Rich with mushrooms and caramelized onions, homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup will make sure you never think of the red and white can again!
This delicious homemade cream of mushroom soup is filled with mushrooms and the surprise addition of caramelized onions and it’s absolutely delicious!
Do you remember the Red and White cans of Mushroom Soup that your mom used for casseroles and gravies? Well when I was a kid I liked it best as lunch! I always added milk to the canned soup instead of water and loved it as much as Cream of Tomato Soup.
Fast forward and my love of cooking saw me turn to fresh ingredients including mushrooms and ultimately making both homemade Cream of Tomato Soup and Cream of Mushroom Soup. The difference in taste…and texture, are astounding, and I’m sure once you try this recipe you’ll agree; and never go back to canned.
I’ve got a couple of recipes on this blog for mushroom soup. I love this Mushroom Soup with White Wine and Leeks and a Paris Mushroom Soup from Dorie Greenspan that includes rosemary and white wine with a dollop of Crème Fraîche on top. Both excellent but neither are what I throw together the most!
When I saw a recipe for Cream of Mushroom Soup from Chef Billy Parisi, I was inspired to make a big pot of soup that more closely resembled what I normally make but have never shared; sometimes the foods I take for granted don’t get the star treatment on this blog; no answer for why but now the time had come.
Billy’s soup is not decidedly different from what I’ve always done except for one main ingredient; caramelized onions. How could they not improve one of my favorite soups? I love caramelized onions so much that I’ve shared two different versions of one of my favorite soups; the French Onion Soup from Famous & Barr in St. Louis, MO and The Ultimate French Onion Soup with a longer process for caramelizing the onions that is so worth it.
Plus, against the grain of all that is widely acceptable, our Thanksgiving table has to include this incredible side dish of Golden Onions that is basically caramelized onions, cheese, and crisp French Bread. I LOVE them! But I digress…back to the topic at hand; this Cream of Mushroom Soup!
Not only excited about making a big pot of soup, I was also anxious to use my new pot from Hesslebach Cookware. Not familiar with Hesslebach? You should be; I absolutely love this Dutch Oven.
Their Cast Stainless Steel possesses exceptional heat-retaining qualities, so the cookware heats evenly throughout. When I made this soup I found myself surprised at how warm it was kept with the lid on. I live at altitude in Colorado…keeping food warm is always an issue and this was a big plus for me.
Besides the great thermal conductivity… it’s lighter, stronger, rust-resistant, and does not generate harmful substances when heated to high temperatures. Not to be confused with being light though, this is a hefty pot; I store it on my stove-top for everyday use so it’s a non issue but I’m glad I’m not keeping it on top of my fridge!
The Smooth Stainless Steel bottom works on all stove-tops, including gas, electric, glass, ceramic, induction, and halogen.
The interior is a black coated cooking surface which is superior for better browning, braising, and roasting. The three exterior colors available are Hesslebach Royal, Buttercream, or Onyx (my favorite!). If you’re in the market for a new (or your first) legacy Dutch Oven; take a peek at the Hesslebach Dutch Oven; I love it; I know you will too.
This Cream of Mushroom Soup really is easy to make; the only difficult part is waiting for the onions to caramelize. I’ve tried using an Instant Pot to speed up the process with success in other dishes even though I didn’t do that here. If you want to try that, be sure to under-cook the onions in your pressure cooker so that they can brown in the final steps of caramelization in your Dutch Oven.
What I did differently when I made this Cream of Mushroom Soup!
First things first, I reduced the quantities a bit; I actually made a pot using Billy’s recipe but it was too much for me; my neighbors didn’t mind but on a regular basis I wanted a bit less. Some for eating and some for freezing for later. If you want more you can double this amount using the recipe card software; then you’ll have a years worth!
Then, after the onions are caramelized, the mushrooms are added and sautéed until just beginning to get soft. I prefer sherry to white wine but either are wonderful; use what you love. I also didn’t cook the mushrooms as long as Chef Parisi did; I like mine a bit firm…but cook longer if you prefer them more softened. Lots of flexibility here. 🙂
Here is another step I took that was different from Billy’s that we loved; he blended up all of the ingredients and I found I liked it better with some mushroom pieces still intact. Truth is I did it his way the first go around and my neighbors and I finished off all of the soup so I had to make more to take photos and make that change.
What I missed when blending all the mushrooms and onions together with the liquid ingredients was the toothiness from having pieces of mushroom in the soup; even Campbell’s gave me that!
So I decided to punt; I removed about a third of them from the pot before adding the liquid ingredients and blending. I do have a stick blender so I could have always added more to the Cream of Mushroom Soup if I thought necessary, but for me, that was a good amount. I rough chopped the mushrooms I removed, saving a few whole slices for garnish. I wanted a nice bite but not necessarily a whole slice.
The only hassle if you can call it that was to pull out the mushrooms but leave as many of the onions in the pot as possible. I wasn’t fanatical though…a few fragments made it with the sliced mushrooms and I was OK with that. I thought about removing the onions before I sautéed the mushrooms but decided I wanted their flavors blended together in the pot so this was my best bet.
Once the onions and mushrooms are sautéed, the chicken stock is added, the mixture is blended and then the remaining ingredients are added; the mushrooms that were set aside, whipping cream, herbs, salt, and pepper. Simmer the Cream of Mushroom Soup long enough to warm and for the herbs to release their flavor; no more than a few minutes on low heat.
And then one last step that was different; the hardest one of all. I let the Cream of Mushroom Soup cool on the stove-top, then covered it and placed it in the refrigerator overnight.
While not a step that is usually a part of soup recipes, and one you can ignore in the interest of time, it is always an important step for me. That long period of time in the refrigerator allows the flavors to meld beautifully and once warmed, make for a tastier version.
This is so rich and tasty…I saved the second batch all for me!
More of Our Favorite Soups!
- The Ultimate French Onion Soup
- Greek Avgolemono Soup
- Thai Butternut Squash Soup with Shrimp
- Cream of Roasted Asparagus Soup
- Roasted Poblano Pepper and Corn Soup
- Baked Mushrooms in Parmesan Cream Sauce – OK I know…not a soup. But these are SO good I had to add them, they are my favorite mushroom dish!
You must try this recipe…and after you do, use your own Cream of Mushroom Soup in recipes that call for the canned version; you won’t regret it!
PIN IT! ‘Cream of Mushroom Soup’
Cream of Mushroom Soup
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic finely minced
- 1 ½ pounds mushrooms sliced
- ½ cup Sherry
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 quarts chicken stock
- 1 cup heavy cream substitute half and half if desired
- 2 Tablespoons parsley fresh, finely minced
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Melt the butter in a large pot over low heat, add the onions and cook until caramelized and nicely browned, about 30 minutes. Stir frequently.
- Next, stir in the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes…be careful not to leave it and have it burn.
- Add the olive oil to the pot and then the mushrooms, stirring to coat them. Turn the heat to medium high and sauté for about 10 minutes or until the mushrooms are cooked down. Stir often.
- Add the Sherry to the pot and de-glaze the bottom; cooking until the Sherry has been absorbed by mushroom/onion mixture, about 5 minutes; stirring often.
- Set aside about 1/3 of the mushroom mixture; keeping as many onions in the pot as possible; rough chop the mushrooms when cool.
- Add the flour to the mushrooms in the pot and stir to combine, cook on medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock and stir until it starts to boil and thicken a bit; turn off the heat.
- Puree the soup using a stick blender or regular blender until smooth. If using a regular blender, do half container portions at a time. Return soup to pot.
- Add the saved mushrooms (keeping out 1/4 cup for garnish, if desired), heavy cream, parsley, thyme, salt, and pepper. Continue to simmer for a few minutes to release the herb flavors.
- You can eat this soup right away, garnishing the top with some mushrooms and fresh herbs but I like to let it sit in the fridge overnight and have all those flavors meld before reheating and serving.
- Caramelizing the onions low and slow is one of the most important steps to ensuring a delicious soup.
- Sautéing the mushrooms is also crucial to bringing out more mushroom flavor, so take the time to do this before de-glazing with wine. Sauté them longer than 10 minutes if you likes your mushrooms softer.
- You can substitute chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, or pinot grigio for the Sherry.
- If the soup is not thick enough after it’s been puréed, then stir in a slurry consisting of 1/3 cup of cornstarch whisked with ¼ cup of cold water. Gently bring the soup to a boil, stirring until it thickens.
- How to store…The soup will keep in the fridge for a couple of days and you can freeze it for up to 3 months. To serve, allow to thaw in the fridge and then rewarm on the stovetop or in the microwave.