Mushroom broth provides an answer to the increasing need for a savory, vegan broth. For years I have been making sumptuous broths from bones and meats, which are still very nice to eat. However, the need to eat less meat has demanded for vegan alternatives.  This fully vegan concoction is certainly a very good alternative. It provides for a broth that can be a base of many soups and dishes. All without animal fat! This broth turned out to be excellent for the caramelized onion soup, and I am making this broth quite frequently now.

With the distribution of mushrooms around the world, making this broth has become more possible globally.  And for sure many variations are possible. Here in Hong Kong mushrooms are grown in old warehouse flat buildings, a great example of city ‘greenhouses’. The broth takes just 1.5 hours to make and can be stored for several days in the fridge or can be frozen.

the art of making mushroom broth

Mushroom broth is made from both fresh mushrooms and dried, the latter packing a large amount of taste when rehydrated. But also we use some onion or leek, carrot, celery and herbs. The herbs are traditional herbs such as thyme and bay leave, but also include a couple of slices of fresh ginger and some strips of fresh orange zest.  Further it is important to start with some vegetable oil to sweat the onion or leek. Thereafter add the cut, fresh mushrooms, until they start to become softer. This all should be done at medium heat. Thereafter the water is added together with the carrot, celery, ginger, orange peel and the remaining herbs and salt. Let it slowly simmer in an open pan without a lid. This way some musty taste, that (dried) mushrooms sometimes exhibit can be eliminated.

Special equipment

A strainer

Mushroom Broth ©️ Nel Brouwer-van den Bergh

Mushroom Broth

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Course Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch, Soup, Staple ingredient, starter
Cuisine fusion
Servings 4


to make the broth

  • 2 qt water
  • 5 fresh cremini mushrooms
  • 5 fresh oyster mushrooms
  • 4 fresh shitake mushrooms
  • 3 dried shitake mushrooms
  • 1 oz dried poplar mushroom, Yanagi-Matsutake
  • 1/2 small brown onion or leek
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 twigs of leave celery
  • 2 oz carrot
  • 1 small bunch of spring onions
  • 6 slices of fresh ginger
  • 1/8 of the zest (upper skin) of an orange in strips
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme or even better a twig of fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


how to make the broth

  • cut the fresh mush rooms in slices, cut up the carrot and the onion in larger parts, cut the celery and the spring onions
  • take the peel of the orange (only the upper part, not the pith) and cut into strips
  • cut the ginger slices
  • collect all other ingredients, leave dried mushrooms as is
  • heat the olive oil in the pan
  • add the onion, the garlic and wait 1-2 minutes before the onion start to glaze. Then add all the cut up, fresh mushrooms
  • stir now and then and wait till the mushrooms start to soften
  • then add the water and all other ingredients and bring to a boil
  • when boiling, bring down to a simmer
  • simmer for another 1 1/4 h
  • Thereafter strain the broth and use the broth. Discard the solids


Method: simmering
Food allergy & intolerance information: none
Keyword Broth, mushroom, mushrooms, vegetable broth


I discard the mushrooms and vegies after they have done their job. But you could consider using the simmered mushrooms still in some other dishes.

Feel free to substitute mushrooms if you cannot find them: the creminis are the younger version of the portobello’s.

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