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Cream of Quinoa and Mushroom Soup

This is a soup quite unlike any other. It’s something of a spin on mushroom and barley soup (but with quinoa) and a classic creamy mushroom soup (but with cashews for vegan creaminess).

It’s just so good. The deep umami flavors from the mushrooms, the body and nuttiness of the quinoa, the creaminess from the blended cashews. These rich, comforting flavors are off the charts. Even better, it’s full of nutrients and doesn’t take more than half an hour to throw together with ingredients you probably already have on hand.

If I ate this every day for the rest of my life, it would be a good life. You’ve got to try this one.

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Quinoa_Soup

Makes 4-5 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked white quinoa
  • 2/3 cup raw cashews
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups any mushrooms (1-2 varieties)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 white onion
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1 large carrot
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 3 tablespoons tamari / soy sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons flour (optional)
  • Chives, for garnish

Step One

Cook the quinoa by adding 2 parts water with 1 part rinsed quinoa to a covered saucepan and simmering until the water is absorbed.

Also, begin soaking the raw cashews in warm water, which will soften them before they’re blended into a cream shortly.

Step Two

In one stockpot, add the vegetable broth, sliced mushrooms, oregano, and thyme and bring to a simmer. This will infuse the broth with the mushroom flavor and result in a much more flavorful soup.

Any varieties of mushrooms will work here, but I used one cup of fresh crimini and dried shiitake. If using dried mushrooms, use about a third less as they will expand.

Step Three

Finely dice the onions, celery, and carrots and add them to a larger stockpot with a splash of water. SautΓ© over medium heat until the veggies soften and the onions turn translucent. Then, add in 1/2 cup of white wine and give everything another 5 minutes to simmer.

Step Four

Drain the cashews of their soaking water and blend them with 1 cup fresh water until completely smooth. Then, add *everything* into the big stockpot with the veggies – broth, mushrooms, quinoa, and cashew cream. Also, add in about 3 tablespoons of tamari or soy sauce.

Step Five

If you prefer the soup to be thicker, feel free to add 1-2 tablespoons of whole wheat or brown rice flour and quickly whisk into the soup to prevent clumps. Otherwise, just let this simmer for about 15 more minutes until it tastes perfect. Then, serve with chopped chives.

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54 Comments

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  1. Since I was diagnosed a celiac, I’ve missed barley soups. I never thought of using quinoa as a replacement for that in particular – thank you! This soup sounds great!

  2. I’m gonna make this recipe, but I need your advice. We never acquired a taste for any alcoholic beverages, so I don’t know anything about wine. I’m hoping to pick up a bottle at Costco or Sam’s Club. Is there a white wine you’d recommend for this recipe?
    Thanks for your help, and your generosity of sharing all your recipes!

    • Thanks for the kind words, you’re very welcome! πŸ™‚ The only two guidelines I’d suggest for using wine in soup are: inexpensive (like $10-12 or so) and something dry as opposed to sweet, like sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio, or chardonnay.

    • OMG! I’m almost embarassed to say that it took me until last night to finally make this recipe. (I kept forgetting to buy the wine…like I said, we’re not drinkers, and I forgot to put it on my shopping list.)
      I encourage everyone who is considering making this recipe to JUST DO IT! This is a restaurant quality dish, I kid you not! SO GOOD! (My husband can take, or leave mushrooms, but he was really happy about eating every last drop of his soup, and he said, “Don’t lose this recipe!” (I won’t: it’s easy to make, and it is truly is that delicious!) Thank you so much for sharing it! YUM, YUM YUM!

      Now, to give you some chuckles about the length I went to make this (easy) recipe, I thought I’d share with you my adventures with trying to uncork the wine bottle:
      When I pulled the plastic wrapper off the top, I realized there was a cork, and not a screw cap (what can I say…we don’t drink). How was I going to get that cork out?!
      Then I remembered that a can/bottle opener we had also had a wine screw on it…except that I threw it away about a month ago because the opener was rusty.
      I called a neighbor up the street, hoping he might have a corkscrew, but he wasn’t home.
      My brother, who lives with us, remembered an old Swiss Army knife he has that was our dad’s, and it had a corkscrew on it! Yay!
      I screwed that puppy into the cork, but was only able to get the cork to pull up about 1/4″. As I tried to gain some leverage–pressing down at an angle on the body of the Swiss Army knife–a small fragment of the glass around the opening of the bottle popped off.
      Next, I tried to get ahold of the cork with pliers…the cork just started disintegrating.
      I unscrewed the corkscrew, picked off the cork fragments on top to even it out, and then re-screwed the corkscrew into the cork.
      As I tried again to pull out the cork, the corkscrew broke off into the cork!
      Meanwhile…my recipe was about half done….
      I walked to the nearest house in our tract where I sort of recognize the owner by sight (he walks his dog around the neighborhood). He wasn’t home, but his wife–whom I’ve never met–answered the door. She took pity on me and my deformed cork. She had one of the corkscrews with the arms that come up. She was able to get the cork out without much effort, despite there being another screw lodged in the cork….
      Thankfully, we all really enjoyed the recipe, and there’s enough wine left over to make that recipe several more times….

  3. Wow, this sounds absolutely amazing! My mom used to put cream of mushroom soup into just about everything, but since I’ve started leaning towards a more veg-heavy/vegan diet, I can’t abide by the calorie, fat, and cream content of canned varieties. This sounds like a gift from heaven! I am definitely putting this on the top of my To-Make list! And hoping its as fab as it sounds, because I’ll make a triple batch and freeze for future things like casseroles. Thanks for another great recipe Andrew!

    • Thanks, Jennifer! I hadn’t really thought of using this as the typical cream of mushroom soup that’s the base of so many other things, but that could work really well. I hope you love it! πŸ™‚

  4. Oh my! I made this soup for dinner tonight and I couldn’t leave the table without saying how good it was. This soup is beyond amazing and I’ll probably be making it once a week because it’s so easy as well. Perfection

    • Yay! I’m so glad you liked it that much, Akosua! I felt the same way; this is really one thing I could eat nearly every day… I’m already planning on making it again in the next few days πŸ™‚

      • At the time I was scratching my head as to what to do with the left over mushrooms I had from making my favorite veggie burgers also on your site. I totally stalk your site when I want to make a great meal lol.

  5. I made this soup today and it was absolutely fantastic! My husband and I have only been vegan for 6 months, this is by far one of the best meals we have had.

  6. This was the most delicious mushroom soup ever. I used mostly Baby bellas and a few fresh shiitake. Fantastic mushroom flavor and creamy. Also subbed leeks for the onion.

  7. Hi Andrew. I am so happ I found your website. I have tried several recipes and my family loves them. thanks for. doing what you do and helping us tfo eat clean and healthy food. Keep up the. good work.

  8. Andrew, love your passion for eating well and the great recipes on your site! I made this soup exactly as written and we absolutely loved it! Add a salad and its a well-rounded meal.

    The second time I made it, I added 1 tsp of cumin and a chipotle pepper in step 5 and let it simmer for the 15 minutes as stated; nice southwest variation!

  9. Thank you for this wonderful recipe. This was so simple to make and tasted amazing. I will definitely be adding this to my favorite soup recipes.

  10. HI Andrew! Could I freeze this excellent soup? We didn’t have much left over, because it’s so delicious, but I’m wondering about making a batch to freeze…. – Cheers, Joanne

  11. I prepared this soup for a Habitat for Humanity Soup Night fundraiser, and it was a winner, literally. It was voted the best in unique ingredient category.

  12. I made this last night and even my quinoa-despising daughter loved it! I didn’t have all the right ingredients, so I had to improvise a bit, but it was still fabulous! Rave reviews, again! Thank you, Andrew, for another fantastic recipe!

    • Hi Lauren, No I wouldn’t use roasted cashews as they don’t have the right taste and the raw are much better for blending into a cream-like sauce, which is what this recipe calls for.

      For the quinoa, whatever you want to do. The amount listed is the right amount but no one will stop you from using less if you want to…

  13. This soup is fantastic! The only thing I did different was to blend about half of the onion, carrot, celery mixture with the cashew cream. I thought it would thicken the soup and make it creamier. I didn’t think it needed any flour. I also added a teaspoon of salt – I’m a bit of a salt addict.

    I wasn’t sure about the quinoa but it thickens the soup and gives it a little density without changing the flavor. Oh, I also used half dried mushrooms and soaked them before and added the soaking water to the soup. It gave a more intense mushroom flavor.

    Thank you for this website. It has made the transition to a whole food plant based diet much easier and tastier.

    • Very cool, Diane! I’m so glad you liked this soup and you’re enjoying my website. I appreciate you sharing your suggestions with this soup, blending the veggies with the cashew cream sounds like a great idea. I’ll try that next time.

  14. Omg this was so good!!!! I didn’t have any cashews so I used a bit of almond milk. The broth is so rich and flavorful! And so easy. Yum!!! Thanks for a great recipe.

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