Mushroom Bisque

October 13, 2021
7 Ratings
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 25 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

The night before my brother's wedding, his wife-to-be's parents took us out to dinner. We were in Detroit and my expectations weren't high, but I had an extraordinary mushroom bisque that I set out to re-create when I got home. It took several years to achieve something as good as I remembered. —Kevin

Test Kitchen Notes

Nothing is more comforting in the fall than a big bowl of homemade mushroom bisque. Of course, many recipes for mushroom bisque abound on the Internet, but this one is extra-special because not only do you use dried mushrooms, you use fresh mushrooms as well. You first start by making a quick mushroom stock. All it takes is said dried mushrooms and a little bit of sherry. You get so much flavor just letting the mushrooms soak for a half an hour, and the extra step and time make the payoff well worth it. Mixed with fresh mushrooms, chicken stock, some butter, and half-and-half, the combination of these savory, creamy, hearty ingredients equal comfort food in a bowl.

Keep in mind per the reviewers below that you might need more liquid to hydrate the dried mushrooms. A little more sherry and chicken stock should do the trick—be sure to trust your instincts and don't be afraid to taste as you go! If you're not using an immersion blender, be careful as you transfer the hot liquids to a standard blender, and feel free to work in batches as you go. A final dollop of sour cream or crème fraîche really helps tie it all together, and a sprig of thyme adds a pop of color for the final presentation. This is the perfect way to use up all types of mushrooms, and any time you find yourself with either dried of fresh ones, this recipe will soon become your go-to. —The Editors

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Mushroom Bisque
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry, plus more for serving
  • 2 ounces assorted dried wild mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 pounds assorted fresh mushrooms, such as button, shiitake, and/or porcini, coarsely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme, plus sprigs for serving
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups store-bought or homemade chicken stock
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Sour cream or crème fraîche, for serving
  1. In a small pot over medium heat, bring ½ cup of the sherry to a simmer. Remove from the heat, stir in the dried mushrooms, and rehydrate for 30 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mushrooms to a small bowl. Into another small bowl, strain the sherry through a coffee filter or cheesecloth; set aside. Note: Half of the mushroom flavor comes from this broth.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, arrange half of the fresh mushrooms in an even layer (do not oil the pan); generously season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent burning, for 5 to 7 minutes, until the mushrooms have reduced by half. Add the remaining fresh mushrooms, season with salt, then stir in the shallots and chopped thyme. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 7 to 10 minutes more, until the mushrooms have reduced by half.
  3. Add the butter and toss until melted. Add the reserved sherry and reduce to a syrup. Add the rehydrated mushrooms and stock. Bring to a vigorous simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Stir in the half-and-half. Purée the soup with an immersion blender or standard blender. Return the soup to the pot and heat over medium, stirring, to warm through.
  5. Serve with a light splash of sherry (don’t stir it in). Garnish with a thyme sprig and a dollop of sour cream or crème fraîche.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Lydia Bates
    Lydia Bates
  • Jen
  • Tforsyth
  • Stephanie

7 Reviews

Lydia B. January 15, 2023
don't understand the "bitter" comment.....did you use enough fluid to hydrate the mushrooms....that's the only change I'd make. This is the best Mushroom Bisque since the stuff I had at Portobellos a restaurant at the big shopping center up in Oakland county in Michigan.
Jen January 15, 2023
This bisque is terribly bitter.
Jessiej0x1 January 20, 2023
Mine turned out slightly bitter too. I was able to easily correct it with a bit of baking soda. I wonder what we did wrong? Maybe it was the type of mushrooms used?
Tforsyth December 14, 2022
This is such a delicious soup! The flavor is rich, deep and balanced. Don’t omit any steps - it’s worth the effort. I served the soup with a caramelized onion grilled cheese and my guests flipped!
Stephanie September 17, 2022
I just made this recipe and right off the spoon, it is wonderful. It has a depth of flavor that I guess comes from the different steps you go through to make it, so don't skip the steps! I also agree with the 2 previous reviewers, I added more chicken stock and a tad more sherry at the end. I thought I would have to let it sit in the fridge for a day to let the flavors meld but it tastes great right now. So, I'm going to enjoy a bowl of it tonight.
Lydia B. August 9, 2020
Fabulous soup! Reminds me of the Mushroom Bisque served at Portobellos Restaurant at Somerset Collection many years ago. I do agree completely with previous reviewer that you need a lot more liquid for hydrating the dried mushrooms and also extra for the final soup. It’s a winner once you increase the fluid.
Joyce April 6, 2019
This was a delicious, earthy soup. Just add more liquid initially when de-hydrating the dry mushrooms as 1/2 cup of sherry was not enough. I added another 1 and 1/2 cups chicken broth to it and simmered. Also, when adding the extra chicken broth to the soup, I added 4 cups. After pureeing w/ a hand blender, and re-heating, I added another 1/2 cup of sherry as it needed that warming feeling.