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Creamy Mushroom Celery Soup (Dairy-Free)

Many years ago when my husband and I first moved to Charlotte one of my favorite things to make was mushroom bread. I would purchase a fresh baguette from the farmer’s market or grocery store and warm it up in the oven, and then I would heat up a skillet and add butter, shallots, garlic, mushrooms, rosemary, salt and pepper. This simple recipe, when served atop a warm piece of bread, was a staple in our condo, and I would always make it when we had friends over or guests visiting simply because it was easy and made our place smell amazing.

Even now, when I get the shallots and garlic cooking away in the butter, the aroma instantly takes me back to that feeling of adventure from moving to a new city, making new friends, and starting married life together with Greg.

Over the years I’ve adapted this recipe and turned it into a creamy mushroom celery soup that is both gluten- and dairy-free. And trust me when I tell you, it is delicious. I just served it to a friend the other day and she swore she would never know it’s dairy-free; she couldn’t believe it!

I’m not sure if “soup season” has officially commenced (is there a specific day, or ceremony marking it’s beginning?), but I’m going to go ahead and call it because it just feels right.

The soup gets its thickness from a bit of arrowroot powder and some coconut milk added at the very end. I like to puree my soup before eating but you can leave it chunky if you prefer – totally up to you.

I’ve been craving this Creamy Mushroom Celery Soup for weeks now. It’s a rainy day here in the Carolinas and the temperature is about to dip this weekend, so I made a nice big batch of it for quick meals.

It’s not only super easy to make, but it comes together fast and packs nice flavor for only 20 minutes on the stovetop! I love to use shallots in place of a yellow onion anywhere I can, and this soup is no exception. Shallots have a more mild, sweet flavor than onions, and a slightly higher nutritional profile – but mainly I just like the richer taste they provide.

The two herbs I use in the recipe, thyme and rosemary, help bring this soup to life. When paired with the creaminess of the soup and the sautéed mushrooms it makes for a dish that brings a holiday vibe, so if you’re looking for a Thanksgiving appetizer, this would be perfect.

You could also use this recipe for a Christmas appetizer (soup shooter, anyone?), or poured over oven-baked chicken and rice. My mother used to make a chicken dish like this when we were kids, and she would use a can of cream of mushroom soup poured over chicken breasts and baked in the oven. The smell was divine, and the dinner was creamy and delicious.

I usually eat this with a few pieces of gluten-free bread I get from the farmer’s market here in Charlotte; lightly toasted, and one of the best loaves of gluten-free bread around. My mouth is watering right now! It’s always a quick and hearty lunch that totally hits the spot, and it’s one of Penelope’s favorites, too, which says a lot. These kids are definitely in a food funk where they only want the same things every day, but this soup brought her out of her funk.

Make it for a crowd, or make it for yourself! This soup freezes well – I love these containers because they have 2-cup portions – so you have a nice and quick healthy lunch on a busy and chilly day. Enjoy!

Creamy Mushroom Celery Soup (Dairy-Free)

Recipe by Alessandra Macaluso Course: Dairy-Free, Fall, Gluten-Free, Recipes, Season, Vegetarian, Winter


Prep time


Cooking time


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  • 4 tbsp 4 ghee, butter, or olive oil (see notes)

  • 2 2 shallots, diced

  • 3 cloves 3 garlic, minced

  • 4 ribs 4 celery, chopped

  • 1 tsp 1 sea salt

  • 16 oz 16 baby Bella mushrooms, chopped, + 2 mushrooms sliced for serving (sliced mushrooms optional – see notes)

  • 2 cups 2 chicken broth

  • 2 cups 2 water

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 freshly ground pepper

  • 3 tbsp 3 arrowroot powder dissolved in 3 tbsp water

  • 1 tbsp 1 dried thyme, or 3 tbsp fresh thyme

  • 6 sprigs 6 rosemary, 2 chopped, 4 for serving

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 coconut milk (or other dairy-free milk)


  • Add ghee or butter to a medium-size pot and melt over medium-high heat. When the butter is melted add the shallots and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until shallots are soft and translucent. Add garlic and stir continuously for about 30 seconds, until aromatic. Add the celery and sea salt. Stir, cover, and reduce heat to low-medium for 10 minutes until celery is soft.
  • Remove the lid from the pot and add the mushrooms. Stir and allow to cook for about 5 minutes, until mushrooms soften and brown. Add chicken broth, water, pepper, arrowroot powder/water mixture, thyme, and chopped rosemary. Return the lid and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Optional step: While the soup is simmering, add 1 tbsp olive oil or butter to a small skillet. Add the sliced mushrooms and a bit of salt, and saute for 5 minutes until slightly browned on both sides. Set aside.
  • Once soup is done cooking, remove the lid, remove from the heat, and stir in coconut milk until well incorporated. If you prefer, use an immersion blender or transfer to a blender to blend until creamy. Top with the sautéed mushrooms and a sprig of rosemary, and serve with crusty gluten-free bread or crackers.


  • If you do not tolerate any dairy at all, use olive oil. We use ghee because it has the lactose removed and myself and our son tolerate it well.
  • Slicing the two mushrooms and sautéing them at the end to top the soup is not a necessary step, but if you have the 5 extra minutes, take it. It’s so worth it! Those crispy mushrooms really elevate the dish.

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