This creamy Green Bean Casserole Soup incorporates all the flavors of a traditional green bean casserole into soup form. Bright green beans, sauteed onion, mushrooms, thyme and nutmeg, and cashew cream come together to create a deliciously healthy and vibrant soup.
I developed this Creamy Green Bean Casserole Soup for Thanksgiving this weekend. One of my friends is cooking for someone who is on a soft food diet and low sodium diet, and I offered to make some Thanksgiving themed foods she could eat. I find great joy in creating foods for people that they can enjoy when they have difficulty eating. Food is one of the great pleasures we enjoy. Cooking is my way of showing someone I care.
The Soft Food Diet
There are many reasons someone might be on a soft food diet. I’ve cooked for people on soft food diets for various reasons, from my kids who had their wisdom teeth extracted to people who have undergone cancer treatment and had difficulty chewing and swallowing. My father-in-law had Parkinson’s Disease and had difficulty chewing and swallowing too.
I remember making a special dinner plate for my father-in-law one Thanksgiving. Fortunately, many Thanksgiving dishes are naturally pureed or soft including mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, butternut squash casserole and pumpkin pie.
Creating Recipes for Special Diets
Transforming traditional green bean casserole into a tasty soup proved to be more challenging than I expected. I didn’t want to just put regular green bean casserole into a blender and puree it. I think that would have resulted in a brown unappetizing soup.
I wanted to create a dish that incorporated all the flavors of green bean casserole, yet keep it an appetizing green color. One of the key components of traditional green bean casserole are the fried onions on top. To mimic this toasted onion flavor, I used some oil that had been infused with garlic, shallots, and green onions. I happened to have some of this infused oil made already, but if you don’t want to bother making this, another way might be to use toasted onion powder (Penzey’s carries this). Flavor enhancers are important when cooking for people on a low-sodium diet.
In order to coax the umami flavors from the onions and mushrooms without making the final dish brown, I sauteed the onions and mushrooms until soft and fragrant, but was careful not to let them brown. Another important element of this soup is to cook the green beans until they are tender, but still a nice green color.
Nutmeg and thyme add another layer of flavor. When cooking for people on a low-sodium diet, spices and herbs are a great way to add flavor.
I added some Cashew Cream to obtain a creamy consistency reminiscent of cream of mushroom soup, another ingredient often used in traditional green bean casserole. Cashew cream has a wonderful richness that can stand in for heavy cream in recipes.
In addition to making this creamy Green Bean Casserole Soup, I made turkey congee for this woman so she could have a taste of roasted turkey.
Creamy Green Bean Casserole Soup Recipe
This soothing soup includes all the flavors of green bean casserole.
- 1 tablespoon garlic/shallot/scallion flavored oil or organic butter
- 1 tablespoon organic butter
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic smashed
- 10 ounces white mushrooms stems removed, sliced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 pound green beans trimmed
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cashew cream
- sea salt and black pepper to taste
Heat oil and butter in a large saucepan. Add onion, garlic and mushrooms. Saute until vegetables are soft, but not browned. Add thyme, nutmeg, green beans and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook, covered for 8-10 minutes until beans are tender, but still bright green. Transfer to blender and puree. Add cashew cream and blend until incorporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper.