Guest Post: Hearty Mushroom and Quinoa Soup with Bacon

Hi everyone! My name is Renée Kohlman and Sweetsugarbean is my food blog I’ve been writing for nine years. I live in beautiful Saskatoon, Saskatchewan where I happily whip up delicious creations in my little green kitchen. Being a chef as well as a food writer and recipe developer, I’m lucky to have turned my passion for all things food into a career I love. I’m in the midst of working on my second cookbook: Vegetables: A Love Story, and it will be released in the fall of 2021. The last several months have been very busy, and I’m so proud of the work I’ve done so far. In case you’re wondering, yes, there will be a chapter devoted to Mushrooms and I can’t wait for you to see those delicious recipes. Free time (remind me what that is again) includes Netflix, reading, and spending time with my guy Dixon and four cats.

I’m always excited when Mushrooms Canada asks me to write a guest post for their blog. Mushrooms are a staple in my kitchen and it’s always a thrill to put them into new recipes. With COVID-19 wreaking havoc all over the world, I’ve been staying close to home playing around in my kitchen an awful lot. Mushrooms always make their way into my shopping cart and into my kitchen. They are great to use year-round as they are the only vegetable that contains vitamin D. Bursting with antioxidants and cancer-fighting compounds, not to mention being low in calories, mushrooms play an important and delicious part of my culinary adventures in the kitchen.

This soup is a fun twist on the classic mushroom and barley, but I’ve swapped in quinoa for the barley, and added bacon for a little depth of flavour. Sliced cremini mushrooms are my go-to for soup recipes, but feel free to use whatever mushrooms you like. If you want to keep the soup vegetarian, it’s still great without the bacon. I’ve loaded the soup up with greens (because balance) and a little splash of sherry does wonders in the taste department. The protein in the quinoa plus the meatiness of the mushrooms make the soup a hearty, satisfying meal – perfect for soup weather.

Hearty Mushroom and Quinoa Soup with Bacon


  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 200 g sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup sherry
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 can (19 oz/540 mL) diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups chopped kale, tough centre stems removed
  • 5 slices cooked bacon, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce or tamari


  1. Melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery. Cook for a few minutes then stir in the mushrooms. Sauté for 3 minutes, then stir in the garlic. Cook for another minute or two, until the vegetables are tender, and the mushrooms have released their juices. Stir in the sherry, and cook until the vegetables have absorbed the liquid, about 2 minutes. Stir in the broth, diced tomatoes, and quinoa. Cover, bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the quinoa is cooked through.
  2. Stir in the kale, bacon, and soy sauce. Simmer until the kale is softened, about 5-7 minutes. If you find it too thick, thin with a bit more broth or water. Season to taste with more salt and pepper, if desired. Makes 6 servings.


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