Quick, easy and a thousand times better than the canned stuff, this Cream of Mushroom Soup recipe includes a “secret” ingredient that bumps up the flavor by several luscious notches for the ULTIMATE flavor results!
Luxuriously rich in flavor with an irresistibly creamy texture, this cream of mushroom soup will bewitch your senses as it melts in your mouth, spoonful after spoonful! Phenomenal as a stand-alone soup or as a base for any number of other cream-based soups or casseroles, this cream of mushroom soup recipe will be one you’ll keep bookmarked for years to come.
This cream of mushroom soup is quick and easy to make and the ingredients are relatively – but quality is key. Use the freshest mushrooms and the best quality broth.
The depth of the rich and earthy flavor of homemade cream of mushroom soup from scratch with fresh, real ingredients just cannot be replicated in a can. And as quick and easy as it is to make there’s just no good excuse to use store-bought again.
What Kind of Mushrooms Should I Use?
Feel free to use the mushrooms of your choice. Substitute any variety you like or use a mushroom medley. But whatever type of mushroom you go with, for a truly exceptional cream of mushroom soup you’ll want to include our “secret” ingredient: Dried porcini mushrooms.
This soup can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Beyond the obvious of eating it as a stand-alone soup, in the U.S. in particular cream of mushroom soup has become a staple kitchen ingredient incorporated into multiple dishes ever since it was first introduced in condensed canned form in the 1930’s by the Campbell company. It became such a versatile and widely-used ingredient that it’s been coined “America’s béchamel” because of its ubiquitous use in everything from soups, sauces and meatballs to casseroles and gratins.
Savor this wonderful soup on its own as a starter, side, or serve it as a light main course with a green salad and some crusty bread. And you can substitute it in any recipe calling for canned condensed cream of mushroom soup.
Key Ingredients in Cream of Mushroom Soup
Making your own cream of mushroom soup is easy and quick and only requires a few ingredients.
For the mushrooms you can use most varieties, including a nice medley of mushrooms. But whichever variety you use, be sure to include the dried porcini mushrooms because they will absolutely ROCK the flavor of you soup!
Something that’s off-turning to me is putting a spoonful of cream of mushroom soup in my mouth that’s full of really large, floppy pieces of sliced mushrooms. In our opinion it really isn’t the best texture or mouthfeel experience. We recommend chopping your mushrooms into three different size groups: Slice some, coarsely chop the others, and finely chop the rest. We feel this variation in size lends itself to the best texture for your soup.
For the herbs we used thyme but you can shake things up and use a different herb of your choice such as rosemary, tarragon or oregano.
The dry white wine will add additional depth and a wonderful delicate flavor dimension. You can use red wine if you prefer but we prefer the more delicate flavor of white over the robust flavor of red for this creamy soup. Do not use wine that is designated as “cooking wine” – it tastes gross and has added fillers like salt. Use a drinking wine and it can be an inexpensive one. Sauvignon blanc, which is what we used, is a great option.
For the liquid we use the best quality chicken broth as the base and then add in heavy cream at the end for that luxurious creamy texture that makes this soup especially wonderful. As noted in the next two sections below, there are other alternatives if you want to cut down on the fat as well as non-dairy alternatives. If you’re vegetarian or vegan feel free to substitute a high quality vegetable broth.
This soup uses relatively few ingredients but quality is key. Be sure to use the best quality chicken broth you can find.
We use and recommend our most favorite brand of broth based in Barcelona, Spain: Aneto. They make all of their broths with the freshest vegetables and freshest free-ranged bone-in chicken and slow-simmer the ingredients in pots – just like making it right at home, but on a larger scale with larger pots. Their broths are all 100% natural with non-GMO ingredients and without the use of any additives, preservatives, fillers, extracts, powders or flavor enhancers. Just real, whole vegetables and fresh meat. Our family has been using Aneto products for several years and can’t recommend them highly enough.
You can find out more about what sets Aneto apart from other broth brands HERE.
Aneto’s broths and paella cooking bases (in a word, amazing!!) can be found in a variety of stores across the United States as well as online at Amazon. We recommend Aneto Chicken Broth for this soup. For a vegetarian/vegan option Aneto also makes a vegetarian broth.
What Are Porcini Mushrooms?
When it comes to flavor, they’re like mushrooms on steroids! Cultivated primarily in Europe and North America, porcini mushrooms have been prized in Italy and France for centuries where they remain the most widely-consumed wild mushroom. Porcini have an incredibly rich earthy and nutty flavor that is unparalleled and has earned it the title of “King of Mushrooms.”
For years I’ve included a tablespoon or two of ground dried porcini mushrooms to a variety of sauces, gravies and soups for a potent dose of umami to heighten the flavor of each dish. It’s a truly wonderful ingredient and you’ll love the additional depth of flavor it contributes to this cream of mushroom soup.
You can find dried porcini mushrooms in some well-stocked grocery stores and you can also find them here on Amazon.
Can I Make Cream of Mushroom Soup Without Cream?
Yes. If you’re looking for a lower fat version you can use half-and-half. If you want to reduce the fat even further we recommend evaporated milk over regular milk because regular milk will curdle under heat, evaporated milk will not.
Can I Make Cream of Mushroom Soup Without Dairy?
Yes. Whether you’re vegan or lactose-intolerant you can choose the milk alternative of your choice. For the creamiest results we recommend oat milk or nut milk.
Cream of Mushroom Soup Recipe
Let’s get started!
Melt the butter in a stock pot over medium-high heat and cook the onions until soft and translucent but not browned, 4-5 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
Add the mushrooms, dried porcini, and thyme and cook another 5-6 minutes until the mushrooms have released their juices and are soft.
Add the wine and boil for 1 minute.
Add the flour and cook for a minute.
Add the chicken broth, salt and pepper and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until thickened. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
Add the cream and parsley and heat through. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.
Be sure to also try our Cream of Celery Soup!
Cream of Mushroom Soup
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 medium yellow onion (about 1 cup chopped) , finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic , minced
- 1 pound fresh mushrooms (Cremini, button or mushrooms of choice), cleaned and cut into 3 size groups for a more interesting texture: Some roughly chopped, some finely chopped and a few of them sliced.
- 2 tablespoons finely minced dried porcini mushrooms
- 1/4 cup dry white wine (e.g. Sauvignon Blanc)
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups quality chicken broth (we use and recommend Aneto)
- vegetarians: use vegetable broth
- 2-3 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup heavy cream (see info about lower fat and non-dairy substitutions in blog post)
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Melt the butter in a stock pot over medium-high heat and cook the onions until soft and translucent but not browned, 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the mushrooms, dried porcini, and thyme and cook another 5-6 minutes until the mushrooms have released their juices and are soft. Add the wine and boil for 1 minute.
- Add the flour and cook for a minute. Add the chicken broth, salt and pepper and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until thickened. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the cream and parsley and heat through. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.
Originally published on The Daring Gourmet March 2, 2020