Comforting Mushroom Soup

Comforting Mushroom Soup

Something strange has happened in Southern California over the last couple of days…we had weather!! Yes, more than just sunshine and blue skies. We had violent and incredible thunderstorms lighting up the skies, pouring rain with the biggest rain drops you ever did see and heavy winds, bending those strong and sturdy palms, to and fro. It was incredible, chilly and so cozy. I miss days like this. When the skies open up and bathe us in this sweet and necessary rain, I am beyond grateful not only for the obvious, but also for the reminder and the excuse to slow down. I also find myself reminded of the importance of soul-warming, comfort food.

Comforting Mushroom Soup

I have been making this comforting mushroom soup on and off throughout this winter. It’s so hearty, rich and earthy without being too heavy or indulgent. I also find that like most of my recipes, it’s also quite versatile. You can make it vegan by utilizing just the flavor of a beautiful mushroom broth and the meatiness of the varying mushrooms as the base, or you can, as we opted to here, add in some beautiful chicken stock and a little shredded dark meat chicken, for additional flavor and a source of protein for a complete meal.

The veggies can vary too. I usually opt to keep it simple and classic with onions, garlic, celery and carrots, but you can also try adding green peas, leeks, roasted garlic, etc.  You can even play with the type of  mushrooms. Keep it simple and straight up with all cremini or add in shiitake, baby bella or my personal favorite lately, beech mushrooms. Additionally, if you can tolerate a nice high quality raw heavy cream or something of the like, you can certainly replace the coconut milk with that. The alcohol added here is absolutely optional, I just find the flavor pairs so well with the earthy mushrooms and it really pulls it all together for an extra layer of intensity. Finally, I opt for a grain-free flour, as that is my preference whenever possible, but you can certainly opt instead for a regular gluten-free all-purpose flour or if not gluten-free, a regular grain containing flour of your choice.

Comforting Mushroom Soup

Here’s the deal on mushrooms, from a nutritional standpoint, they are some magical little dudes, believed to be one of the most potent natural medicines in the world, with well over 100 species being studied for their potent healing benefits. While their benefits and nutritional values range among the varieties in general they are a great source of B-vitamins, trace minerals, anti-oxidants, fiber and even protein. But, here’s the most important takeaway of all of this, even with the most simple of culinary-grade, run of the mill everyday mushrooms – it’s so crazy important to eat only organically-grown mushrooms. Reason being that   mushrooms are porous and will absorb and concentrate whatever they are grown in — this means both good OR bad. This is what gives mushrooms their potency, trace minerals being the most wonderful, but terribly when not organically grown, this also means the heavy metals, toxins and pollutants. So, while at the risk of sounding like a broken record, always buy organic and if you don’t buy everything organic, this is one of those times you should make it a priority.

BONUS: This comforting meal is ready in under 30 minutes, you guys!! A great weeknight feast.

Comforting Mushroom Soup

[print_this]Comforting Mushroom Soup {Grain-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Paleo-Friendly with Vegan Options}
serves 6-8

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, ghee or butter
  • 1/2 lb organic, free range boneless skinless chicken thighs, diced – leave out for vegan
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 12 ounces fresh organic mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced – button, crimini, shiitake, baby bella, chanterelle, whatever you prefer
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/3 cup cassava flour or other gluten-free all-Purpose flour (regular flour will work – if not GF)
  • 2 cups organic low-sodium mushroom stock*
  • 4 cups organic low-sodium chicken stock (or veggie stock)*
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3/4 cup organic full fat canned coconut milk
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry, dry red or white wine or even brandy, optional
  • additional fresh thyme or parsley, for serving

Heat olive oil. ghee or butter in a large dutch oven or stock pot, over medium-high heat. If adding chicken, lightly season it with sea salt and black pepper. Add to the pot and cook for 3-5 minutes until browned. Take out and set aside.

Add the onions, garlic, celery and carrots to the hot pan.  Cook for 2-3 minutes until slightly tender, then add the mushrooms and cook another 3-5 minutes. Add the thyme.

Sprinkle the flour over top and whisk in the flour, continue whisking and cook until brown. Just about a minute or so. While whisking, slowly add in the mushroom and chicken stock. Add in the bay leaf and the cooked chicken thighs (if using). The soup should begin to thicken. Continue cooking for 5-8 minutes or so. Stir in the coconut milk, sherry (if using) and salt and pepper to taste, give it another minute or two. Add more coconut milk to reach desired consistency.

Serve immediately garnished with fresh thyme leaves or roughly chopped parsley.



you can opt for all mushroom stock or a combo of that and veggie stock and leave out the chicken thighs and stock to make vegan, on the same hand, if you can’t get mushroom stock, you can use all chicken or veggie stock, as you prefer