Anyone local reading my blog who sees that I’ve been simmering pots of cream of mushroom soup on the stove might think I’ve gone out of my mind. While it’s October, the leaves are falling, and there are pumpkins everywhere you look, it’s also been consistently in the mid-80’s.
Not exactly the weather you think of for getting cozy with a steamy bowl of soup.
Whether enjoying a bowl to warm up on a chilly day (whenever that might be), or serving it as an elegant start to a holiday meal, a bowl of homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup is never something I’d turn away.
My favorite cream of mushroom soup is made with a hearty proportion of cremini mushrooms (sometimes called “Baby Bellas”), mixed with shiitake and oyster or chanterelle. I find that using a mix as opposed to a single variety makes a more complex soup with a well-rounded flavor.
In reality, you can turn just about any mushroom variety into a luxurious soup. Using all white button mushrooms will yield a soup that’s earthy, but very mild-tasting. I prefer a stronger mushroom flavor, so I rarely use a large proportion of buttons, but I’ll sometimes include them in my mushroom mix.
I usually prefer to buy whole mushrooms and slice them myself, but I have come across a few pre-sliced “gourmet mushroom blends” that have been fantastic in this soup recipe.
It’s fun to venture out and try making soup with different varieties of mushrooms that look fresh and interesting when you’re at the market.
Want to read more about different mushroom varieties before you go shopping? Check out this visual guide from Epicurious.
Making the Creamiest Cream of Mushroom Soup
My main grievance with various cream of mushroom soups I’ve eaten over the years has been the texture. I love a creamy soup base contrasted with pieces of meaty sautéed mushrooms.
Sometimes, though, the soup itself is too thin, other times way too thick, and a great deal of the time, just doesn’t have anywhere near enough mushrooms to really qualify as “mushroom soup”.
I use a full pound of mushrooms in this recipe and both puree some of them into the base itself (hello, flavor!), and leave a good amount whole for texture.
That said, if you’d prefer to turn this recipe into a smooth mushroom bisque, that’s certainly doable! Just puree the whole batch and add a bit more broth to thin the texture a bit.
I love to serve Cream of Mushroom Soup with a piece of crusty artisan bread on the side for dipping. Or, even better, with my Buttery Garlic Croutons.
Bread and soup are a match made in comfort food heaven!
Because, cozy soup season is here, no matter what the thermometer outside of my window wants to report otherwise.
Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup
This gourmet cream of mushroom soup has a creamy base with plenty of sliced mushrooms throughout. If you prefer a smooth soup, puree the soup to your desired texture. If fully pureeing, you might need to add a little extra chicken broth to thin.
- 1 pound fresh mushrooms (I use a mix of cremini, shiitake, and oyster or chanterelle)
- 1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup dry sherry
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 cup heavy cream
Clean mushrooms and discard any tough stems. Cut mushrooms into 1/4-inch thick slices. Set aside.
In a large heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven, melt butter until foaming subsides. Add onion and cook until soft but not browned, about 5-8 minutes. Add mushrooms and 1/2 teaspoon each kosher salt and black pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until mushrooms have released their liquid and are soft, about 10 minutes.
Add flour and stir to coat the mushroom mixture. Cook for 1 minute. Add sherry and cook for an additional minute, scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the pot.
Stir in chicken or vegetable broth and thyme leaves. Bring to a boil, stirring. (The soup may look, for the lack of a better term, "gloppy" at this point. This is normal! As you stir and the liquid heats, the roux will dissolve.)
Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
Transfer 1-1/2 cups of soup to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Stir pureed soup back into the pot.
Stir in heavy cream and season to taste with salt and pepper.
To style the soup for the photos in this post, I sautéed some extra mushrooms as a garnish. Beyond presentation, the soup really does not need them; it has plenty of mushrooms!