freezer – This recipe can be frozen for up to 2 months. Make sure you allow the soup to cool completely before adding to a freezer safe container, soupercubes or freezer safe bag (I recommend stasher bags). Note: arrowroot powder can at times get a little gritty after freezing. I prefer to make it fresh.
Easy Vegan Mushroom Soup
Guided Recipe Video
- 1 large white onion - diced
- 1 package white button mushrooms - 10 oz sliced
- 1 package baby portobello mushrooms - 10 oz sliced
- 10 stalks fresh thyme - leaves removed
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp tapioca flour - or arrowroot or cornstarch
- 1 cup dairy free milk - unsweetened
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tbsp coconut aminos (or tamari or soy sauce)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder - optional
- Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add the diced onions and cook for 5-7 minutes while you slice the mushrooms..
- After 5-7 minutes, move the onions to the sides of the pot and add the mushrooms, allow to cook 5 minutes.
- Stir the onions and mushrooms together. Add fresh thyme leaves and continue to cook, at least 10 minutes.Note: You will notice a substantial amount of water has come out of the mushrooms, and they are reduced in volume by half.
- Add the bay leaf, the salt and the coconut aminos to the mushrooms.
- Add the tapioca starch to a bowl with the vegetable broth and stir well to combine. Add the vegetable broth mixture and dairy free milk to the mushroom mixture and stir well.
- Allow to cook for at least 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and add freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- 1 Immersion Blender Optional
- This soup is amazing the next day as well and can easily be doubled or tripled.
- To make the soup creamier, you can blend half the soup in a high speed blender (be careful, it’s hot).
- To thicken the soup even more, you can add a can of drained white beans or boiled potatoes.
- A mixture of cremini (baby portobello) and white button mushrooms are best. However you can use all cremini or all white button mushrooms if you need to.
- If you don’t have fresh thyme, you can use 1 teaspoon of dried thyme.
- Dairy free milks that this works well with include: unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk, cashew milk or oat milk.
- Substitutes for tapioca starch include arrowroot powder or cornstarch.