Creamy Vegan Mushroom Soup

This vegan mushroom soup is delightfully creamy and hearty, featuring loads of veggies and hearty whole grains! Here’s a soup that’s ultra cozy and deliciously hearty: Vegan Mushroom Soup! You won’t believe how creamy this is…without the use of dairy! Just like our fan favorite Wild Rice Soup, we’ve harnessed the magic of cashews to make a delightfully creamy base. Add to that spices, lots of veggies and whole grains, and it’s the perfect canvas to highlight deliciously savory mushrooms. Ready to get cooking? Tricks to the best vegan mushroom soup This vegan mushroom soup is modeled after our fan favorite Wild Rice Soup: but it’s even quicker to make! Both soups use the same trick: soaked cashews. Soaking and blending these powerhouse nuts makes them into a delightfully creamy sauce that works just like dairy (try our Cashew Cream). Here you can blend them right into a soup for a rich, creamy body. Here’s what to know: Soak the cashews while you make the soup. You don’t have to think ahead at all! The time to make the soup is just enough…unless you don’t have a great blender. A powerful blender is helpful. We have a high speed blender […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This vegan mushroom soup is delightfully creamy and hearty, featuring loads of veggies and hearty whole grains!

Vegan mushroom soup

Here’s a soup that’s ultra cozy and deliciously hearty: Vegan Mushroom Soup! You won’t believe how creamy this is…without the use of dairy! Just like our fan favorite Wild Rice Soup, we’ve harnessed the magic of cashews to make a delightfully creamy base. Add to that spices, lots of veggies and whole grains, and it’s the perfect canvas to highlight deliciously savory mushrooms. Ready to get cooking?

Tricks to the best vegan mushroom soup

This vegan mushroom soup is modeled after our fan favorite Wild Rice Soup: but it’s even quicker to make! Both soups use the same trick: soaked cashews. Soaking and blending these powerhouse nuts makes them into a delightfully creamy sauce that works just like dairy (try our Cashew Cream). Here you can blend them right into a soup for a rich, creamy body. Here’s what to know:

  • Soak the cashews while you make the soup. You don’t have to think ahead at all! The time to make the soup is just enough…unless you don’t have a great blender.
  • A powerful blender is helpful. We have a high speed blender and it works magic with cashews. If you don’t have a good blender, you may want to soak your cashews overnight to make sure they’re soft enough to blend.
  • Make the soup, then blend the cashews with 2 cups of it. Yep that’s right: take the veggies, broth and everything in your pot! Blend it with the cashews and it becomes beautifully creamy…like magic!
Vegan mushroom soup

Make sure to find pearled barley, not hulled!

Here’s a tip for when you make this vegan mushroom soup: look for pearled barley at the store, not hulled barley. Many packages don’t actually have this marked: so how can you tell the difference? And what’s the difference, anyway?

  • Hulled barley has just the hull removed. It’s darker in color than pearled barley and has a chewier texture when cooked. It takes about 50 to 55 minutes to cook hulled barley.
  • Pearled barley is lighter in color; it has the outer husk and bran layer removed. This makes it much quicker to cook, though it loses some of the nutritional value of those components. It takes 15 to 30 minutes to cook pearled barley, depending on the brand.
  • Bottom line: Essentially, the difference between pearled barley vs hulled barley is like white rice vs brown rice.
  • How to tell if the package doesn’t indicate? Review the color: pearled is light and hulled is medium brown. Then check the cooking instructions on the back: the cook time should indicate which type it is.

Or, you can use farro!

If you prefer, you can use farro instead! Farro is an ancient whole grain with a chewy texture very similar to barley. It cooks quicker than hulled barley, making it a favorite in our household. It’s also not gluten free because it’s made from wheat. But it’s very delicious and one of our favorite whole grains to cook.

Other ways to use farro? Make Farro with Herbs, Farro with Mushrooms & Parmesan, Instant Pot Farro or Farro & Brussels Sprouts Soup.

Vegan mushroom soup

Gluten free grains in vegan mushroom soup

Want to make this vegan mushroom soup into a gluten-free soup as well? The grains in this soup are not gluten free, but it’s easy to make with the following options:

  • White rice: Substitute it for the barley and cook until tender, about 15 minutes
  • Brown rice: Cook it in advance! It will soak up too much liquid to cook in the soup. Add it in Step 4 below and simmer 15 minutes.

Are there any substitutes for cashews?

Got a nut allergy? Unfortunately cashews are really magical when it comes to making a creamy body in vegan soups. We don’t have any great substitutes here (unless you want to try dairy!). However, one option to consider is canned white beans. There’s no need to soak: just substitute them in for the nuts in the final blending step. It won’t have nearly the richness and sweetness of the cashews, but beans do have thickening power.

Mushroom soup

What to serve with vegan mushroom soup

Want to make this vegan soup into a full meal? Throw together one of these vegan side dishes while the meal cooks:

This vegan mushroom soup recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based and dairy-free. For gluten-free, use white or brown rice.

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Vegan mushroom soup

Vegan Mushroom Soup


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This vegan mushroom soup is delightfully creamy and hearty, featuring loads of veggies and hearty whole grains


Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup unsalted cashews
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 3 celery ribs
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 pound mushrooms: cremini* (aka baby bella) or a mix of baby bella and shiitake
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup dry pearled barley or farro (make sure it is pearled*), or white rice for gluten free**
  • 1 teaspoon each garlic powder and dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon each dried oregano and dried dill
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt +1/4 teaspoon
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (or smoked shoyu), or more salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Instructions

  1. Place the cashews in a bowl and cover them with water. Leave them to soak while you make the recipe.
  2. Dice the onion. Thinly slice the celery. Peel and dice the carrots. Clean the mushrooms and slice them (if you’re using shiitake, make sure to remove the tough stems). Mince the garlic.
  3. Add the olive oil to a Dutch oven or soup pot. Add the onion, celery and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes until lightly browned. Add mushrooms, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the vegetable broth, barley, spices, kosher salt, and black pepper. Bring to a simmer. Cover the pot and simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes until the barley or farro is tender, stirring occasionally.
  5. Using a liquid cup measure, carefully remove 2 cups of the hot soup (including broth, veggies and barley) to a blender. Drain the cashews and add them to the blender, along with the cornstarch and soy sauce. Blend on high for about 1 minute until creamy. Then pour the creamy mixture back into the soup and simmer on low heat for about 5 minutes until thickened.
  6. Enjoy warm. Stores refrigerated for 3 days.

Notes

*Pearled barley cooks in about 20 minutes, whereas hulled barley cooks in about 50 to 55 minutes. The hulled barley has just the outer hull removed, whereas pearled also has the outer husk and bran layer removed, similar to the difference between white rice and brown rice. Check the package cook time to determine the difference if the package is not marked. 

**For gluten free, substitute white rice for the barley. You can also substitute brown rice, but cook it separately and add to the soup. In both cases, you can reduce the cook time in Step 4 to about 15 minutes. 

  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Soup

Keywords: Vegan mushroom soup

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Broccoli Cheese Soup is a classic and one of my favorites. This creamy, rich, cheesy soup with tender broccoli is made in ONE pot and so comforting. It is made with simple ingredients and only takes about 30 minutes to make. It is better than any brocc…

Broccoli Cheese Soup is a classic and one of my favorites. This creamy, rich, cheesy soup with tender broccoli is made in ONE pot and so comforting. It is made with simple ingredients and only takes about 30 minutes to make. It is better than any broccoli cheese soup you can buy at the store…

The post Broccoli Cheese Soup appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Pasta Fagioli

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I was in the mood for major comfort food so I made a big pot of Pasta Fagioli. Pasta Fagioli (Pasta e Fagioli) means “pasta and beans”, and is a traditional Italian soup. It is made with tomatoes, vegetables, beans, herbs, and pasta. Basically all of my favorites in one pot! It is 100% cozy…

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Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

This classic Roasted Tomato Basil Soup is made with roasted tomatoes, fresh basil, and garlic. . Serve a grilled cheese on the side for the ultimate comforting meal! Is there anything better than a bowl of tomato basil soup? It’s one of my all-time fav…

This classic Roasted Tomato Basil Soup is made with roasted tomatoes, fresh basil, and garlic. . Serve a grilled cheese on the side for the ultimate comforting meal! Is there anything better than a bowl of tomato basil soup? It’s one of my all-time favorites! It always hits the spot.  It has fresh, familiar flavors…

The post Roasted Tomato Basil Soup appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Wild Rice Casserole

Here’s a modern spin on wild rice casserole! It’s broccoli cheese flavor, easy to make, and a healthy spin that’s heavy on whole foods. Here’s a modern spin on wild rice casserole that’s cozy and all about whole foods! Why relegate this healthy whole grain only to wild rice soup? There are plenty more ways to serve it, and this one is truly spectacular. It’s broccoli cheese flavor, flecked with savory bits of broccoli, gooey white cheddar, and a creamy easy-to-make filling. While it’s got a vaguely 1970’s vibe, this one is all whole foods and heavy on the plants. (Nope, there’s no cream of mushroom soup!) Ready to get cooking? What’s in this wild rice casserole? This broccoli cheese wild rice casserole is all about comfort food! At the same time, Alex and I have tried to keep a healthy spin: it’s got all whole foods, just enough cheese, and no rich roux sauce. Here’s what we’ve got in this vegetarian and gluten-free casserole: Perfect Wild Rice: Here we’ve used our favorite method of cooking this grain, simmered with vegetable broth, onion and celery. It comes out perfectly moist and tender! Broccoli: It’s chopped into small florets and sauteed […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Here’s a modern spin on wild rice casserole! It’s broccoli cheese flavor, easy to make, and a healthy spin that’s heavy on whole foods.

Wild rice casserole

Here’s a modern spin on wild rice casserole that’s cozy and all about whole foods! Why relegate this healthy whole grain only to wild rice soup? There are plenty more ways to serve it, and this one is truly spectacular. It’s broccoli cheese flavor, flecked with savory bits of broccoli, gooey white cheddar, and a creamy easy-to-make filling. While it’s got a vaguely 1970’s vibe, this one is all whole foods and heavy on the plants. (Nope, there’s no cream of mushroom soup!) Ready to get cooking?

Wild rice recipe

What’s in this wild rice casserole?

This broccoli cheese wild rice casserole is all about comfort food! At the same time, Alex and I have tried to keep a healthy spin: it’s got all whole foods, just enough cheese, and no rich roux sauce. Here’s what we’ve got in this vegetarian and gluten-free casserole:

  • Perfect Wild Rice: Here we’ve used our favorite method of cooking this grain, simmered with vegetable broth, onion and celery. It comes out perfectly moist and tender!
  • Broccoli: It’s chopped into small florets and sauteed simply on the stovetop with a few spices. It’s our favorite way to eat it as a side dish: which we stole here for this casserole!
  • Sour Cream: Who wants to dirty another pan to make a cheese sauce? You’ll stir sour cream right into the rice to make it creamy.
  • White Cheddar Cheese: A sharp white cheddar cheese is perfect here. You can use aged cheese to get even more flavor.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Adding shredded Parmesan brings just right right complexity!

Did you know wild rice isn’t really…rice?

Did you know that wild rice is not actually rice? (Mind blown, right?) It’s actually the seed from a native grass that grows in lakes and streams in the Northern US and Canada. But since it looks a lot like rice, wild rice is treated as rice in most cuisines! Wild rice was an important staple to Native Americans in the upper Great Lakes area of the US. I’m from Minnesota originally, so wild rice was part of the heritage and history of where I lived growing up!

Wild rice casserole

Wild rice vs brown rice

Though they’re not truly related, wild rice is often compared to brown rice. They are often served in similar ways, and wild rice is a great substitute for rice (like in a wild rice casserole!). Is wild rice healthier than brown rice? Here’s how they stack up:

  • Wild rice has less calories than brown rice, about 66% less! 1 cup of cooked wild rice has 166 calories and 1 cup brown rice has 248 calories. (Source)
  • Wild rice has slightly more protein than brown rice1 cup cooked wild rice has 6.5 grams protein vs 5.5 grams in brown rice. (Source)
  • Both wild and brown rice have the same amount of fiber, about 3 grams per 1 cup cooked.
Wild rice casserole

Make ahead tips!

Wild rice takes about 45 to 55 minutes to cook…which is why Alex and I used to avoid it in our recipes! But we’ve learned it’s absolutely worth the time. To make this wild rice casserole seriously simple to prep, here’s what you can do:

  • Make the wild rice in advance. Make the rice in advance and refrigerate until serving! The day of serving, mix it with the hot broccoli in a bowl, which should reheat it.
  • The day of, make the broccoli while the oven preheats. Saute the broccoli while the oven is preheating, then mix it with the wild rice to reheat it.

How to serve wild rice casserole

This wild rice casserole can be served as a side dish or a vegetarian and gluten-free dinner main dish! What could you serve with it to make it into a meal? Here are some ideas:

  • Lemony Steamed Green Beans These zesty steamed green beans are the epitome of an easy side dish: they take just 10 minutes to put together.
  • Best Ever Sauteed Mushrooms This wild rice casserole doesn’t have mushrooms, so why not serve them as a side! They’re meaty and would add a nice contrast.
  • Fennel Orange Salad Here’s a refreshing and easy side dish: fennel orange salad! It pairs juicy orange and the subtle licorice essence of fennel with a citrus vinaigrette.
  • Want more? Here are our Best Side Dishes.
Wild Rice casserole

This recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

Print
Wild rice casserole

Wild Rice Casserole (Broccoli Cheese!)


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Description

Here’s a modern spin on wild rice casserole! It’s broccoli cheese flavor, easy to make, and a healthy spin that’s heavy on whole foods.


Ingredients

  • 1 recipe Perfect Wild Rice (with onions and celery)
  • 1 1/2 pounds (2 large heads) broccoli (about 4 cups small florets)
  • 2 green onions
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/4 cup (4 ounces) shredded white cheddar cheese (aged, if you’d like)
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Make the rice: Make the Perfect Wild Rice. (Meal prep tip: Make this in advance and refrigerate until serving. The day of serving, reheat it to warm, or mix with the still-warm broccoli in step 2 to reheat it.)
  2. Cook the broccoli: Meanwhile, chop the broccoli into small florets. Thinly slice the green onions. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the broccoli florets and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally (the broccoli will lightly brown in parts). Stir in the green onion, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more, until crisp tender but still bright green. Taste and add a few pinches of salt if needed (make the flavor pop!) and fresh ground pepper. Remove to a large bowl. 
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Mix the casserole filling: When the wild rice is done, drain it and add the additional salt to taste as part of that recipe. Then place it in the bowl with the broccoli. Mix in the sour cream and 3/4 cup shredded white cheddar cheese. Taste and add additional salt if you’d like (we added 1/4 teaspoon more). 
  5. Bake: Pour the filling into a 9 x 13″ baking dish. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup shredded white cheddar cheese and the Parmesan cheese. Bake 10 minutes until the cheese is melted.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Wild Rice Casserole

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Mushroom Barley Soup

This favorite mushroom barley soup is full of vegetables, chewy barley, and warming broth. It’s a recipe for cozy on gray days! Here’s of the coziest soups out there, ready to join the ranks of tomato basil and wild rice. Yep, it’s mushroom barley soup! This one is full of flavor: it uses both dried and fresh mushrooms for earthy savoriness. And it’s got a warming broth and nutritious veggies. But the star? Whole grain barley, which infuses each bite with a pasta-like chewy texture. If you love barley soup, you’re going to be all about this one! It’s perfect for healthy desk lunches in a thermos or enjoying a big steaming bowl after a long day. Alex made this one for me, and from the first bite I was hooked. Mushrooms: both dried and fresh! If you’re reading this, we’ll assume you’re mushroom lovers like we are. It took me years, but I finally learned to embrace the incredible flavor you can get from the humble mushroom, especially in plant based recipes. For this recipe, you’ll use two types of mushrooms: both dried and fresh! Don’t be scared of the dried mushrooms: they’re very easy to use! If you’ve […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, Vegetarian Recipes

This favorite mushroom barley soup is full of vegetables, chewy barley, and warming broth. It’s a recipe for cozy on gray days!

Mushroom barley soup

Here’s of the coziest soups out there, ready to join the ranks of tomato basil and wild rice. Yep, it’s mushroom barley soup! This one is full of flavor: it uses both dried and fresh mushrooms for earthy savoriness. And it’s got a warming broth and nutritious veggies. But the star? Whole grain barley, which infuses each bite with a pasta-like chewy texture. If you love barley soup, you’re going to be all about this one! It’s perfect for healthy desk lunches in a thermos or enjoying a big steaming bowl after a long day. Alex made this one for me, and from the first bite I was hooked.

Mushroom barley soup

Mushrooms: both dried and fresh!

If you’re reading this, we’ll assume you’re mushroom lovers like we are. It took me years, but I finally learned to embrace the incredible flavor you can get from the humble mushroom, especially in plant based recipes.

For this recipe, you’ll use two types of mushrooms: both dried and fresh! Don’t be scared of the dried mushrooms: they’re very easy to use! If you’ve never worked with them before, here’s the down-low on using dried mushrooms:

  • Use any type. For this mushroom barley soup, you can use whatever type of dried mushroom you find at the store. Porcini is likely the easiest to find, but any will do.
  • Soak before using. Dried mushrooms needs to be dehydrated before using. For this recipe, you’ll soak the mushrooms for 30 minutes before adding to the soup.
  • Use the soaking liquid too. You’ll also pour in the mushroom soaking liquid into the soup, since that has lots of flavor too! Just make sure to strain out the liquid to make sure there are no tough parts of the mushrooms included.

Want more? Here’s all you need to know about working with dried mushrooms.

Barley soup

Tips on making mushroom barley soup

This mushroom barley soup is warming and cozy, but you can make it literally any time of the year. Packed with whole grains and vegetables, it’s a restoring, healthy dinner recipe or perfect for lunch. This soup is pretty straightforward to make, after you keep in mind the notes on using dried mushrooms above. Other than that, you’ll find it’s similar to many soup recipes you’ll find. Here are a few notes on this soup:

  • Speed it up with knife skills. The easiest place to get time savings in cooking is knowing your knife skills! To brush up, head to our Knife Skills 101 or click the links to the vegetables in the recipe below.
  • Try homemade veggie broth. Did you know you can make your own vegetable broth? It’s super easy and a great way to use up leftover veggies. Go to How to Make Vegetable Broth.
  • To make it more filling, add white beans. The soup is seriously good and filling on its own. If you want to take it up a level, add 1 15-ounce can of white beans with all the veggies. It adds even more plant based protein to keep you full!
  • Is barley gluten free? No! Barley contains gluten, so it’s not part of a gluten free diet.
Mushroom barley soup

What to serve with barley soup

How to make this mushroom barley soup into a meal? With soup, it’s all about the right sides. Here are some of our favorites to add to this one:

Mushroom barley soup

This barley soup recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free.

Print
Mushroom barley soup

Mushroom Barley Soup


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4

Description

This favorite mushroom barley soup is full of vegetables, chewy barley, and warming broth. It’s a recipe for cozy on gray days!


Ingredients

  • 1/2 ounce dried mushrooms
  • 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 1 cup pearled barley
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Soak the dried mushrooms in 2 cups of room temperature water for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, dice the onion. Peel and dice the carrots. Dice the celery. Slice the baby bella mushrooms. Mince the garlic.
  3. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced baby bella mushrooms, soy sauce, and basil. Cook 4 minutes. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook 5 to 6 minutes until softened. Stir in the barley and cook for 2 minutes. Add the vegetable broth and kosher salt.
  4. Bring to simmer and cook 25 to 30 minutes until barley is soft. Whenever the dried mushrooms are finished soaking (likely around when the simmering starts), remove and rinse them, then add them to the soup. Pour the remaining liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into the soup (this avoids any tough particles).
  5. Finish the remaining simmering time, then taste and add additional salt or pepper if desired. Ladle into bowls and serve warm.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vegetarian

Keywords: Barley Soup, Mushroom Barley Soup, Vegetable Barley Soup

Mushroom recipes

Mushroom obsessed like we are? Here are a few more recipes you might enjoy:

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, Vegetarian Recipes