This cream of mushroom soup is so creamy, rich, and satisfying that you would never guess it’s dairy-free. It has an enticing texture of fresh mushrooms and a layer of flavor from a humble cauliflower. I could use a thousand words to describe it, but one thing for sure is: you must try it! The recipe is vegan (dairy-free, egg-free), grain-free (gluten-free), soy-free, and refined sugar-free.
Is there any food you hated as a child and never tried again as an adult? Chances are that you don't like certain food because of the way it was prepared the first time you ate it. Nobody likes canned mushrooms or over-cooked cauliflower. The quality of ingredients plays a huge role in the overall flavor as well. Have you ever noticed that tomatoes from the grocery store taste nothing like the tomatoes you buy at farmer's market?
To make matters even more complex, there's also our natural aversion to foods that are new or different from what we're expecting. This feeling of unfamiliarity makes us a little bit uncomfortable, which we interpret as a personal dislike.
So even if cauliflower and mushrooms aren't your thing, try this recipe. Keep trying the food you currently don't enjoy. Prepare it the way you like. Who knows, maybe you'll find an appreciation for foods you hated as a child.
My husband, for instance, hates cauliflower. And by hates, I mean HATES. But his repeated exclamations of "this soup is so much better than the canned cream of mushroom soup" made me think twice about the foods we think we don't like.
Tips for Making Cream of Mushroom Soup
If you have been missing the delicious flavor of cream of mushroom soup, here's a recipe that will satisfy your cravings. All you need are a few basic ingredients:
- Cauliflower: even though cauliflower is the main ingredient in this soup, it serves primarily as a textural vehicle for milk/cream and salt. It gives this soup the perfect thick and creamy consistency without contributing much of a flavor.
- Mushrooms: I absolutely love wild mushrooms, such as oyster or chanterelles. Wild mushrooms are quite pricey though (unless you forage them), so feel free to use good old brown button mushrooms. The more varieties you use, the better.
- Onion and garlic: aromatics create the savory base that helps the final cream of mushrooms soup taste more complete.
- Almond milk: the fat component in this soup comes mainly from almond milk. You can use any plant milk that's neutral in flavor. Some people swear by coconut milk in this soup, but I would not recommend it.
- Vegetable broth: I believe that vegetable broth is something everyone can (and should) make at home. It's so easy to do and tastes SO much better than anything you can find at the store. Of course, if you're short on time, feel free to use store-bought broth, which is the most convenient option. I still use it from time to time too! But whenever you do make your own broth, the extra time and effort will always be worth it.
- White wine: in all honesty, I rarely use wine in any recipe because neither my husband or I drink. However, when my parents are visiting and open a bottle of wine, I use the leftovers in my cooking. If you don't have a bottle of wine handy, use any type of acid you have - apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, etc.
- Thyme: this wonderful herb compliments the woodsy earthiness of mushrooms. I only had dried thyme on hand, but if you have fresh, use it.
- Salt: both cauliflower and mushrooms need quite a bit of seasoning, so don't hesitate to add generous pinches of salt.
How to Make Cream of Mushroom Soup
- Sauté the aromatics. Heat the olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté the aromatics until translucent, 5-7 minutes. Sautéing the aromatics gives them the opportunity to soften and release their essential flavors, creating the first layer of flavor in the soup.
- Sauté the mushrooms. Add the mushrooms into the pot with the aromatics and sauté them, stirring occasionally, until they have released most of their moisture and begin to brown, 8-10 minutes. The goal in sautéing the mushrooms is to get as much water out as possible. Mushrooms, especially cultivated mushrooms, are hard to sauté because they release so much water. So, make sure you use medium-high or high heat to encourage evaporation. When all the water is gone, season the mushrooms with salt and thyme, and deglaze the pan with wine.
- Cook the cauliflower. You can either boil the cauliflower (in the almond milk and vegetable broth) or roast it in the oven. Boiled cauliflower yields a cleaner, more simple flavor and a satiny texture. Roasted cauliflower brings a nutty and much more complex flavor. The choice is yours.
- Blend. Transfer the cooked/roasted cauliflower, vegetable broth, and almond milk into a high-speed blender and blend on high until completely smooth. You can purée some of the mushrooms as well. Just make sure you reserve some of the mushrooms to get some meaty bites of them every so often.
How to Serve Cream of Mushroom Soup
If you want to take this soup to another level, don't skip the toppings. Crispy sautéed mushrooms or crunchy homemade croutons provide a wonderful contrast to the smooth texture of the cream of mushroom soup. I also like to add a sprinkle of herbs for something fresh and vibrant.
How to Store Mushroom Soup
I find that puréed soups taste better the next day, so feel free to make this recipe ahead of time. Just make sure you reserve a few mushrooms and sauté them right before serving, so they are nice and crispy.
- Refrigerate: allow the soup to cool to room temperature. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for 3-4 days.
- Freeze: allow the soup to cool to room temperature. Transfer to an airtight, freezer-safe container (leaving a little bit of room for expansion) and freeze for up to 3 months.
- Reheat: transfer frozen soup into the refrigerator 24 hours before reheating to thaw slightly. Reheat in a pot on the stovetop over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until hot. Add ¼ cup/60 ml water/broth at a time if too thick.
More Cream of Mushroom Soup Recipes
If you’re interested in more puréed soup recipes, I have an entire blog post with Vitamix soup recipes and tips for making blended soups. Some of the recipes include:
- Butternut squash soup: this butternut squash soup is everything you expect from a traditional butternut squash soup – rich, creamy, and full of roasted butternut squash flavor. It undoubtedly falls into the comfort food category.
- Cream of broccoli soup: you would never know this broccoli soup is entirely plant-based. It’s incredibly flavorful and has the most luxurious creamy texture.
- Cream of cauliflower soup: this soup is lusciously creamy, a bit garlicy, and slightly nutty. What makes this cauliflower soup shine is roasted cauliflower and caramelized aromatics.
- Roasted red pepper soup: this light roasted red pepper soup is a twist on the classic cream of tomato soup. The sweetness of roasted bell peppers blends beautifully with the distinctive tartness of sun-dried tomatoes. The result is a comforting, delicious soup.
- Gazpacho: there are a million and one versions of gazpacho out there, so this is my most basic recipe to get you started. This soup is refreshing, light, and flavor-packed.
If you try any of these recipes, please, leave a comment and rate the recipe below. It always means a lot when you do.
Cream of Mushroom Soup
- 1 head cauliflower , cut into florets*
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 ½ cups unsweetened almond milk
- ¼ cup white wine **
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 onion , diced
- 3 cloves garlic , minced
- 4 cups wild mushrooms , chopped
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- sea salt , to taste
- fresh thyme , for garnish
- Sauté the aromatics. Heat the olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté the aromatics until translucent, 5-7 minutes.
- Sauté the mushrooms. Add the mushrooms into the pot with the aromatics and sauté them, stirring occasionally, until they have released most of their moisture and begin to brown, 8-10 minutes. When most of the liquid released from the mushrooms has evaporated, season the mushrooms with salt and thyme and deglaze the pot with wine. Keep sautéing the mushrooms for another minute or so, stirring frequently.
- Cook the cauliflower. Add the cauliflower, almond milk, and vegetable broth into a medium pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, season with salt (if the broth doesn’t contain salt already), and simmer, partially covered, until the cauliflower is tender, 5-10 minutes.
- Blend. Transfer the cooked cauliflower, almond milk, vegetable broth, and some of the sautéed mushrooms into a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
- Season. Taste and adjust the flavor as needed, adding more salt for saltiness, wine for acidity, and thyme for earthiness with lemony-minty undertones.
- Serve. Garnish the soup with fresh thyme leaves and sautéed mushrooms (optional). Serve hot.
- Store. Leftover soup keeps well covered in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. For longer term storage, freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.