Cream of Mushroom Soup

Cream of mushroom soup was the first soup I fell in love with as a child. Of course, back then it was Campbell’s. At age 8 I could make it myself, quickly learning that adding milk tasted a whole lot better than adding water, and that you had to add it slowly, stirring after each addition, to keep it from getting clumpy. Fast forward to grown-up-land and in my mind, there is still nothing better than cream of mushroom soup, though now we make it with chopped mushrooms, homemade chicken stock (if we have some on hand), and rich cream. Many thanks to my college classmate Scott Simon who gave us the following recipe for this delicious soup, and who clearly loves cream of mushroom soup as much as I.

Cream of Mushroom Soup Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 4.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound regular white mushrooms, cleaned, quartered or sliced
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp minced shallots
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 Tbsp water
  • Minced parsley for garnish

Method

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1 In a food processor, coarsely chop mushrooms and lemon juice.

2 Melt butter in (4-5 quart) sauce pan and lightly sauté shallots on medium heat. Add mushrooms, thyme and bay leaf, sauté over moderate heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the liquid that is released from the mushrooms disappears.

cream-mushroom-soup-3.jpg cream-mushroom-soup-4.jpg

3 Add salt, pepper, cream and chicken stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

4 Add cornstarch and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Correct seasoning and add more lemon juice to taste.

Serve sprinkled with a little parsley.

Adapted from a recipe byWolfgang Puck.

70 Comments

  1. vexxtra

    I can’t wait to try this. There’s a place in Nashville called Bread & Company and they had a version of cream of mushroom soup that came in a bread bowl that was fantastic. It had some kind of cheese melted in it, though. Does anyone have any recommendations of what kind of cheese would go best melted in this soup?

  2. Jason

    Have you tried this with any other types of “gourmet” mushrooms, like Morels?

    Note from Elise: Hi Jason, yes, see our cream of wild mushroom soup recipe. Wild mushrooms like morels and porcini are incredibly good, the only problem is that they run about $25 a pound, compared to button or cremini mushrooms which you can get for about $3-$4 a pound, maybe even less.

  3. Wendy

    As a kid I used to absolutely hate mushroom soup. Especially the smell. And now I love it but my partner hates the smell and can’t bear to be in the same house as it. Think mushroom soup and I are not destined to be.

  4. Laura Kozak

    Oh my….this sounds absolutely delightful, can’t wait to try it. My 3 year old loves mushrooms & loves soup…so this is bound to be a hit with him. Thanks for your site, I love it, the recipes, the pictures, the comments…very enjoyable…keep it flowing.

    Laura

  5. buddy

    Hi. This sounds like one for me. Just found out I cannot have milk. In your view, can I substitute non-dairy coffe creamer or non-dairy half and half? Would this be true in other recipes as well? Thank you.

    Note from Elise: If you are lactose intolerant (can’t drink milk or cream, or eat cheese), I suggest that you find a different recipe that is not so reliant on cream. Many mushroom soup recipes use flour as a thickener and milk instead of cream. Start there and substitute the milk with soy milk or rice milk. I do not recommend at all using some non-dairy creamer for this or any recipe.

  6. Harmony

    Finally! A cream of mushroom soup recipe that doesn’t call for alcohol! I am a huge fan of cream of mushroom, but every recipe I find calls for either white wine or sherry. And we don’t drink often enough to warrant buying alcohol just for cooking. I’m looking forward to trying it!

  7. Kim

    I had my wedding reception at Wente Vineyards in Livermore, and the first course was their mushroom soup. It was so wonderful – my husband’s uncle said that we could’ve ended the dinner right there!

    I had an idea for the lactose-intolerent – you could also experiment with coconut milk mixed with some more neutral tasting milk substitute. (I seem to have red curry on my mind.) It doesn’t taste as coconutty when mixed with chicken broth.

  8. jonathan

    For buddy – Here’s a “creamless” (non-dairy) mushroom soup which I’m sure you’ll find every bit as rich and delicious as Elise’s. It gets it’s richness from stewing and pureeing the vegetables.

    Creamless Mushroom Soup (serves 6)
    (from NYC’s “The Union Square Cafe Cookbook” Harper Collins 1994)

    2 T. butter
    1 c. sliced carrots
    1 c. sliced onions
    1 c. slice leeks, washed, white & light green parts only
    1/2 c. sliced celery
    1 t. fresh thyme leaves
    2 pounds cleaned/sliced white mushrooms
    6 c. chicken stock
    1 1/2 t. kosher salt (or to taste)
    1/8 t. freshly ground black pepper
    4 t. minced chives
    3 T. extra-virgin olive oil (optional)

    1. Melt butter over medium heat in a large soup pot. Add carrots, onions, leeks and celery and cook until tender but not browned, about 10 minutes.
    2. Stir in the thyme and mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes until the mushrooms have softened. add the chicken stock, salt and pepper and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
    3. Puree the soup in a food processor or blender in as many batches as necessary. Adjust seasoning to taste. Serve in warm bowls with a sprinkling of chives and drizzle with the extra-virgin olive oil, if desired.

    Add some nice bread and a salad and…voila! Funghi heaven.

  9. Lydia Sugarman

    Just wondering about using an immersion blender to get an even smoother soup. Yes, no? Makes it creamier w/ a smoother appearance or could it “break” it?

  10. buddy

    Thank you so much, Kim and Jonathan, for taking the time to give me an assist. That’s what community is all about, isn’t it? As you can imagine, I’m floundering right now, so your help is much appreciated.

  11. Judy B.

    Here’s a different version of Mushroom Soup with Brie Cheese – enjoy.

    Mushroom Brie Soup
    Makes 4 – 6 servings

    2 tablespoons butter
    1/2 cup chopped onions
    1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
    4 (8 oz. packages) mushrooms, thinly sliced
    1 tablespoon flour
    1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more to taste
    3/4 teaspoon each: dried basil and oregano
    4 teaspoons chicken base or more to taste (see note)
    1 1/4 cups whipping cream
    1 3/4 cups milk
    3 oz. brie cheese, trimmed of rind and cubed
    Salt to taste
    Parsley to taste, chopped (optional)

    Melt butter in large saucepan. Saute onion over medium heat until wilted; about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic; saute 1 minute. Stir mushrooms into butter mixture; cover and cook over low to medium heat 10 minutes or until mushrooms are cooked down, giving off liquid. Stir in flour, pepper, basil, oregano and chicken base; cook 5 minutes. Add cream, milk and brie; let simmer 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with parsley.

    NOTE: Chicken Base: A non-refrigerated chicken base is available in most super-markets. Comes in a jar and texture is paste like.

    This has been my favorite mushroom recipe; but I haven’t made Elise’s yet!

  12. stacy

    I had the same love of campbell’s- but with tomato soup! I loved how easy it was when I was a kid. although, I always stuck with water instead of the milk. I have to admit, while making my own tomato soup is satisfying, every now and then I have to open a can of the original!

  13. Okihwn

    If you’re intolerant to lactose, I suggest using Lactaid products. There’s pills that you can take before you indulge in ice cream, there’s a liquid drop one that you can add to milk. And they even sell the milk already with the Lactaid in it.

    I grew up loving milk, drinking 2 cups morning, 2 of those milk cartons at at lunch, 2 or 3 cups in the afternoon, and a couple cups more at dinner.

    But all of a sudden I became lactose intolerant in my middle age and would drink milk only if I wanted a laxative.

    But discovering Lactaid has reopened my world to milk!

  14. coffeedreames

    Hi there! I was just dreaming of mushroom soup and here’s the recipe!
    Need some advice – I find it hard to get heavy cream at my local store. Can I substitute with whipping cream instead?

    Note from Elise: Yes, you can use whipping cream.

  15. Marlene

    Greetings: (especially for Buddy)

    I am not lactose intolerant, but casein or the protein in ALL dairy (tis a drag), and I can ALMOST guarantee that if you use ‘SOYA CREAM’ for cooking or as they call it here in French ‘Soya Cuisine’ which means Soya for Cooking the results will be fabulous with 0 fat, but high in protein. I haven’t tried this particular recipe but I have previously made mushroom soup with Soya Cream and one cannot tell the difference. Honest it’s true. I substitute Soya Cream in almost everything that calls for milk; or Rice Milk, Almond Milk or Soya Milk for all my baking and it works just fine. I use many Simply Recipes…….recipes and the Soya Cream has never failed me as a replacement for cream. I love your site by the way…..Marlene (gluten and dairy PROTEIN intolerant)

  16. Marlene

    ooopppsss – Re the comment ‘I substitute Soya Cream when it calls for milk…..NO – I spaced that…use only the milk substitutes for milk and the $oya Cream for Cream substitutes -….Sorry about that! Marlene

  17. sal the crook

    The best cream of mushroom soup I ever had was at a restaurant on the way to Mendocino maybe 20 years ago. When I asked what was in it, that gave it the special flavor, they said “yams.” Never have seen a recipe for mushroom soup with yams in it!

  18. Marie

    One of the benefits of Campbells is the ease of popping open the can and using it for cooking (i.e. chicken bakes and such). But homemade is so much better and so much better for you! Do you think this recipe could be frozen? Or maybe canned (I don’t do canning, but would like to start.)

  19. Marie

    I was wondering if there was a reason for the lemon juice, or if it was simply for flavoring. Because I found it too strong… Also, next time I don’t think I’ll process a whole 1 lb of sliced mushrooms in the food processor at once. You can’t really get coarsely chopped – it’s more “fine” if you want it all a similar consistency. Or maybe I’ll just stop sooner and deal with the larger chunks.

    Note from Elise: the acidity of the lemon juice balances the fat from the cream, but it is all a matter of taste. I would start with one Tbsp and then just add to taste.

  20. twinkle

    Made this last week and am making it again tonight! Very simple and easy to make. I skipped using the food processor because I couldn’t find it (heehee..) so I just chopped up the mushrooms coarsely, sprinkled them with lemon juice, cooked them as instructed, and used an electric hand-held blender to mix it all together with the soup.

  21. Guy

    Excellent Mushroom soup!
    I just got back from sailing on Puget Sound (cold this time of year!) and wanted some mushroom soup.
    I found your Blog from Google, read the Recipe and just finished making some Great!
    The lemon was unexpected but I think it makes the soup! I’m happy to find a site like yours, not commercial and not just random directions like “add a can of soup to… ”
    Thank you

  22. jo

    Can’t wait to try this recipe for my family who loves mushroom!

    However, are there any suggestion to an alternative instead of Cream (or milk)? My toddler is allergic to cow’s milk, so any dairy product is better to be avoided : (

  23. Mari

    I made this delightful soup last night. It was just wonderful. Thank you so much for the recipe. My cousin and I had some in Mn and it was so good that I just had to find a recipe. Consider it my good fortune that led me to yours!

  24. Julie Waterman

    I made this with shimeji mushrooms here in Japan, but dind’t like the taste as well. What kind of mushrooms work best?

    Porcini, chanterelles, and morels. ~Elise

  25. Liz

    I made this soup tonight and it was delicious! It uses a lot of cream–anyone have ideas for healthy substitutions?

    You can substitute the cream with milk, add in a couple teaspoons of flour as a thickener. ~Elise

  26. Glenn

    This soup recipe has wayyyyy too much cream. I used half of the recommended and wished I had used quarter the recommended. I’m vegetarian so I used vegetable stock to replace the chicken stock. A delicious nutritious soup with the ammended cream content. Glenn

  27. Helen

    I typically make the traditional green bean casserole with the “condensed” version of cream of mushroom soup. I would much rather make my own; this recipe sounds perfect; but I am afraid it will be too thin. Any suggestions?

    I agree that it would be too thin. You might want to check over at Cooking for Engineers. Michael has a recipe that is closer to the canned version than mine. ~Elise

  28. Rick

    I have seen a lot of cream of wild mushroom soup recipes, and most of them include a form of acid based ingredient (such as lemon juice, wine, etc). The problem that I have was once I added cream/milk/half-and-half to the soup (which already had some acid based ingredient such as wine or lemon juice in it), some really small white lumpy stuff started to form, and that looked very unpleasant. Did I make any mistake or this is expected and accepable by most?

    That is curdling, which is prone to happen if you use anything other than heavy cream. ~Elise

  29. Tanya

    I made this soup and my family loves it they like it better than any mushroom soup I’ve made berfore or they ever tasted.
    I tweaked it a bit for my family. I use more shallots and low fat cream or what ever I have if I have low fat whipping cream that goes in. and I don’t use corn starch unless it need it to thicken it. I like the blended version but my family like it a bit chunkier so I half and half it.
    My husband likes it more hearty and chunky. My boy has texture issue and likes it chunkier too.

  30. Erik

    I just made this soup for my girlfriend who has a gluten sensitivity, is lactose intolerance and is allergic to all forms of soy (soy lecithin is in everything!). Instead of cream I used Mimic Creme. I also used 1/2 lb crimini and about 1/2 cup of dried shitakes that I ran through my coffee grinder. Very mushroomy and delicious!

  31. Leora

    We followed this recipe and made it for Thanksgiving, it was a huge hit! Tonight, we are trying it with some baby portobello mushrooms substituting some of the button. Smells wonderful, and I can’t wait to try it!

  32. banana

    I live in Greece and I am going to try this right now for lunch. But I will be using lovely thick Greek Yoghurt instead of cream.

  33. Chester

    First time doing cooking. Would like to know where to get heavy cream? I found something they called it cooking cream. Can I use that for the mushroom soup?

    Hello Chester, I can tell from your IP address that you are in Singapore, is that right? I don’t know what “cooking cream” is, so don’t know what to tell you about that. I suggest finding someone who is a knowledgeable cook in your city and asking about where you can find heavy cream or whipping cream for use in this recipe. ~Elise

  34. Chester

    No. I’m from Malaysia. Thanks Elise. Anyway, I got a whipping cream and tried it last night. I can say this recipe was superb and the taste is great. Just got into a bit salty. Thank you for that as this is the first time cooking and I really enjoy it. Will be making this for my Valentine’s day. Any suggestion for dessert part, elise?

    I suggest looking at the Valentine’s Day recipes on the site for some dessert ideas. Glad you liked the soup! ~Elise

  35. Jessie

    drumroll please…. Nutmeg! I made this tonight, following pretty close. I used flour to thicken, and did use some lemon juice (half a lemon seemed to work.) I got to the end, and my boyfriend wandered in when I was tasting. He tried some, and said it needed something. It was nice and mushroomy, and had enough cream and salt (I used mostly milk), but it was missing a spice. Some recipes called for nutmeg, so I tried it. Just a tiny bit, 1/8 teaspoon or so, made the dish. It’s subtle, it just gives the flavor some depth. I was only intending to use it for a casserole tomorrow, but boyfriend insisted on having a bowl right away. That’s how you know a recipe worked, I guess.

  36. Catherine

    Would anyone know if this recipe can be frozen? I wish to make it for the long weekend in May, but I have button mushrooms to cook now.

  37. Layla

    This soup was delicious. But 2c of cream for 4 servings is insane! Modifying the liquid like this worked just fine and it was still very rich & creamy:

    3/4c heavy cream, 2.5c cups chicken broth, 1/4c white wine, juice of half a lemon

    As with most of Elise’s recipes, one would be well advised to double the spices. The extra thyme, nutmeg and onion (or shallot) worked wonders. These modifications made an incredible soup:

    1lb cremini mushrooms, minced in food processor
    1 Tbsp unsalted butter
    1/4c minced onion (or shallot)
    2 teaspoons dried thyme (or 2T chopped fresh)
    1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
    1 bay leaf, dash of salt, generous helping of fresh ground black & white pepper

  38. Kimberly A Schaus

    I made this with 2% milk and a big scoop of sour cream instead of cream. Just because I was too lazy to go to Kroger. :) I love this soup and was also excited to find a recipe that utilized lemon juice instead of wine since I don’t often drink. I was very excited to use some of the plethora of fresh thyme from my garden. I also added some fresh spinach just because I think spinach and mushrooms are so fabulous together. Also some garlic, I don’t think any savory meal is complete without it. Anyway… thanks again.

  39. Gayane

    Hi Elise,
    My neighbor made cream of mushroom soup with chicken and it tasted great. I use your site a lot for my recipes so naturally I searched for a cream of mushroom recipe on this site and found this out of a few. I was wondering if it would taste good if I added chicken to this recipe. What do you think?
    thanks

    Hi Gayane, chicken and mushrooms go well together generally, so I think it’s worth a shot. If you try it, please let us know in the comments how it turns out. ~Elise

  40. Gayane

    I cooked this tonight and added shredded chicken to it, the chicken blended real well with the mushrooms but overall the soup didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped, I think I used too much mushrooms and I blended it to much.

  41. Shelly

    Yummy. I’m eating a bowl of it right now! In an effort to reduce the overall fat content, I substituted a can of ff evaporated milk and a can of 2% evaporated milk for the two cups of cream. My daughter who doesn’t like mushrooms, suggested I strain out the mushrooms for her next time, because she really liked the taste of the “creamy part.” Kids!

  42. Priscilla

    I just made it, and I have to say it is delicious.
    I just substituted the corn starch by some flour and put about 1 cup of heavy cream and some milk.
    thanks for this recipe !

  43. Michele

    Another winner Elise! My 3 1/2 year old is partial to mushrooms and is scarfing this down right now.

    It’s a little rich for my taste so I think I’ll sub a little bit more while milk in for 1/2 of the cream. I was a little short tonight and only used 1 3/4 cup cream and 1/4 cup whole milk.

  44. Dottie - Tampa, FL

    I tried this recipie and it was absolutely “wunderbar” it came out just likt my Grandmothers homemade soup. Good Stuff!!!

  45. Mona

    Hi Elise,
    What’s a good substitute for corn starch? I can never find this stuff at Whole Foods or Trader Joes! Thanks!

    Oh, you can definitely find corn starch at WF or TJs. It’s such a basic, just ask! As for thickening, you can also use flour. ~Elise

  46. Meenah

    Found the recipe today, and rushed home from uni to make it!!! Used canned mushrooms and chicken powder/cudes instead of stock, but WOW!!! loved it!!! Thanks Elise, I love your site! I’ve tried your peanut butter cookies and they turn out perfect too! Now what shall I try next? *excited*

  47. Randi Lynne

    I made this today to use up some mushrooms that were about to go bad. All I can say is WHY HAVEN’T I MADE THIS SOONER?? I roasted the mushrooms before putting them in the blender and used 1/2 & 1/2 instead of cream. It tastes heavenly.

  48. Penny

    Mmm! Made this tonight. I used brown mushrooms to give it a duskier flavor, and it worked out great. Also used 1 cup of cream because that’s all I had, but the homemade chicken stock was very rich as well, so no thickeners (flour/cornstarch) needed at all. I did add a splash of apple cider vinegar, and may add a pinch of nutmeg next time (from the comments). Super satisfying creamy soup!

  49. Paul

    I passed this recipe on to my wife, I’m personally not a fan of mushrooms (you wouldn’t be either if you’d grown up changing “mushroom beds” as a kid, the old saying “I must be a mushroom, they keep me in the dark and feed me bull****” is surprisingly accurate) but she loves them and I must say, this dish was pretty tasty.

  50. Rachel

    Made this when my husband had mouth surgery and could only eat mushy stuff. It was fantastic. My 5 year old girls even ate it and loved it and they won’t touch a mushroom. Really yummy and so easy to make.

  51. Riann

    Have you ever frozen this? How nice to have this on hand instead of the cans!

    Thanks!

    I haven’t. But if you do, please let us know how well it defrosts and reheats. ~Elise

  52. Goodness

    I was looking for a recipe, as i’m on the move and have only 2 of my cookbooks. This one is very simliar to that which I do…however…when the butter and mushrooms are sauteeing I add in a tablespoon of flour, then the stock. I only add in the cream at the end so that it does not curdle or boil. I also chop the mushrooms in the beginning and i don’t blitz them…but i do blend 1/2 the soup at the end before adding the cream. It gives fantastic texture. For the finale, I add 1/2 a glass of cognac!
    Also, you must not freeze things with cream or milk, so therefore if you want to freeze it – don’t put the cream in, but add it when defrosted and heating up….enjoy!

  53. Grace

    I just made this tonight since I needed to use up some mushrooms even though it was nearly 100 degrees today. Amazing soup! I’ll be making it again when the weather cools down :)

  54. Deb Skonecki

    So, let’s see, I reviewed most all of the responses above and got all of these extra unique ingredients to play around with to get your own favorite recipe!

    Carrots
    Celery
    Chives
    Virgin Olive Oil
    Garlic
    Basil
    Oregano
    Flour
    Brie Cheese
    Whipping Cream
    Yams > said to be in the best mushroom soup ever tasted
    Greek thick yogurt
    Lime Juice
    Sour Cream
    Chicken Bouillon Cubes
    Apple Cider Vinegar
    Cognac

    Now, I am about to embark on a very good adventure…making my own recipe from what is above, my freezer is packed with mushrooms in baggies frozen from last year when my big sis and I went mushroom hunting! I’m the only one who really loves mushrooms in this household of 4 adults! Also, I’d like to say, the lemon is not acid, there are 2 fruits that have the highest amount of Alkaline beneficial to nutralize any acid in stomach or recipe and it is “lemon” and “waterrmellon”, may I suggest adding “watermellon” to the mushroom soup? And if it is much water, add powdered milk? I’ve done this to making homemade pumpkin pie (instead of straining the liquid, I leave those precious nutrients and add powder milk instead of reg milk) This is the best P. pie!!! And is mostly all alkaline, and if you use Stevia instead of sugar or other sweetner!!! (even half stevia and half sugar is better than all sugar!)

  55. Justin Dobso

    We made this last night and it was amazing. We had it with some white cheddar and gruyere grilled cheese. The only thing I did different was I used a hand chopper for the mushrooms instead of a food processor because I wanted to try it with a little chunkier mushrooms. I added the lemon juice when I put the mushrooms in the pan to saute. It turned out great. If you want you soup creamier and not chunky then I recommend doing it with the food processor, and then maybe even using an emersion blender to smooth it out. I also added more pepper, probably a couple Tbsp total. Bottom line is that it was a creamy and delicious soup, perfect with a grilled cheese or just by itself.

  56. Carl

    I made this soup and it was great. However, I am trying to figure whether I should use the mushroom stems. I did not the first time, but hate to waste if I don’t need to. I have looked at other recipes, and some say to discard the stems, some say don’t. Any advice for this particular recipe? Thanks.

    I usually include the stems in recipes like this. If you don’t, you could always freeze them and use them in stock. ~Elise

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