Shiitake mushrooms create a wonderfully rich and flavorful broth for this vegan brussels sprouts soup, which is full of the taste and aroma of Thanksgiving.
Brussels sprouts, rice, and perhaps some white beans. I was planning a soup for dinner, but there seemed to be something missing. Carrots? No. Potatoes? No, the rice would provide enough starch. I needed something to give the broth depth and flavor. I was strolling through my back yard and considering my options when I saw the missing ingredient growing on a log near the fence:
Mushrooms! But don’t worry, I wouldn’t be crazy enough to risk my family’s life on any old mushrooms. These were shiitake mushrooms that I had “planted” in this log about a year and a half ago.
I’d ordered plugs of mushroom spawn from Fungi Perfecti, drilled numerous holes in three oak logs, and hammered the plugs in. I thought that was the hard work, but then I read that I was supposed to water the logs every day. Somehow after a few weeks, “every day” turned into “infrequently” and then into “not at all.” The logs showed no sign of sprouting anything, and I’d given up checking them for signs of life.
So I was thrilled when I just happened to notice one of the logs in full-bloom, though I hate to think how many mushrooms went to waste because of my lack of attention. I’m now going to start pampering the other two logs, which contain the spores of exotic Lion’s Mane and Maitake (I think–it’s been so long) mushrooms.
I harvested the biggest of the mushrooms and used them as the basis of this main-dish soup. Shiitakes create a wonderfully rich and flavorful broth, so if you can find them at a reasonable price, I strongly recommend them.
If fresh shiitakes aren’t available, consider using dried: Reconstitute 2-3 ounces of dried shiitakes in hot water until soft, and strain the liquid through a coffee filter to remove all grit before using the mushrooms and the liquid in the soup. If dried shiitakes aren’t an option, use any flavorful mushroom with, perhaps, vegetable broth instead of water. With beans added, this is a hearty soup, full of the flavors of fall, that would make a nice addition to your Thanksgiving menu.
Speaking of Thanksgiving
I know that some of you are already planning your Thanksgiving menus, so I’ve tried to make it a little easier by labeling some of my more Thanksgivingy recipes with a tag. The recipes stretch over several pages, so click the “Previous Entries” link at the bottom of each page. For some more Thanksgiving ideas that include recipes on the FFV Recipes site, check out the bottom of this post.
Brussels Sprouts and Shiitake Mushroom Soup
- 1 medium onion , chopped
- 14 -16 ounces small Brussels sprouts , trimmed and cut in half
- 6 ounces shiitake mushrooms , stemmed and sliced
- 3 cloves garlic , minced
- 6 cups water or vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt , or to taste
- 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
- 1 15-ounce can great northern beans , drained and well-rinsed (optional)
- 1 cup no-chicken broth (optional)
- 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice (optional)
- Heat a large, non-stick pot. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until it becomes translucent. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook until onion begins to brown, about 2 more minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook for about two more minutes.
- Add all remaining ingredients except for the optional ingredients. Cover and simmer on low heat until rice is cooked, about 50 minutes. Check seasonings and add more along with the lemon juice, if desired. If you’re using the beans, add them and the broth and cook for about 15 more minutes.
Nutritional info is approximate.
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Caveman Home CompanionMarch 22, 2011 at 1:31 pm
I can’t wait to try this recipe! I’ll just leave out the beans and it is perfectly Paleo. Thanks!
EvelynNovember 13, 2011 at 10:20 pm
I discovered your website a couple of months ago & have been following your posts on Facebook. I so appreciate your easy & thoughtful recipes and your down-to-earth attitude.
A little story… this morning when I woke up, I thought, “I have to make soup with brussels sprouts very soon!” So, this evening when I saw your brussels sprouts & shiitake mushroom soup, I thought, “Did she actually hear me?”
I’ve been a vegetarian for 40 years & am well on my way to veganism. It hasn’t been a difficult transition for me since I keep in mind that I strive to have as low an impact on my environment as I can, & veganism certainly helps with that goal.
Guess what I’ll be having for dinner tomorrow night?
A new fan on the southern Oregon Coast.
SarahJanuary 15, 2012 at 7:20 pm
Thank you so much for this recipe. I made it tonight for dinner and it was an instant fag
SarahJanuary 15, 2012 at 7:22 pm
Sorry major typos using my nook. Trying to say it was an instant favorite. So yummy!
JessMarch 1, 2012 at 4:09 pm
Thinking of doing this in the pressure cooker…? like 15 mins for this rice. I’ll let you know how it comes out!
Susan VoisinMarch 2, 2012 at 11:33 am
Please do! That would be a time-saver.
Caity @ Moi Contre La VieNovember 8, 2012 at 11:31 am
This soup looks great. I can’t get enough of soup during the rainy San Francisco Fall & Winter seasons, but I don’t love blended soups, I like chunks! 🙂
JackyNovember 11, 2012 at 7:58 am
can’t wait to try this. Do you think it would freeze ok? I don’t want to eat it every day 🙂 thanks
Susan VoisinNovember 11, 2012 at 8:07 am
I can’t see why not. Hope you enjoy it!
kkspencaJanuary 28, 2013 at 4:31 pm
I’ll be trying this. Thanks.
ShirleyJune 21, 2013 at 10:58 am
Great recipe I have a question my daughter made this but added lots of organic beans and organic black rice how long will it last in refrigerator?. She had some surgery and thinks its 5 days old now.. I am going to freeze it also how long can you freeze it??> Thanks
ShirleyJune 21, 2013 at 11:01 am
Oh she used shataki noodles not mushrooms thanks
Susan VoisinJune 21, 2013 at 11:11 am
I think it’ll last at least a week in the fridge, six months in the freezer.
lazysmurfNovember 11, 2013 at 9:29 am
I really want to grow mushrooms, it looks like so much fun! It’s been raining so much here that it could totally happen without daily watering I bet. The soup looks terrific! I love brussels.
AnneNovember 11, 2013 at 9:31 am
Probably a silly question, but do you measure 6 oz of mushrooms and then de-stem or measure them after? Thanks! This sounds delicious and I have some Brussel sprouts I need to use so it is going on the menu for this week.
Susan VoisinNovember 11, 2013 at 9:46 am
Not silly at all! Sometimes it can be hard to tell. In this recipe, the mushrooms are weighed before stemming them. The way to tell is if it says “6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced,” the weighing comes first. If it says “6 ounces stemmed, sliced mushrooms,” the mushrooms are stemmed and sliced before weighing. It’s a subtle difference, but one that professional recipe writers use.
AnneNovember 16, 2013 at 8:44 pm
Thanks for the very helpful tip! 🙂
SandySeptember 29, 2021 at 10:29 pm
Well, I have been doing that measuring wrong always! No matter how it is written, I weigh after doing whatever (trimming, removing stems etc). Learned new stuff again. Thank you!
And I made the soup tonight…delicious!
Cara O'SullivanNovember 11, 2013 at 10:34 am
Susan, how would one use dried Shitake mushrooms in this recipe? I have a package of them, but have not tried cooking with them yet. The local grocery stores don’t carry the fresh ones very often. Thank you for any advice you can give. — CAra O’Sullian
Susan VoisinNovember 11, 2013 at 10:56 am
Cara, rehydrate 2-3 ounces of dried shiitakes in hot water until soft, and strain the liquid through a coffee filter to remove all grit before adding the mushrooms and the liquid to the soup. If the mushrooms are whole, you will have to slice them after rehydrating.
Michelle MooreNovember 17, 2013 at 12:53 pm
Hi–can this recipe be made with frozen brussels sprouts? Love your blog!
Susan VoisinNovember 17, 2013 at 1:47 pm
Sure, I think frozen would be ok.
Sarah FelderNovember 25, 2013 at 10:11 am
Oh my goodness, I love the story about your mushrooms! I am a big fan of all mushrooms, and I hadn’t really thought of that before. What a brilliant idea to grow your own. And amazing photographs as usual! Will be making your miso soup tonight and a few of your sides for Thanksgiving. Thanks as always for the tried & true recipes, Susan!
AlinaSeptember 18, 2014 at 5:45 pm
On top of the fact that this soup looks absolutely delicious (and that I’ll most likely be making it for dinner tonight), I have to say that I absolutely enjoy your writing style, Susan! Each of your posts always ‘reads’ so smooth. I don’t know how much time you spend writing each post, but they always come out so well-written. (An unusual compliment on a recipe post, I assume…)
Susan VoisinSeptember 18, 2014 at 6:10 pm
Why, thank you, Alina! To me, that is the highest of compliments. I tend to take a long time writing the intros to the recipes, even though I fear that most people don’t read them. I really appreciate your noticing.
chenJanuary 3, 2015 at 5:43 pm
I’m slightly addicted to this soup!
LydiaNovember 19, 2015 at 4:25 am
I made this last night and omigosh it was sooo good – words cannot fully describe!
Thank you for yet another keeper.
Andrea TersigniDecember 20, 2015 at 2:49 pm
I found gorgeous little brussel sprouts on sale and loaded up my cart. After three days of roasted Brussel sprouts I needed a change. Being December I took a chance and typed “brussel sprouts soup” -w hat a stroke of luck to find this recipe as I just happened to have shitake mushrooms too.
I tossed everything in the crockpot using hulless barley in place of the rice. After simmering all morning, I just “sampled” two heaping bowls full. It is not a filling soup, but is flavorful and nourishing. This recipe is a keeper!!!!!
I frequently enjoy your recipes (THANK YOU) but this one just begged me to write you.
CarolFebruary 11, 2016 at 10:50 am
This soup not only looks delicious–it lives up to its looks. I’m not a big fan of mushrooms but I am a fan of brussels sprouts–this was a delightful surprise and is now a favorite.
BethApril 24, 2016 at 10:34 am
I have made this recipe countless times. I’m a lover of Brussels and shitake. It’s like comfort food without sinning. Great recipe.
RebeccaNovember 14, 2016 at 8:42 pm
I noticed a very old comment from 2012 about making this in a pressure cooker. Since they didn’t end up reporting back, I just wanted to let everyone know that I made this tonight in my InstantPot. I used the manual setting for 20 minutes and it came out great. Thanks for the recipe!!
Susan VoisinNovember 14, 2016 at 8:46 pm
Thanks so much for trying it and reporting back! Did you use a natural pressure release?
RebeccaNovember 14, 2016 at 9:00 pm
No, I was impatient (and hungry) and used the quick release!
LynnNovember 18, 2017 at 6:28 pm
How can I adapt this for the Insta pot? Less broth and 20 min at high pressure?
Or is this soup much better the stove top way?
Thank You! I can’t wait to try this recipe out 🙂
LynnNovember 18, 2017 at 6:30 pm
Sorry I just noticed the previous comment with the instant pot instructions!!
Dori Eden June 4, 2020 at 12:50 pm
What are your thoughts on pureeing the soup?
Susan VoisinJune 4, 2020 at 1:15 pm
It would probably be ok, but I really like it like it is.
Dave MackmillerMarch 6, 2022 at 11:02 am
This recipe looked so good, but I was disappointed with the results. After simmering for just 1/2 hour, the Brussels sprouts were already getting mushy. A full 50 minutes would have broken them down completely. At least the shiitakes and broth were salvageable.