Is Cream of Mushroom Soup Vegan or Vegetarian?


cream mushroom vegan

The word “cream” in the product description of a food product is generally not sound suitable for vegans. Wait. Not all the creams use Milk, and the word cream may also be used to indicate texture. E.g., facial cosmetics are not made of Milk.

But, Is this product vegan? No, cream of mushroom soup is not a vegan product. The same is true for the cream of celery or cream of broccoli, etc. The soup does get its creamy texture from starch, but it has got many dairy-based ingredients.

Is it vegetarian? Cream of mushroom soup is mostly vegetarian unless lard or bacon grease is added for the roux, a more common method used in homemade soups. Hence, the soup is suitable for Lacto and Lacto-Ovo vegetarians.

Now we will try to understand the different reasons for the unsuitability of cream of mushroom soup for vegans.

Why Cream of Mushroom Soup Is Non-Vegan

Cream of mushroom soup has milk cream in it.

It is a thickened soup made with added Milk, cream, or sour cream.

The ingredients for Campbell’s Classic Cream of Mushroom include

  • Water
  • Vegetable Oils (Corn, Canola, and Soybean Oils)
  • Mushrooms
  • Modified Food Starch, Wheat Flour
  • Salt, Yeast Extract
  • Cream (Milk)
  • Soy Protein Concentrate
  • Dehydrated Whey
  • Flavoring
  • Dehydrated Garlic

This may not be clear to some persons at first, because most of the creaminess is due to the starchy components.

If you check the label, you’ll see that two dairy ingredients make up 2% or less of the total quantity of the soup.

Cream of mushroom and other soups like celery, broccoli, and chicken soup are made with a basic roux.

One of the initial steps in making a sauce is the addition of a starch thickener with either slurry, beurre manié, or a roux.

Roux is a mixture of flour and a fat source cooked together to be used to thicken food products like sauces and soups.

After mixing flour with melted fat or oil, it is cooked until it is brown to the desired level.

Roux is usually non-vegan as different animal products like butter, bacon grease, or lard are used for the fat source. However, it becomes vegan-friendly if plant oils are used.

The cream of mushroom soup from Campbell has vegetable oils (not butter), which has a little quantity of Milk because, for these type of soups, the roux is made thinner with Milk or milk cream.

Other milk ingredients are also generally used. E.g., whey proteins are used in this version of Campbell.

Whey protein is available only in Milk, therefore, it’s always non-vegan. The content of proteins in cow’s Milk is approximately 20% of whey and 80% of casein.

During cheese production, Milk is curdled, and we are left with Whey protein. After pH comes below a certain level in the coagulation process, it has all of the soluble components of Milk.

In food production, Whey protein is generally added to improve texture and gelling because it has many useful properties. It is valid for other brands also.

Health Valley contains

  • Filtered Water
  • Organic Mushrooms
  • Organic Cream (from Milk)
  • Organic Rice Flour
  • Organic Mushrooms
  • Organic Soy Sauce (Organic Soybeans, Organic Maltodextrin)
  • Organic Mushroom Powder
  • Organic Butter (Organic Cream, Lactic Acid)
  • Organic Molasses
  • Yeast Extract and Salt
  • Organic Potato Flour, Organic Rice Starch
  • Organic Flavor, Natural Flavor
  • Organic Canola Oil
  • Organic Onion Powder, Organic Spices

To make a healthier soup, the above ingredients are used. Moreover, the cream is also organic, but it remains non-vegan.

One brand has offered a gluten-free version of the soup, but it contained dairy. They just used the wheat instead of other grains.

What About the Fat-Free Version?

Now let us consider the low-fat or fat-free version of the Campbell soup.

Vegans prefer the fat-free products because most of the animal products like whole Milk or butter are full of saturated fat. Such ingredients are generally replaced with vegan plant oils.

Similarly, some of the fat-free food manufacturers replace butter with plant oils, which are preferred by plant-based eaters.

But fat-free cream of mushroom soup appears to be non-vegan like the full-fat version.

Campbell’s Fat-Free cream of mushroom soup has got many times the number of animal products.

Its Ingredients include

  • Water
  • Mushrooms
  • Modified Food Starch, Wheat Flour
  • Salt, Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
  • Cream (Milk)
  • Vegetable Oil (Corn, Canola, And Soybean)
  • Dehydrated Butter (Cream, Salt)
  • Soy Protein Concentrate
  • Buttermilk
  • Flavoring
  • Enzyme Modified Butter
  • Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate
  • Skim Milk
  • Lactic Acid
  • Whey Protein Concentrate
  • Enzyme Modified Butter Fat And Oil
  • Whey Protein
  • Soy Lecithin

This variety contains so many milk products. They might have reduced vegetable oils to decrease the fat content and increased the number of dairy derivatives to compensate for the lost texture.

That was the fact fie of the vegan status of cream of mushroom soup. Thanks for reading.

 

References

  1. Campbell’s® Classic Cream Of Mushroom. https://www.campbellsfoodservice.com/product/campbells-classic-cream-of-mushroom/
  2. Cream of Mushroom Soup. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cream_of_mushroom_soup
  3. Whey Protein. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whey_protein

 

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