A combination of dried and fresh mushrooms is what makes this Vegan Mushroom Soup recipe irresistible. It’s is a staple at our Polish Christmas dinner, but it’s so easy, you can enjoy it all year long!
There is nothing I look forward to more during the holidays than my Grandma’s mushroom soup. The recipe came from her mother-in-law, my Great Grandmother, and it’s been the starter dish for our Christmas dinner for as long as I can remember. Always served with noodles, even the kids slurp up this soup!
Unfortunately, the traditional recipe, which simmers for 3 to 4 hours, isn’t vegan friendly as it’s finished with dairy sour cream and generally served with egg noodles (kluski, in Polish).
Thankfully, I’ve come up with a dairy free and Vegan Mushroom Soup recipe that’s every bit as delicious and holiday worthy, yet quick and easy enough for a weeknight meal!
Ingredients you need
Ingredient notes and substitutions
Mushrooms ~ Dried mushrooms are the key to getting lots of umami flavor in this soup. They cost more than fresh mushrooms, but have a much more intense flavor. You’d need about 10 pounds of fresh mushrooms to get the same bold flavor of just 1 pound of dried mushrooms, making them a more economical choice.
My Grandma uses imported dried Polish mushrooms (Borowik), which I believe are porcini mushrooms. While I don’t use those imported from Poland, I have used both porcini and shiitakes (which are definitely not Polish) when making this soup. Shiitakes seem to be easier to find in my neck of the woods, but I do prefer the porcini when I can get my hands on them. They are both delicious though, so whichever you can find will work!
For this recipe, you’ll need just a half ounce of dried mushrooms.
Mushroom broth ~ My grandma uses just water and the mushroom soaking liquid in her soup, but she also simmers her soup for 3 to 4 hours and I just don’t have that kind of time. So I use a bit of mushroom broth to bring out the flavors even more. If you don’t have or can’t find mushroom broth, you may use water or extra vegetable broth. I have done both in the past and the recipe turns out just fine.
Coconut Aminos ~ For added flavor. Since we are simmering this soup in a quick 30 minutes, just 1 tablespoon of this liquid brings an extra punch of savory flavor. Soy sauce or tamari can be used instead.
Light Coconut Milk ~ Coconut milk is thick and creamy. Light coconut milk, while a bit thinner than full fat, still delivers richness without a coconut flavor.
Apple Cider Vinegar ~ For a bit of tang to replace that of the sour cream found in my family’s traditional recipe.
Noodles ~ This soup is fantastic with or without noodles! Rice would also be great.
How to make the recipe
This soup is very easy to make! It’s also quick and simmers in just 30 minutes. You do need to soak the dried mushrooms first for at least 30 minutes to overnight, but soaking time is hands-off time.
First, soak the dried mushrooms (1).
Dried mushrooms tend to be gritty, so need to be rinsed very well. We do want to save all that flavorful soaking water though.
The easiest way to strain out the grit is by using a coffee filter. The holes in a fine mesh sieve might not catch all the tiny pieces of grit, so I place a coffee filter inside the sieve and place that over a large bowl (2), then pour the mushrooms and soaking water in (3).
Then I take the mushrooms out of the filter and rinse them very well with water to remove any grit that might still be hanging out in there.
After soaking, dried mushrooms can be a bit woody or chewy. To combat this, I chop them small after soaking, just like my Grandma always does. Grandma always knows best, right?!
The rest is business as usual:
- sauté onions in vegan butter
- add the fresh mushrooms and sauté until the liquid is absorbed
- add flavorings, the dried mushrooms, vegetable broth, mushroom broth (or water), and the soaking liquid.
- simmer 25 minutes
- serve with noodles…just like my Grandma does!
Pro tips for success
~ Dried mushrooms. Don’t skip these! They are key to the deep flavor.
~ Be sure to soak the dried mushrooms and then strain out any grit they may leave behind!
~ Use mushroom broth and a bit of coconut aminos too quickly deepen the flavor of the soup without having to simmer it for hours.
~ Serve it over noodles or rice for a kid-friendly vibe.
~ Keep the soup and noodles separate if you plan on storing leftovers. The soup will keep in an air-tight container in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.
All mushrooms, including dried, contain many nutrients and antioxidants. They are high in B vitamins, potassium, zinc, fiber, and protein.
Dried mushrooms will last in their original packaging or an air-tight container in a cool, dark spot for 6 to 12 months.
Yes! This soup freezes beautifully. It will keep in the fridge in covered containers for about 3 to 5 days. If you still have some left after that, transfer the soup to freezer safe containers, label it with name and date, and it will keep for about 6 months.
If you are making noodles to go with your soup, keep those separate if freezing.
More vegan mushroom recipes
- Creamy Mushroom Pasta
- Vegan Mushroom Stuffing
- Vegan Mushroom Pepper Steak
- Lentil Mushroom Tacos
- Hearty Mushroom Bolognese
Love soup? Browse all my vegan soup recipes!
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Vegan Mushroom Soup
- .5 ounce dried mushrooms porcini or shiitakes, or a mushroom blend, would all work
- 1 cup warm water
- 3 tablespoons vegan butter I like Miyoko's or Earth Balance (you may also use olive oil)
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 8 ounces fresh sliced mushrooms I like shiitakes, but white button would also work
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour gluten free, if desired
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos (or tamari or soy sauce)
- 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth*
- 2 cups mushroom broth or water or more vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons salt or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper or to taste
- 1 cup light coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- Cooked noodles optional, for serving (gluten free, if desired)
- Place the dried mushrooms in a bowl and cover them with the warm water. Let soak for at least 30 minutes, or up to 1 day. Strain through a coffee filter into a bowl, keeping the soaking liquid. (See photos and notes in post). Rinse the mushrooms thoroughly under water until all the grit is removed. Chop them into small pieces and set aside.
- Heat the butter in a big soup pot over medium heat on the stove. Add the diced onion and sauté 4 to 5 minutes until soft and translucent.
- Add the fresh sliced mushrooms and sauté until soft and most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 5 to 6 minutes.
- Add the coconut aminos and flour and stir until fully combined. No white flour should be visible.
- While whisking (to prevent clumps from the flour), slowly add the vegetable broth.
- Add the mushroom broth (or water), lemon juice, strained dried mushrooms, strained mushroom soaking liquid, salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes.
- Take off the heat. Add the light coconut milk and apple cider vinegar. Stir well to combine.
- Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
- Serve hot with noodles, if desired.