The Flaming Vegan

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Vegan-ized Panera Mushroom Bisque
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Vegan-ized Panera Mushroom Bisque

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

I like to eat out but often dishes that sound vegetarian can hide animal-based products. I love mushroom soup so when I saw that Panera's recipe used butter, chicken and beef broths and half and half, I had to vegan-ize it. I used olive oil instead of butter, vegetable broth instead of chicken and beef broths, and coconut cream instead of half and half. And I added garlic. For me, soup isn't soup without garlic!


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/3 pound white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/3 pound crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/3 pound shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/3 pound oyster mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/3 up Arborio or other risotto rice
  • 1 large sprig fresh thyme, stemmed or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup dry sherry or white wine
  • 4 - 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup coconut cream
  • Crisped onion or shallot garnish (optional)


  1. Pour two tablespoons of olive oil into a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, carrots and celery and cook for five minutes, until the vegetables are soft.
  2. Add all but one cup of the mushrooms and cook about five minutes, until they wilt.
  3. Add the rice, thyme (hint: if you stem the thyme you don't need to remove it later) and bay leaf and cook for about one minute.
  4. Add sherry or white wine and cook two to four minutes, until the liquid evaporates.
  5. Add four cups of the vegetable broth, the tomato paste and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally to keep the vegetables from sticking, for about 35 minutes.
  6. Remove the bay leaf and thyme stem and puree the soup in a blender or food processor for one to two minutes until smooth.
  7. Return the soup to the saucepan. Stir in the half and half and up to one cup of the reserved vegetable broth until you have reached your desired consistency.
  8. Pour the remaining five tablespoon of olive oil into a medium-sized skillet. Add reserved mushrooms and cook four to five minutes until the mushrooms are browned. Stir into soup. Makes four servings.
  9. Add optional garnish of crisped shallot or onion.




*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.

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Leave a Comment

  1. Erin Rohne
    Erin Rohne
    It is so disappointing when I learn that an otherwise vegetarian or vegan soup is made with chicken or beef broth. All the more reason to cook at home, I guess, so thanks for this recipe! And I agree - soup isn't soup without garlic :)
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    1. slverkriss
      Yes, it can be tricky out there! I knew sometimes tomato soup had beef broth but I'd never thought that mushroom soup needed non-vegan ingredients.
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  2. greenmoonart
    Where it says "half and half" in step 7 do you mean to use the coconut cream?
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    1. slverkriss
      Weird--I just checked this this morning and it said coconut milk. Yes, I do mean coconut milk--sorry! I think it also tastes so much better than any other kind of milk.
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