This vegan mushroom soup is healthy, filling, and packed full of flavour. Featuring tarragon and wholegrain mustard, it makes for a delicious lunch or light dinner that's low-fat, dairy-free, and gluten-free.
I'm not sure when or why I started playing around with tarragon as an ingredient in mushroom soup, but I'm glad I did. There's something about the combination of flavours that has me absolutely hooked.
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Is mushroom soup healthy?
Mushroom and tarragon soup is a very healthy option for a light lunch or appetiser. Edible mushrooms are virtually fat-free, low in calories, and contain varying degrees of protein and fibre.
In one serving of this recipe you’ll find:
- Calories: 159 kcal
- Vitamin D: 19 µg (127% of RDA)
- Potassium: 1004 mg (29% of RDA)
Mushrooms also contain B vitamins as well as a powerful antioxidant called selenium, which helps to support the immune system and prevent damage to cells and tissues.
Which mushrooms are best for making soup?
I've used chestnut (or cremini) mushrooms in this recipe, but you could use closed cup, button, or portobello (these are all just variants of the same agaricus bisporus family). In fact, I've used a mix in this recipe for vegan cream of mushroom soup.
One of the main differences I've noticed is the colour of the final soup. Portobello mushrooms will likely result in a darker soup, whereas chestnut mushrooms will probably give you a lighter brown soup.
Either way, you'll get the best results from mushrooms that are nice and fresh. If you have an abundance of fancier wild mushrooms to hand, by all means pair them with the tarragon in this recipe and let me know what you think! Alternatively, throw them into this creamy vegan mushroom pasta.
What you'll need
This hearty mushroom soup uses simple ingredients from the plant and fungi kingdoms. You'll need:
- Fresh mushrooms as the star of the show
- Leeks and garlic to create the base
- Dried tarragon for its distinctive taste
- Depth of flavour in the form of bay leaves, nutritional yeast, and wholegrain mustard
How to make vegan mushroom soup with tarragon
Heat the oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. Add the sliced leeks and cook for 4-5 minutes or until starting to soften, stirring regularly (1).
Once the leeks have started to soften, add the chopped garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
Next, add the mushrooms and cook for 7-8 minutes or until they begin to soften (2). There will be some liquid from the mushrooms, so it can help to turn up the heat here to really get them going.
Once soft, add in the tarragon, bay leaves, wholegrain mustard, and vegan stock (3). If using nutritional yeast, also add this.
Season well with salt and pepper, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, add the plant-based milk and adjust the seasoning. Simmer for another couple of minutes.
Turn off the heat, remove the bay leaves, and blitz using a hand blender. You could also transfer to a larger, more powerful blender (working in batches if necessary).
Tips for thickening mushroom soup
- Less liquid: If you want to make sure you have a thick soup, don’t use all the stock at the start. If the soup is too thick after blending, you can simply add a little more liquid at that point.
- Potato: Cut one or two medium potatoes into 1 cm chunks and add to the pan along with the stock. The total cooking time for this recipe will increase by around 10 minutes, at which point you should be able to easily pierce the potatoes with a knife.
- Cornflour (cornstarch): To thicken with cornflour, combine equal parts of this with cold water in a separate jug or bowl before adding. Start with 2 tablespoons and increase from there if necessary.
If you need to ensure that this is 100% gluten-free, use a vegan stock and plant-based milk that are certified or labelled as such. You’ll want to do the same for any vegan cream etc. that you use when serving.
Store this soup in the fridge for up to four days. Reheat in the microwave or in a pan on low heat, adding a splash of water or plant-based milk to loosen it up.
This mushroom soup freezes very well for up to six months, so it’s worth making a big batch and then storing it in the freezer for an easy lunch or dinner. Defrost for a few hours before reheating on the hob, adding a touch more water or plant-based milk if necessary.
Variations and tips
- Fresh tarragon: If using fresh tarragon, the general rule is to use approx. three times as much as dried. So in this case, approx. three tablespoons of chopped fresh tarragon.
- Nutritional yeast: This is optional, but I love the cheesy umami flavour it adds to soups. It’s also a good source of vitamin B12.
- Plant-based milk: My personal preferences would be oat, cashew, or soya milk. You could also try tinned coconut milk, but just be aware that this will significantly increase the fat and saturated fat in the recipe.
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More vegan recipe ideas
If you liked this recipe, you may also enjoy:
Vegan Mushroom Soup with Tarragon
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (or plant-based butter)
- 2-3 leeks, trimmed, cut lengthways, and sliced (or sub onions)
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1.5 lbs (700 g) chestnut mushrooms, sliced (you could use any mushrooms you like)
- 1 level tablespoon dried tarragon
- 2 bay leaves
- 1½ teaspoons wholegrain mustard
- 4 cups (1 litre) vegan stock (plus more if necessary)
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
- ¾ cup (180 ml) unsweetened plant-based milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh parsley, to serve
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. Add the sliced leeks and cook for 4-5 minutes or until starting to soften, stirring regularly.
- Once the leeks have started to soften, add the chopped garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
- Next, add the mushrooms and cook for 7-8 minutes or until they begin to soften. There will be some liquid from the mushrooms, so it can help to turn up the heat here to really get them going.
- Once soft, add in the tarragon, bay leaves, wholegrain mustard, and vegan stock. If using nutritional yeast, also add this. Season well with salt and pepper, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, add the plant-based milk and adjust the seasoning. Simmer for another couple of minutes.
- Turn off the heat, remove the bay leaves, and blitz using a hand blender. You could also transfer to a larger, more powerful blender (working in batches if necessary).
- Serve with a drizzle of cashew cream, chopped fresh parsley, and crusty bread.
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- Pinto Bean Soup with Chilli and Lime
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