This dairy-free mushroom soup is like comfort in a bowl. It's exactly how you remember cream of mushroom soup tasting - thick, rich, hearty... but without the "cream."
I may have mentioned before that I was a picky eater as a kid.
Until college, my diet consisted mostly of carrots and turkey sandwiches on wheat bread.
Like most kids, I had very strong opinions about certain foods that would never (never) enter my mouth.
I couldn't tell you where these strong opinions came from. They were certainly not based on taste. Because I knew with the utmost certainty that something dreadful would happen if I ate that.
As you might imagine, a food labeled "fungi" fell into this category. And I may or may not have pitched a legendary fit over a certain mushroom spaghetti sauce that went down in the annals of my childhood.
And here I am 20+ years later eating, cooking and telling you to try nothing other than... mushrooms. Oh the irony.
Benefits of Mushrooms
I'm not sure exactly what turned me on to mushrooms, but now they're a regular staple of my grocery list.
With some dark leafy greens and a little onion, you've got one of the quickest and healthiest weeknight meals you can make.
Mushrooms are one of the most powerful healing foods on the planet.
They're a staple of Chinese medicine and have been used for thousands of years to treat everything from viruses to tumors.
There are more than 200 varieties used medicinally with different powers and properties. But even the most common of mushrooms will do your body good.
Generally, mushrooms are natural immune boosters and also work in the body to help regulate inflammation.
I'm talking about the kind of inflammation that can exist and linger at low levels in the body and contribute to all sorts of diseases, like heart disease and Alzheimer's.
Mushrooms are aromatase inhibitors which means they help balance the level of estrogen in the body, essentially helping to prevent certain estrogen-related cancers, like breast cancer.
In the world we live in today, where we come into contact with estrogens regularly from plastic bottles and containers, and added soy in so many foods, mushrooms work to block it.
They're also high in vitamins and minerals that are critical to cell and immune function - selenium, riboflavin, niacin, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and manganese.
Superpowers aside, mushrooms are incredibly flavorful and add a richness to whatever it is that you're cooking - like this soup, and I'm sure too that spaghetti sauce I turned my nose up at when I was five.
The Dairy-Free Part...
Instead of dairy this recipe uses coconut milk. If you're wondering if it makes it taste coconut-y, I get this question a lot and the answer is no. There's not a large amount in there and the flavors of the other ingredients are much stronger. I don't think you'll even notice it.
I used potatoes to thicken it a bit more too and add some heartiness. So you could say it's a sort of cross between potato and mushroom soup.
I like to take the extra step and blend the soup. Or blend 1/2 to 3/4 of it. This step is totally optional, the soup is delicious either way.
A Note on Blending Soups...
Blending hot foods like this mushroom soup heats the air inside the blender as well creating pressure that can blow the lid right off and BOOM soup is everywhere. This can also be quite dangerous and cause severe burns, plus a huge mess.
Follow these tips every time you blend something hot to prevent injuries and messes.
1. Fill blender mo more than one-third to one-half full. Filling the jar more than halfway can cause too much steam to build up and that's when accidents happen.
2. Remove the feeder cap (the piece in the center) on the blender lid.
3. Place the lid (minus the feeder cap) securely on the blender.
4. Cover the lid with a clean kitchen towel, folded so it's just slightly larger than the lid.
This allows the hot steam to escape through the feeder cap hole and edges of the towel) so pressure doesn't build.
5. Hold the lid to keep it secure and begin blending at the lowest speed. From there you can increase the speed gradually as needed.
Dairy-Free Mushroom Soup
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 leek, trimmed and sliced thin
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 20 oz mushrooms (any type, or a mix) - I like using pre-sliced baby bellas
- 4-5 yukon gold potatoes, diced
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 2 cups vegetable broth, + more as needed for desired consistency
- 1½ cup full-fat coconut milk
- sea salt
- black pepper
- In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.
- Add leeks and garlic and saute about 2 minutes.
- Add mushrooms and saute about 5 minutes.
- Add potatoes, thyme and vegetable broth and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat, cover and simmer about 20 minutes, until potatoes can be pierced with a fork.
- Add coconut milk.
- Optional: For a thicker, creamier soup, transfer ½-3/4 of soup to blender and blend until smooth (do this carefully - only fill blender no more than ½. Remove lid cap and cover with a towel. Start low and slow.) If you have an immersion blender you can use that directly in the pot instead.
Megan Adams Brown, CHC, helps people take charge of their health and to start listening to themselves over the latest diet trend to optimize their own wellness, happiness and potential. Her family-friendly meal plans help parents take charge in the kitchen, too. This leads to more vegetables, less junk, and happier, healthier kids and parents. Megan shares kid-approved, allergy-friendly recipes on her blog. To learn more click here.