Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup

Cream of mushroom soup was my absolute favourite as a kid. I loved that strange sucking sound the soup would make when it flopped out of the can, the way it would keep the shape of the can even when I plopped it into the pot and those gloopy glops of cream that never quite separated even after vigorous stirring. Mmmmmm…..

In fact, I loved most cream soup as a kid but I have mostly avoided them over the last few years as my diet has shifted away from dairy and most processed foods. So you can imagine my absolute delight when I discovered that my beloved cashew cream is not only great for making lattes but can also substitute for cream in a thick, delicious and rich soup.

mushroom 2

This soup is the perfect lunch or dinner for these cold winter days. It comes together quite quickly and is hearty, nutritious and delicious. And did you know that in addition to being so darn yummy, mushrooms are also incredibly healing? (I can almost see my friend Dana rolling her eyes and saying “but they are grown in poop” ; ) Yes they are a fungus and some are grown in compost but check out these interesting mushroom facts from nutrition expert Meghan Telpner:

–          Medicinal mushrooms have been proven as a valuable treatment option to help people heal from cancer. It’s been known forever in Chinese medicine and in alternative health care, and now there is even some science to back it up.

–          Research has come out showing that mushrooms and mushroom extracts are potent cancer fighters. It seems that this is especially the case for breast and prostate cancers. This is no wonder as mushrooms have long been considered a healing and special food. The ancient Romans and Egyptians considered them a gift from the Gods while the Chinese saw them as the elixir of life.

–          Mushrooms contain CLA which slows down the activity of an enzyme needed to make estrogen. Since cancers of the sex organs are fuelled by high levels of estrogen, mushroom extracts may be super important in helping us steer clear of these cancers.

–          Mushrooms contain “beta-glucans”, a special type of carbohydrate (specifically found in the Maitake variety). In the lab, beta-glucan was shown to annihilate prostatic cancer cells.

–          Mushrooms are a source of selenium. It has been shown that men who consume high amounts of selenium in their diets are at a decreased risk of developing prostate cancer. Selenium may also slow the rate of tumour progression in the case of prostate cancer.

–          Medicinal mushrooms such as Reishi, taken in their extract form, are believed to enhance the immune responses of the body. This helps your body overcome disease making it a strong fighting-machine. Research has shown that regular consumption of medicinal mushrooms is associated with a lower death rate from cancer.

 Superfood and super delicious! It’s a win-win.

mushroom 3

 So try out this amazing creamy, healing and heart-warming soup. I will admit that I kind of missed the glops and there was no tin can shape but the taste was just like the old days….maybe even a bit better. Yummy!

Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup

1 onion, finely diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
5 cups of mushrooms, chopped (I used a combination of baby bella and shitake)
2 cubes of mushroom bouillon
6 cups of hot water
1 bay leaf
1 ½ cups of cashew cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Croutons for topping if desired

Prepare cashew cream as directed here and store in the fridge until ready to use.

Heat a soup pot over medium heat. When pot is hot add 1 tsp of salt and cook for 1 minute. Add olive oil and heat for 30 seconds more to create a non-stick effect. (being careful not to let the oil smoke).

Add onion, garlic and mushrooms to the pot and cook for 6-10 minutes until they are very soft.

mushroom soup in pot

Dissolve bouillon in hot water and add to pot. Add bay leaf and bring the mixture to a boil.

Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

mushroom soup 2

Add cashew cream and continue to simmer for 10 more minutes.

mushroom soup cashew cream

Remove bay leaf and season with addition salt and pepper if desired.

mushroom soup in bowl

Serve plain or with croutons or crackers. Enjoy!

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