Peruvian Potato Mushroom Soup

A hearty, vegetarian Peruvian-inspired soup, Peruvian Potato Mushroom Soup warms your tummy with an abundance of mushrooms, new potatoes, Lima beans, queso fresco, and fresh herbs. Served with crusty bread, it’s a perfect fall and winter light meal!

Peruvian potato and mushroom soup with baby Lima beans, queso fresco, and fresh herbs in white bowls with a grey napkin.

👩🏻‍🍳 Tamara Talks – Vegetarian Peruvian Potato Soup Inspiration

Peruvian soup recipes make me happy. Actually, soup in general makes me happy. Our adventures in Peru opened my eyes to a whole new world of soups and stews. One of my favorites is sopa criolla – Peruvian beef noodle soup topped with a runny egg. I think that was the first Peruvian soup I posted on Beyond Mere Sustenance. It was later joined by a tomato bisque, aguadito de pollo, and a creamy pumpkin soup.

What makes this soup “Peruvian?”

Chile plays a very important role in Peruvian cooking. I keep ají amarillo, ají panca, and rocoto peppers in my well-stocked pantry. I have found that ají panca is often found in Peruvian soups.

2nd course at MIL includes a delicious tarwi purée along with fresh cheese, choclo corn, and crisps made from roots and tubers.

While Peruvians are likely to use tarwi and broad beans,I have not been able to find them in the US. I’ve tried dried broad beans (fava beans) and not been satisfied with their flavor or texture. I like baby lima beans as a substitution. By all means use tarwi or fava beans if you are so lucky!

Lima beans are grown commercially in the US, but they’re a legume similar to tarwi and fava beans, and boast similar nutritional statistics.

Were I to enjoy this soup in Peru, the root vegetable would probably be more obscure than potatoes. You might find oca or olluco. Peruvians have access to hundreds of varieties of roots and tubers!

So, how did I “land” on this creamy Peruvian potato and mushroom soup? I have a budding collection of Peruvian cookbooks including Martin Morales’ Andina: The Heart of Peruvian Food. This soup very loosely follows his Kapchi de Setas – Mushroom and Broad Bean Soup.

Peruvian root vegetables including oca and olluco.
Before dinner at MIL, we enjoyed a tour of the community gardens, and the variety of locally sourced foods. This table is covered with roots and tubers.

He specifies new potatoes and mushrooms, which I used. I substituted frozen baby lima beans for the broad beans, and a combination of half n half and mushroom broth for the full fat milk.

One ingredient common in Peruvian cooking is huacatay (Peruvian black mint). While I can find huacatay paste, I have yet to find fresh huacatay. I appreciate that Chef Morales suggests a combination of fresh herbs – tarragon, cilantro, and parsley – as a substitute. I feel this combination comes pretty close. By all means, use fresh huacatay if you can find it!

📋 Ingredients Notes

Soup ingredients in prep bowl - potatoes, mushrooms, lima beans, queso fresco, herbs, broth, half n half, garlic, ají panca paste, onion, fresh herbs.
  • potatoes – I prefer very small new potatoes in this recipe because they cook so quickly!
  • olive oil – If you (like me) keep truffle oil on hand, this is a great way to use it! It reinforces the mushroom flavor. Regular olive oil is fine too!
  • mushrooms – My “go to” mushroom for soups/stews is crimini (small portobello mushrooms). They’re the same variety as “button” and “portobello,” and their size, more mature flavor, and firm texture make them perfect for this stew.
  • beans/legumes – as I mentioned above, in Peru, you’d find tarwi or broad beans. I find frozen lima beans come closest to what we had in Peru. You will add them to the soup cooked. Some lima beans are par-cooked and just need to have hot water run over them to thaw them. Others require cooking. See package instructions. You can substitute fresh or frozen green peas or other beans/legumes.
  • fresh herbs – Peruvians use huacatay, but I have not found huacatay in the US. As mentioned above, the combination of parsley, tarragon, and cilantro is a pretty good “impostor.”
  • broth – I make vegan mushroom broth, and I happened to have some in my freezer. That’s why the photo below looks a little separated. Use a good quality mushroom or vegetable broth. If you don’t follow a plant-based diet, chicken broth is fine.
  • cream or milk – I prefer the richness that half n half adds to the soup. You can use coconut milk creamer, whole fat milk, evaporated milk, or a rich non-dairy milk.
  • cheese – Queso fresco (fresh cheese) is ubiquitous in Peru. Many households and cafés make their own, and bigger villages and cities have cheese shops that sell it. Mexican queso fresco found in the US is close to the Peruvian kind, and that is what I specify. You could substitute feta.
  • ají panca paste – Ají panca has a smoky, sweet, subtle heat that is perfect in many soups and stews. It is a close relative of aji amarillo, but with a brighter, fresher flavor that doesn’t taste cooked even after drying or cooking down to a paste. Ají amarillo is a decent substitute, but it will change the flavor and color.
  • garlic
  • onion – Peruvians use a LOT OF ONIONS! You’ll be fine substituting whatever you have.

🔪 Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Cook the potatoes – Cut new potatoes in half lengthwise. Add to a medium-sized saucepan and cover with water. Add salt. Bring to a boil, and simmer until tender but not soft (8-10 minutes).
  2. Sauté the onion and mushrooms – To a Dutch oven or similar on medium-high heat, add a drizzle of olive oil, and onion. Sauté until the onion is beginning to soften. Add mushrooms. Sauté until mushrooms begin to caramelize, then add garlic and ají panca paste. Season with salt and pepper. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes. Add the cooked lima beans (or other beans/legumes). De-glaze with the broth.
  3. Finish the soup – Add the half n half or milk, and heat gently. You don’t want to boil the soup! While the soup heats, chop the fresh herbs and dice the cheese. Add the diced cheese just before ladling into bowls. Check for seasoning. You want to do this last because the cheese is salty, and you may not want more salt.
  4. Serve – Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish generously with fresh herbs. Enjoy!
Potatoes boiling in a saucepan.
Boil potatoes in salted water until tender.
Fresh parsley, tarragon, and cilantro are chopped for garnish
Chop herbs and dice cheese
Mushrooms and onion sauté.
Sauté onions and mushrooms…
Potatoes and mushrooms get de-glazed with mushroom broth.
De-glaze with mushroom or vegetable broth…
aji panca paste and garlic are added.
Add ají panca paste and garlic.
Soup is finished with lima beans, cream, and queso fresco.
Finish with lima beans, cream/milk and cheese, then garnish with herbs!
A red Dutch oven with Peruvian potato and mushroom soup ready to be ladled into bowls.

How many does this soup recipe serve?

I intentionally wrote this recipe for 2, making it easy to scale up.

Does this soup re-heat well or freeze well?

I have not tried either. Part of the pleasure of this soup is in the texture and saltiness of bits of barely melted cheese. You would lose that in reheating the soup. You definitely want the herbs to be added immediately prior to eating the soup.

🧂 Useful Stuff

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My husband and I enjoy this soup as a light supper with bread or muffins. It’s also an excellent start course for a more extensive meal.

Do you love soups? If you love Peruvian flavors, and are looking for more vegetarian soup recipes, try this Peruvian tomato soup. I’d love to hear about your favorite soup recipes, and perhaps try them myself! Enjoy the season!

Signature in red and green with chiles and limes. Healthyish Latin cuisine.

A white ceramic bowl of Peruvian potato and mushroom soup with a black spoon.

Peruvian Potato Mushroom Soup

This hearty vegetarian Peruvian-inspired potato and mushroom soup features potatoes, mushrooms, lima beans, and queso fresco in a savory cream base flavored with ají panca past and fresh herbs!
5 from 2 votes

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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Soups and Stews
Cuisine Peruvian
Servings 2 servings
Calories 526 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 8 ounces potatoes - halved lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon salt for the water
  • 1 tablespoon olive or truffle oil
  • 1 medium onion - diced fine
  • 8 ounces crimini mushrooms - halved
  • 1 tablespoon ají panca
  • 1 teaspoon garlic - minced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup mushroom or vegetable broth
  • 7 ounces baby lima beans - pre-cooked
  • 1 cup half n half
  • 2 ounces queso fresco - diced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh herbs – tarragon - cilantro, parsley (see post)
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Instructions

  • Cut new potatoes in half lengthwise. Add to a medium-sized saucepan and cover with water. Add salt. Bring to a boil, and simmer until tender but not soft (about 8-10 minutes).
  • To a Dutch oven or similar on medium-high heat, add a drizzle of olive oil, and onion. Sauté until the onion is beginning to soften. Add mushrooms. Sauté until mushrooms begin to caramelize, then add garlic and ají panca paste. Season with salt and pepper. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes. Add the cooked lima beans (or other beans/legumes). De-glaze with the broth.
  • Add the half n half or milk, and heat gently. You don't want to boil the soup! While the soup heats, chop the fresh herbs and dice the cheese. Add the diced cheese just before ladling into bowls. Check for seasoning. You want to do this last because the cheese is salty, and you may not want more salt.
  • Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish generously with fresh herbs. Enjoy!

Notes

See post for Tips and FAQ.

Nutrition

Calories: 526kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 28g

NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and/or star rating! Email us with any questions: tamara@beyondmeresustenance.com

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2 Comments

  1. I have to admit that I didn’t use the cream; instead I used 1-1/4 cups of mushroom broth. It was still delicious and came together so quickly! Next time I might cut the veggies smaller to make it easier to eat.