Mushroom Soup with Millet

Updated February 23, 2016
This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Enhancing this soup with dried mushrooms and their soaking liquid produces a deeply flavored broth that lingers on the taste buds. A splash of soy sauce moves the flavor profile to the east. If you prefer a creamy finish, add a drizzle of plain yogurt or whipping cream. I like to serve this as a light main course with whole grain bread, followed by a platter of stir-fried bok choy.

This quantity of dried mushrooms equates to half of a ½ oz (14 g) package.

Millet is available in natural foods stores. Like lentils, some millet may contain bits of dirt or discolored grains. If your millet looks grimy, rinse it thoroughly in a pot of water before using. Swish it around and remove any offending particles, then rinse under cold running water. If you can’t find millet, you can also make this soup with brown rice or a mixture of wild and brown rice (see Variation).

If you prefer, make this soup using 5 cups (1.25 l) reduced-sodium beef stock and 1 cup (250 ml) white wine or water, instead of the vegetable stock.

Mindful Morsels: Made with regular (not reduced-sodium) prepared vegetable stock and soy sauce, one serving of this soup would contain almost 1400 mg of sodium.

Natural Wonders: MILLET

I’ve included millet in this recipe because it’s a nutritious whole grain that most people don’t often eat. Adding this easily digested and gluten-free grain to your diet can help to expand the range of nutrients you consume. Millet contains magnesium, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folacin, iron, phosphorus and zinc, among other nutrients. And, like all whole grains, it is a source of dietary fiber. The Healthy Eating Pyramid developed by the Harvard School of Public Health places a strong emphasis on the consumption of whole grains and recommends eating some whole grain foods at most meals. If you don’t have millet, you can make this soup using brown rice or a combination of brown and wild rice (see Variation, above) and still benefit from including whole grains in your diet.


Cooking Methodslow cooking



Total Timehalf-day

Make Ahead RecipeYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party

Recipe Coursehot appetizer, main course

Dietary Considerationdiabetic, egg-free, healthy, high fiber, low saturated fat, peanut free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian

Equipmentcrock pot

Mealdinner, lunch

Taste and Texturegarlicky, herby, savory, spiced, umami

Type of Dishhot soup


  • 3 cups (750 ml) hot water
  • 2 tbsp (25 ml) dried wild mushrooms 
  • ½ cup (125 ml) millet 
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) minced ginger root
  • ½ tsp (2 ml) cracked black peppercorns
  • 2 lbs (1 kg) button mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 6 cups (1.5 l)  Basic Vegetable Stock  or prepared vegetable stock (see Notes)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ cup (50 ml) reduced-sodium soy or tamari sauce
  • Salt, optional
  • Whipping (35%) cream or plain yogurt, optional
  • ½ cup (125 ml) finely chopped green onions or parsley leaves


Large (minimum 5 quart) slow cooker

In a heatproof bowl, combine hot water and dried mushrooms. Let stand for 30 minutes, then strain through a fine sieve, reserving liquid. Pat mushrooms dry, chop finely and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium heat, toast millet, stirring, until fragrant and beginning to turn golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware.

In same skillet, heat oil over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add onions and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add reserved mushrooms, garlic, gingerroot and peppercorns and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add reserved mushroom liquid and bring to a boil. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware.

4. Add button mushrooms, vegetable stock, bay leaves and soy sauce. Cover and cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours or on High for 3 to 4 hours, until millet is tender. Discard bay leaves. Season to taste with salt, if using. Ladle into individual bowls, drizzle with cream, if using, and garnish each serving with 1 tbsp (15 ml) green onion.


Mushroom Soup with Rice: Substitute the millet with ¾ cup (175 ml) rinsed brown rice or a mixture of wild and brown rice.



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