Creamy Mushroom Soup

By • October 2, 2009 • 69 Comments


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Author Notes: I often find amazing mushrooms, both wild and cultivated, at our local farmers market. I've made this soup with cremini, shitake, button, hen of the woods, oyster, chanterelle, and many other local wild types. This soup is velvety and satisfying.MrsWheelbarrow

Food52 Review: With this recipe, MrsWheelbarrow takes a classic home cook recipe and elevates it to elegant dinner party fare. First, she has you make a reinforced stock by simmering the mushroom stems in chicken broth. Then, in a move that evokes the fastidiousness of culinary school, she instructs you to "beautifully and precisely chop" 1 1/2 pounds of mushroom caps into a 1/2-inch dice. Halfway through, you will likely be cursing both her and us, but trust us: it's worth it. And that's really the bulk of the work. The chopped mushrooms slowly cook down with shallots, thyme and rosemary, and then you deglaze them with a generous swig of Cognac, combine the mushrooms with the reinforced stock and finish with a swirl of cream and a heap of freshly chopped chives. The resulting soup is a lovely balance of delicately creamy and intensely mushroomy, with layered undertones of herbs and Cognac. - A&MA&M

Serves 6

  • 1 pound mixed mushrooms, cleaned, stems separated from caps
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, cleaned, stems separated from caps
  • .5 cups minced shallot
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • .25 cups cognac
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 4 cups rich homemade chicken stock
  • .25 cups whipping cream
  • .25 cups chopped chives
  1. Rough chop the mushroom stems and simmer them, covered, in the chicken broth for about an hour.
  2. In the meantime, heat the oil in a large skillet, and saute the shallots until transparent. Add the herbs and salt & pepper liberally.
  3. Beautifully and precisely chop the mushroom caps into a 1/2" dice. Add them to the shallots as they are chopped. Keep the heat very low and cook gently until the mushroom liquid is released and reabsorbed. Shake the pan so they don't stick. Remove the thyme and rosemary.
  4. Turn up the heat and add the cognac. Flame it if you're feeling really chef-y. Cook the mushroom cap/shallot mixture down (after cognac) until well reduced and starting to turn a little golden on the edges.
  5. Strain the mushroom stems from the chicken broth.
  6. Add the beautiful mushroom cap and shallot mixture to the strained broth and heat gently.
  7. Swirl in the cream and chives and serve. Or serve in small sipping cups topped with chives and lightly whipped cream, if you want to get fancy.

Tags: fancy, rich

Comments (69) Questions (3)

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about 1 month ago Christina @ Christina's Cucina

OH YUM! How could anyone not swoon with this soup in front of them?

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about 1 month ago MrsWheelbarrow

Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

So glad you liked it!

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2 months ago kimizimi

Delicious and easy to make! I was able to serve four generous portions.

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about 1 month ago MrsWheelbarrow

Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

Glad you liked it!

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3 months ago Renee B

Delicious! It won't serve six. Not even small portions. The broth boils down from 4 cups to, let's say 3 or 3 1/2. Add to that the mushrooms (stems removed, not to be eaten) that have been cooked down, 1/4 cup of whipping cream, and 1/4 cup of cognac. It serves just two or three portions—incredibly delicious portions. Do double or triple the recipe because you will want more, much more! I made this to surprise my mushroom loving husband when he returns tomorrow from a trip. I'd planned to have some today but there wouldn't be enough for tomorrow with dinner.

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about 1 month ago MrsWheelbarrow

Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

Too true. My husband and I will eat up this entire recipe!

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3 months ago Ala

Soup sounds delicious and excited to try it but was wondering if you have any suggestion for a cognac substitute?

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3 months ago AlainaMK

I used brandy and it tasted great. I think you can also substitute a fruit juice like pear or apple, just use a bit less.

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3 months ago Abbatoir

Try dry sherry. Also very good.

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4 months ago Diana

I am making this today and doubling the recipe.. I am chopping up the mushrooms which would call for 4 pounds. it looks like alot of mushroom compare to stock hope I am not messing this up??

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3 months ago Renee B

All of the stems are used exclusively to create an intensely flavorful broth after which they are strained out and not used. As a result, there are a lot but not too many mushrooms. And, I sautéd the strained stems in butter and added to scrambled eggs. Hated to waste them. Glad I didn't.

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4 months ago AlainaMK

I made this last night for me and my husband's early Christmas dinner (before family arrives and I am crazed) and it was absolutely delicious. Simmering the mushroom stems in the broth made the soup deeply aromatic and flavorful -- do not skip that step! I wish I made a bigger batch because I would love to eat it again this morning! Without a doubt the best mushroom soup I've ever had (let alone cooked)!

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5 months ago Shannon

Can this soup be made ahead of time and reheated?

Stringio

5 months ago Cathy Barrow

Yes, but wait amd add the cream when heating it.

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5 months ago Shannon

Wonderful, thank you! So excited to make this!

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11 months ago Trena

This is the most delicious mushroom soup I've ever tasted! Thank you for sharing MrsWheelbarrow.

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11 months ago MrsWheelbarrow

Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

thank you!

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about 1 year ago geneva mommy

made this tonight....wonderful!!!! used creme fraiche and added rehydrated dried morills as well as I am a crazy mushroom fan....to be repeated!!!

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over 1 year ago Lisacancook

Hi..any suggestions to use inted of crem at end which is low fat?

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over 1 year ago MrsWheelbarrow

Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

I haven't tried substituting yogurt, but that would be an option. (Regarding the cream, I justify it -- tell myself it's only 1/4 cup, which is about 2 teaspoons per serving!)

Lorigoldsby

over 1 year ago lorigoldsby

You can try fat free half n half...but it has corn syrup as a thickening agent...so you save "fat" calories but you have extra sugar...I agree with Mrs. wheelbarrow, unless you are on a super restrictive diet...cut calories someplace else, or take a walk after dinner!

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about 1 year ago jenlandis

Cashew Cream for sure! So unbelievably good. If you've never made it, there's instructions on this site.

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over 1 year ago BSmith

Amazing version!

Stringio

over 1 year ago joyce.ciotti

Christmas Eve dinner always includes mushroom soup. I seriously believe YOUR version will make it's debut this year. ty

Stringio

over 1 year ago joyce.ciotti

I could not wait.... for the holidays. I served this to close family and it was delicious!!!

Stringio

over 1 year ago joyce.ciotti

I could not wait.... for the holidays. I served this to close family and it was delicious!!!

Stringio

over 1 year ago joyce.ciotti

I could not wait.... for the holidays. I served this to close family and it was delicious!!!

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over 2 years ago ubs2007

Absolutely scrumptious and elegant! I made this for a weekday lunch and I decided to serve it in our finest china! My son ate two bowls:). Love the combination of mushrooms and cognac and the technique of adding cream at the end was over the top. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!

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over 2 years ago MrsWheelbarrow

Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

So glad you enjoyed it. It's light and filling at the same time, right?

Caramels_3

over 2 years ago sweetlolo

Made this for dinner last night. Didn't have any cognac on hand so used some Apple Jack in its place which added just a tiny touch of sweetness and worked great. Such a satisfying and delicious soup.

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over 2 years ago MrsWheelbarrow

Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

What a nice idea! So glad you enjoyed it.

Flower-bee

over 2 years ago Droplet

A great technique, MrsWheelbarrow. Simple with a respectable degree of finesse.

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almost 3 years ago kch

I just made this soup and it's delicious! I added a bit of butter with the mushrooms because I can't resist mushroom sauteed in butter.
I made it with a vegetable broth for a vegetarian theme.
The last little garnish I added to each bowl was a dab of Creme Fraiche and chives.
This is, by far, my favorite cream of mushroom soup I've ever made. Perfect!

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almost 3 years ago MrsWheelbarrow

Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

Thanks so much!

Lorigoldsby

almost 3 years ago lorigoldsby

congrats! My mom picked this to be the soup course for her birthday luncheon tomorrow. She (and I!!) can't wait to try this. She even offered to be the sous chef and do all of the chopping! Chicken stock is on the stovetop now.

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almost 3 years ago MrsWheelbarrow

Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

I'm so flattered! I hope you both enjoy it and happy birthday to your Mom!

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about 3 years ago Cuoca Marchisio

reminds me of my favorite Rachel Ray Mushroom Bisque with the cognac...delicious!

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about 3 years ago Rhonda35

THIS is going to be dinner tonight! It is freezing here (well, it's freezing there, too, now that I think about it - we are basically in the same weather zone!) I look forward to warming up with this delicious soup. Thx for sharing!

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about 3 years ago Rhonda35

Hello, Mrs. Wheelbarrow! Tonight was my second time making this delicious soup and, despite the fact that I am just now seeing the additional instructions you added in the remarks, I think it is wonderful. The chopping wasn't as horrible as I'd expected and it all came together quite easily. What I like most is that you managed to get so much flavor out of relatively few ingredients. (I am sure if you sent a message to Amanda or Merrill they would make sure your additional instructions are added to the recipe itself.)

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about 3 years ago MrsWheelbarrow

Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

Hi Rhonda, I took your suggestion and wrote to A&M to see if they will fix up the recipe here. I'm so glad you like the soup. I recently made a batch - first time in awhile - and topped my portion with crispy pancetta bits.

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over 3 years ago ritu_mehta-pistritto

Yummmm:) Absolutely divine! :)
I can never get enough of my favorite soups of all ....this hearty mushroom cream soup!
I've hunted it down & enjoyed in many wonderful restaurants in different countries..Delhi, Bangalore in ndia, Basel, Geneva in Switzerland, Alsace, Paris in France, California USA, Nantucket EastCoast.. & so on...."each" time I went to heaven & back lol ... as my love for mushrooms is almost as passionate as my passion for Music!! (which is well known to many on Youtube, as "ritupm" :) Thanks a million for this recipee ...can't "wait" to try it out...since "love" cooking too! :) Best Always! Ritu, San Francisco/Silicon Valley Bay Area...California, USA. 16th Jan. 2011. 4:00amPST! :)