Lion’s mane mushrooms are a gourmet and medicinal mushroom with proven brain-boosting benefits. Here’s a simple, delicious lion’s mane soup recipe you can make with fresh or dehydrated lion’s manes.
We’ve previously written all about how to grow, forage, and use lion’s mane mushrooms (including our vegetarian lion’s mane mushroom “crab cake” recipe). So we won’t spend any more time detailing those topics…
In this article, we’ll detail a simple lion’s mane soup recipe you can make using your choice of fresh or dried lion’s mane mushrooms. This is a delicious savory soup that can be eaten as a stand-alone meal or a side.
The inspiration for this recipe came from our desire to come up with baby-led weaning recipes that would get both lion’s mane mushrooms and broccoli into Sebastian, our baby. Both ingredients present some choking hazards, so a soup seemed like a good solution.
Thankfully, Sebastian loves his lion’s mane soup and so do his parents!
Brain boosting lion’s mane mushrooms
Lion’s mane mushrooms (Hericium erinaceus) look like giant land-dwelling white coral. They offer a delicious umami flavor and texture that’s commonly compared to crab meat.
Like many mushrooms, lion’s manes also have unique medicinal benefits, which is one of the reasons we eat them and want our baby to as well. Specifically, they have traditionally been used for their brain health benefits, something that modern science has validated over the past couple of decades.
For instance, a 2019 study found lion’s mane extract prevented oxidative brain damage, further validating its use in helping prevent and treat neurodegenerative diseases. And as a 2017 review concluded:
“Because of its anti-inflammatory properties and promotion of nerve growth factor gene expression and neurite (axon or dendrite) outgrowth, H. erinaceus [lion’s mane mushroom] mycelium shows great promise for the treatment of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.”
Since I have a grandfather who died of Alzheimer’s, I want to do everything possible to prevent a similar outcome in myself and Sebastian. Regularly including lion’s mane mushrooms in our diet seems like a good place to start!
Lion’s mane mushroom soup preparation tips
Below are a few preparation tips to consider in order to help you make this recipe perfect for your tastes:
1. Dehydrated powdered or fresh lion’s mane mushrooms?
Lion’s mane mushrooms are a cool season mushroom we find in the fall and winter. They can grow quite large – the biggest lion’s mane we’ve ever found was about 10 pounds.
To store them for future use while using minimal space, our preferred method is dehydrating lion’s manes in our Excalibur dehydrator, then pulverizing them into a powder in a blender. Since mushrooms are 92% water, a fresh lion’s mane would take up our entire freezer. Dried and powdered, it can be stored in a single large canning jar in our cupboard.
(*You can also buy powdered lion’s mane mushrooms if you don’t have your own.)
We utilize this storage method for many of the mushrooms we find in large quantities: maitakes, chanterelles, bicolor boletes, etc. We then use our powdered mushrooms throughout the year in soups and sauces to give them wonderful umami flavors and a nutritional boost.
If you happen to have a fresh lion’s mane mushroom, no worries! This recipe will still work perfectly fine for you.
2. Mushroom, broccoli, and potato ratios
The primary ingredients in this lion’s mane soup recipe are mushrooms, broccoli, and white potatoes. Each serves a purpose:
- mushrooms add a wonderful flavor and brain health benefits;
- broccoli adds a veggie balance, green color, and plenty of health benefits of its own;
- potatoes are the soup’s thickener and starch/carbohydrate.
We wanted a really mushroom- and broccoli-forward soup, which is what you’ll get using our recipe below. However, you can modify the ratios to your tastes as desired: less mushrooms, more broccoli, etc.
Recipe: Lion’s mane mushroom, broccoli, and potato soup
Lion's mane mushroom, broccoli, and potato soup
A delicious, savory simple-to-make soup featuring lion's manes and broccoli and thickened with potatoes.
- 1 cup powdered dried lion's mane mushrooms (if using fresh lion's mane, use ~5-6 cups fresh chopped mushrooms)
- 1.5 cups white or yellow onions, diced
- 4 medium-sized potatoes, chopped (~4 cups when chopped)
- 7 cups chopped broccoli
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tbsp diced garlic cloves
- 1/2 tbsp sea salt, or to taste
- 10 twists from a black pepper cracker, or to taste
- 3 cups water
- 2 cups whole organic grass milk
- garnish with cheddar cheese, chives, and seasonal edible flowers
Place diced onions and potatoes in soup pot with olive oil. Cook on medium heat until onions are translucent. Stir regularly to keep the potatoes from sticking to the bottom of the pan - you can also add a little extra olive oil or butter here if necessary.
Add other primary ingredients (lion's mane mushrooms, chopped broccoli, diced garlic cloves, sea salt, black pepper, water, and milk). Bring to boil. Then turn down to low and let simmer for 30-45 mins, stirring occasionally. Blend until smooth using an immersion blender (easiest) or food processor (be careful with hot soup!).
Once blended and scooped into bowls, garnish with fresh-grated cheese (we used cheddar) and seasonal flowers (we used garlic chive and rosemary flowers).
We hope you and your family enjoy this lion’s mane soup recipe as much as we do. Your brain will thank you for each bite!
Other fun fungi recipes you’ll love:
- Lion’s mane mushroom crab cakes
- Lion’s mane mushroom chowder
- Fried chicken of the woods “chicken fingers”
- Black trumpet mushroom pasta
- Cauliflower mushroom duck egg quiche
- Reishi mushroom mimosa flower sparkling cordial
- Fried indigo milk cap (Lactarius indigo) with barbecue sauce