Homemade Mushroom Soup

For anyone who's only tasted canned mushroom soup before, this recipe for homemade mushroom soup will be a revelation.

Missouri’s Bootheel and the country of Japan share a mycological treasure, climates, water and timber perfect for cultivating mushrooms. Leave it to a clever Englishwoman to figure that out.

Nicola Macpherson is St. Louis’ ‘mushroom lady’. Her company, Ozark Forest, grows shiitake and oyster mushrooms year-round on a family farm using renewable, sustainable and organic agro-forestry practices.

First, specially harvested oak limbs are inoculated with mushroom spawn, then left to incubate for six to nine months. Once they’re soaked in spring water for 24 hours, the mushrooms are ready to pick in just a few days.

Ozark Forest mushrooms are mostly purchased by local restaurants. But keep a look-out for a woman with a lovely English accent peddling mushrooms at weekend fairs and farmers markets. Until then, use fresh mushrooms from the supermarket which also yield a luscious pot of creamy soup.

ALANNA’S TIPS For this delicious soup, choose shiitake, cremini or baby bella mushrooms. To economize, use half white button mushrooms. Use fresh-grated nutmeg if you can. To ‘sweat’ onions is to gently cook them without browning. Surprisingly, this soup is as good cold as it is hot.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food writer Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Send a favorite recipe via e-mail.

KITCHEN CLASSIC: MUSHROOM SOUP

Homemade, home delicious
Cooking time: 90 minutes, 30 hands-on
Time to table: Preferably 24 hours
Makes 4 cups
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion, diced small
  • 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms (see ALANNA’s TIPS), trimmed, chopped fine
  • 1/2 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Grated nutmeg (see TIPS)

Bring broth to a boil in the microwave.

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, melt the butter on medium. Add the onion and sweat (see TIPS) for about 10 minutes. Add mushrooms as they’re prepped, cook til just beginning to soften. Stir in flour, then slowly add hot broth, stirring the whole time. Bring to a boil, adjust heat to maintain a slow simmer. Let cook for about an hour, til mushrooms are soft. Stir in milk, cream and sherry; heat through but do not boil. Season to taste.

Cool and refrigerate for 24 hours for flavor to develop. Before serving, gently rewarm but don’t let boil. Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with nutmeg. Savor every spoonful.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per Cup: 220 Cal; 19g Tot Fat; 12g Sat Fat; 7g Carb; 1g Fiber; 327mg Sodium; 60mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers 5 points

LATER NOTES
I like to keep food recognizable, making it clear what's on a plate or inside a bowl. So when making the soup for the photograph here, I broke apart the mushroom caps into large chunks, a technique first learned with the World's Best Green Bean Casserole and used many times since. That said, for this soup, I think the texture is better when the mushroom pieces are chopped small and that will be my choice in the future. On occasion, I've lightened this soup considerably by using Smart Balance instead of butter and fat-free half 'n' half for the milk and cream. I've also thickened it with arrowroot rather than flour but have learned to do the thickening at the very end of cooking, rather than the beginning.

More Creamy, Hearty Soup Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Creamy Wild Rice Soup Salmon Chowder Smoked Turkey Chowder
~ more soup recipes ~

More Recipes Using Mushrooms

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Beef & Mushroom Stew Sole with Mushrooms & Onions Quick Supper: Pepper Steak & Mushrooms

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My husband loves mushrooms, I have been looking for easy soup from longtime. This looks delcious.
 
Padmaja ~ Oh then your husband will completely love this. Some times the simplest things can be the very best.
 
Isn't life better with your own mushroom lady? You're so right--I love the woodsy flavor of these mushrooms, so I know I'll love your recipe. Your creamy bowl of soup looks so appetizing.
 
Hi, Alanna!
This work is very good
thank you
 
Mushrooms definitely rule!
 
Alanna,
I like to add about an ounce of reconstituted wild mushrooms (and the juice) to my soup. Makes for a much richer flavor.
 
Are the mushrooms thinly sliced or prepped another way? Also...I found that a good bit of the broth evaporated when simmered with the lid off. I was a little disappointed in the texture...it didn't get very creamy with only 1/2 tab flour.
 
Susan ~ Thanks! I fell in love with mushroom soup all over again, testing this recipe.

David ~ Thanks!

D ~ So do you!

Kevin ~ Great idea, I'll try that next time.

Anonymous ~ I'm sorry the soup was disappointing. And good catch on the prep. I like to break fresh mushrooms into pieces. That way, as they cook and shrink, they seem a lot more like mushroom vs bits of soft mush (ha!) in canned mushroom soup. The soup does have a consistency some thinner than canned soup, if that's the comparison. If you'd like to correspond about this a bit more, feel free to e-mail me directly.
 
I love the idea of trying this as a cold soup - that wouldn't have occurred to me, somehow. Thanks!
 

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna