Creamy Mushroom Soup

October 2, 2009

Test Kitchen-Approved

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&MThe Editors

Serves: 6


  • 1 pound mixed mushrooms, cleaned, stems separated from caps
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, cleaned, stems separated from caps
  • 1/2 cup minced shallot
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup Cognac
  • 4 cups rich homemade chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
In This Recipe


  1. Roughly 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 sauté the shallots until transparent. Add the herbs and salt and pepper liberally.
  3. Beautifully and precisely chop the mushroom caps into a 1/2-inch 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.

More Great Recipes:
Soup|French|Cognac|Milk/Cream|Mushroom|Shallot|Thyme|Vegetable|Chive|One-Pot Wonders|Thanksgiving|Winter

Reviews (89) Questions (4)

89 Reviews

Anne M. November 9, 2018
If you're craving a rich, creamy, satisfying mushroom soup...this ain't it. Also way too much work separating stems from caps. I used homemade stock, followed recipe exactly and was underwhelmed at best. Much prefer Moosewood's Hungarian Mushroom soup for creaminess, "mushroomy-ness".
Theresa P. December 9, 2017
A very tasty soup, that is easy to vegan-ize or make vegetarian. Some adjustments I made: I didn't find that the broth to cooked mushroom ratio was very good, so I ended up adding about 2 additional cups of vegetable broth to the mushroom stem liquid, once strained. In terms of browning the mushrooms, I wasn't too vigilant, and I am glad because any browning tended to go away when the mushrooms were added to the broth. In lieu of cream, I used a soy based product called Belsoy, that comes in a tetra pack. I know it from Germany, but found that my local health food store in Toronto, Canada started to sell it. I used all of the 250ml. It has the consistency of conventional sour cream, is a great substitute for these kinds of dishes, and is exceptionally good for making cream sauces.
Amanda November 6, 2017
This was excellent. I used store bought chicken broth (jazzed up w/ fish sauce and white wine) and blended the soup (prior to adding the cream) with an immersion blender just a bit. Next time I may add a bit more cream, more mushrooms and thicken it up just a bit. Thank you for sharing!
Jasser A. October 28, 2017
This was absolutely incredible. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. The next time I make it I'll slice the mushrooms a bit thinner though. I added a drizzle of truffle oil at the end and it went well. On the side cheddar and sage buttermilk biscuits.
draya3 February 18, 2017
I'm 1/3 of the way through "beautifully and precisely" chopping mushrooms. Husband is watching The Clash on YouTube. Current song: Straight to Hell. 'Nuf said.
Author Comment
MrsWheelbarrow February 20, 2017
Hope it was worth it! I love this soup and your comment has reminded me to make it again. This week!
marija June 21, 2016
Made it tonight and loved it, it is truly delicious. A few notes - I didn't bother with " beautiful and precise" chopping, I did not discard hers or mushroom stems, it all went in and instead of cream I added almond milk. This only serves 4 at best, definitely not 6. As for the flavor it's truly delicious! I will be making it again very soon.
Carla O. February 27, 2016
Made this tonight, it was delicious.
Cosmic J. February 27, 2016
I think would be a lovely soup but I would lighten it by using half/half or perhaps whole milk. I would also like to consider some vegan options! If anyone has any please share!
Andi D. June 1, 2016
Replace whipping cream with soy (or any plant-based) cream and chicken stock with veg stock. Pretty much done. The workhorse of this dish is vegan anyways.
catdaddysammy February 12, 2016
I didn't really like this recipe :( too rich for me.
Melissa P. February 8, 2016
I tried this recipe tonight, with a few changes/substitutions. I used dried mushrooms because i couldn't find any fresh cremini mushrooms, and I chopped up the herbs and left them in. The soup didn't look like the picture, but It was a delightful treat on a snowy day.
Erica C. September 19, 2015
one additional comment: I would only add the cream to what you plan on serving immediately. Otherwise, it breaks as the soup cools.
Erica C. September 19, 2015
Made this today. It was really delicious, but pretty expensive considering it definitely would NOT serve 6. Not bowls of soup. MAYBE tiny cups of soup. I wish I had doubled it. I bought the most gorgeous assortment of mushrooms from the Farmer's Market this morning for this recipe, and it's killing me to "waste" the stems. Does anyone have any ideas about what I can do with them?
Hali February 18, 2015
Used bourbon and stuck with cremini. Absolutely delicious.
Karen February 17, 2015
This is sooooo good. The broth with the stems is super rich and adds so much flavor. I used Ste Germaine instead of cognac and it was lovely as well.
Natalie December 24, 2014
Doubled the cognac and cream. Amazing!
ReeceAmy October 23, 2014
Holy cats MrsWheelbarrow! This soup is amazing! Served first half as traditional soup. Second half a couple of days later, I strained off the liquid and reduced it with a splash of cream, warmed the mushrooms, combined both with some pasta - heavenly. PS Loved the tip about feeling chef-y!
caseymsy September 14, 2014
Sounds lovely ,am going to try tonight.
Pam July 11, 2014
I made this and it was so delicious and pretty. Thank you!
Christina @. February 25, 2014
OH YUM! How could anyone not swoon with this soup in front of them?
Author Comment
MrsWheelbarrow February 25, 2014
So glad you liked it!
kimizimi February 7, 2014
Delicious and easy to make! I was able to serve four generous portions.
Author Comment
MrsWheelbarrow February 25, 2014
Glad you liked it!
Renee B. January 23, 2014
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.
Author Comment
MrsWheelbarrow February 25, 2014
Too true. My husband and I will eat up this entire recipe!
Ala January 22, 2014
Soup sounds delicious and excited to try it but was wondering if you have any suggestion for a cognac substitute?
AlainaMK January 22, 2014
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.
Abbatoir January 31, 2014
Try dry sherry. Also very good.
Diana December 24, 2013
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??
Renee B. January 23, 2014
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.
AlainaMK December 23, 2013
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)!
Shannon November 19, 2013
Can this soup be made ahead of time and reheated?
Cathy B. November 19, 2013
Yes, but wait amd add the cream when heating it.
Shannon November 19, 2013
Wonderful, thank you! So excited to make this!
Trena H. May 16, 2013
This is the most delicious mushroom soup I've ever tasted! Thank you for sharing MrsWheelbarrow.
Author Comment
MrsWheelbarrow May 16, 2013
thank you!
geneva M. February 5, 2013
made this tonight....wonderful!!!! used creme fraiche and added rehydrated dried morills as well as I am a crazy mushroom be repeated!!!<br />
Lisacancook December 16, 2012
Hi..any suggestions to use inted of crem at end which is low fat?
Author Comment
MrsWheelbarrow December 16, 2012
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 December 16, 2012
You can try fat free half n half...but it has corn syrup as a thickening 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!<br />
jenlandis February 28, 2013
Cashew Cream for sure! So unbelievably good. If you've never made it, there's instructions on this site.
BSmith September 30, 2012
Amazing version!
joyce.ciotti August 6, 2012
Christmas Eve dinner always includes mushroom soup. I seriously believe YOUR version will make it's debut this year. ty
joyce.ciotti September 30, 2012
I could not wait.... for the holidays. I served this to close family and it was delicious!!!
joyce.ciotti September 30, 2012
I could not wait.... for the holidays. I served this to close family and it was delicious!!!
joyce.ciotti September 30, 2012
I could not wait.... for the holidays. I served this to close family and it was delicious!!!
ubs2007 January 13, 2012
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!
Author Comment
MrsWheelbarrow January 13, 2012
So glad you enjoyed it. It's light and filling at the same time, right?
sweetlolo November 30, 2011
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.
Author Comment
MrsWheelbarrow November 30, 2011
What a nice idea! So glad you enjoyed it.
Droplet November 2, 2011
A great technique, MrsWheelbarrow. Simple with a respectable degree of finesse.
kch July 9, 2011
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.<br />I made it with a vegetable broth for a vegetarian theme. <br />The last little garnish I added to each bowl was a dab of Creme Fraiche and chives. <br />This is, by far, my favorite cream of mushroom soup I've ever made. Perfect!<br />
Author Comment
MrsWheelbarrow July 9, 2011
Thanks so much!
lorigoldsby April 20, 2011
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.
Author Comment
MrsWheelbarrow April 20, 2011
I'm so flattered! I hope you both enjoy it and happy birthday to your Mom!
Cuoca M. February 23, 2011
reminds me of my favorite Rachel Ray Mushroom Bisque with the cognac...delicious!
Rhonda35 January 24, 2011
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!
Rhonda35 February 5, 2011
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.)
Author Comment
MrsWheelbarrow February 6, 2011
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.
ritu_mehta-pistritto January 16, 2011
Yummmm:) Absolutely divine! :)<br />I can never get enough of my favorite soups of all ....this hearty mushroom cream soup!<br />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! :)
Sally November 23, 2010
This reminds me of the mushroom soup we ate in Poland, which was divine. I am definitely trying it over the weekend!
midnitechef November 19, 2010
This sounds like something my husband would love!
Author Comment
MrsWheelbarrow November 19, 2010
I hope you try it. Definitely a favorite in this house!
midnitechef November 21, 2010
I made your soup (sans Cognac) and it was delicious. My husband finished his bowl before I could sit down!
Lizthechef March 2, 2010
Nuts - just read your additional instruction - but I think mine will taste fantastic anyhow, thanks to a great recipe that replaces my mushroom soup as of today!
CCMcK_83 February 28, 2010
Made this soup tonight for friends, but ended up adding close to double the amount of cream, and a splash or two more of congnac. I was also very generous with the salt. Everyone loved it thought. I served it with toasted baguette slices, rubbed with garlic. A hit.
ritu_mehta-pistritto January 16, 2011
Great ideas! :)<br />Best...keep up the cooking n celebration of life...with friends! :)
hope.thurman January 31, 2010
Ever since I saw the movie Julia and Julie I've been wanting to make something with mushrooms. She kept saying "don't crowd the mushrooms" and it just made my mouth water for a little taste! This soup looks great, light and hearty at the same time. Going to get ingredients tomorrow!
Author Comment
MrsWheelbarrow January 31, 2010
Hope you enjoy it! I just made it again last week to rave reviews.
JenniferF January 3, 2010
This was very tasty. I used veggie stock with good results.
Veronica October 29, 2009
So enjoyed meeting you last night! This recipe was the first thing I thought of when planning a dinner party for next weekend--can't wait to make your soup--THANK YOU!
Veronica October 29, 2009
So enjoyed meeting you last night! This recipe was the first thing I thought of when planning a dinner party for next weekend--can't wait to make your soup--THANK YOU!
FreshLemonZest October 20, 2009
This definitely needs to happen in my home this week.
lacerise October 19, 2009
i made the soup this wkend and wasn't thrilled with the outcome. i'm fastidious about reading recipe directions, but just realized that i didn't see that the pot of simmering mushroom stems in broth was supposed to be covered!! obviously it affected the outcomein that there wasn't enough liquid in the soup to be able to really call it soup. i was wondering what you were raving about. i blew it. so, everyone, make sure to cover your pot or your precious mushroom broth will evaporate....before your very eyes.
ritu_mehta-pistritto January 16, 2011
LOL! :) ...Your candor cracked me up! :) hahahaha ..<br />Better luck next time:)<br />We live n learn...don't we. :)<br />Best, Always. ...& thanks for letting others sharing your misstep candidly. Do appreciate that. :) Ritu ([email protected])...San Francisco Bay Area....California. :)<br />
PhoebeLapine October 14, 2009
I cannot wait to try this--it looks so decadent and delightful!
testkitchenette October 13, 2009
sounds delish!
testkitchenette October 13, 2009
sounds delish!
luvcookbooks October 13, 2009
the most beautiful soup plate ever in the photograph
Amanda H. October 15, 2009
Thank you. It's very old, comes from my husband's family.
Amanda H. October 15, 2009
and is monogrammed, which I find kind of amusing. Does anyone get plates monogrammed anymore?
recipegal October 12, 2009
This sounds delicious. Would 1/2 butter and 1/2 olive oil give a better flavor?
recipegal October 12, 2009
This sounds delicious. Would 1/2 butter and 1/2 olive oil give a better flavor?
JackieK October 10, 2009
This soup looks delicious and refreshing. I love that although it's a creamy soup there isn't all that much cream involved.
Oui, C. October 8, 2009
Congratulations on making the finals, this recipe looks terrific, I can't wait to try it. Good Luck!
Maria T. October 8, 2009
Congratulations, amazing recipe. I'm voting for this one.
Author Comment
MrsWheelbarrow October 7, 2009
Truly need to add the instruction: "cook mushroom cap/shallot mixture down (after cognac) until well reduced and starting to turn a little golden on the edges."
Amanda H. February 6, 2011
Just added this!