Sunday, May 20, 2012

Cream of Mushroom Soup, Mark II

My favourite soup is Cream of Mushroom, and I made one not too long ago.  It was good... but it really wasn't what I was craving.  The first cream of mushroom soup was with Crimini and White Button mushrooms.  It was a little on the thin side.  While it was great, I was wanting something that was a little thicker like a chowder, and I knew I wanted some more hearty, flavourful mushrooms.  Since our local Farmer's Market has started up, we headed to it.  Tons of mushrooms grow in the redwood forests here, so we get an awesome variety to choose from.  I grabbed some Lion's Mane, which the vendor said had a lobster-like flavour, and that's not a bad comparison!  And we also got some Maitakis, which are also real earthy and crunchy.  The Knorr's Vegetable packet that I used threw me off.  I had a few sitting in the pantry for quick dips, but I wondered how it would be as a seasoning?  Using such great mushrooms, I was a little hesitant to use a pre-packaged mix in the soup... afraid it'd ruin the whole thing.  But I took a gamble, used it, and actually love the way it came out.

Consistency came out so perfect.  It's not too thick that it's like gravy, but it's also not got that coat-your-tongue thing like heavy cream based soups.  The mushrooms were all al dente and meaty.  So if you like thick, rich chowdery soups, this recipe is for you.  And we can't stop talking about what kind of other things we can add to it that would be awesome - adding crab or lobster would be delicious, bacon would be great, some roasted poblano pepper would give it a southwest taste.  It'd be perfect for a clam chowder, just add potatoes and clams and maybe some celery.  And if you like the thinner soups, our Cream of Mushroom Soup, Mark I would be the one for you!

We've had a Swingin' Utters album playing in the car all week, and Justin's been digging on this song a lot, so it's been running through both of our heads - "Next In Line".  -jen

 Top Left - Maitaki, Top Right - Lion's Mane, Bottom - Crimini
  • 8 tablespoons butter (1 stick)
  • 1/2 pound Crimini mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 pound Lion's Mane mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 pound Maitaki mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 medium shallots, diced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 4 teaspoons wet chicken base
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup Half & Half
  • 1 packet Knorr Vegetable Recipe Mix, 1.4oz  
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Accent/msg (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
 In a stock pot, melt butter over medium-high heat.  Add mushrooms and shallots.  Saute until tender, 5-7 minutes.  Sprinkle flour over vegetables and stir until incorporated.  Cook for 5 minutes.

Add chicken base to mixture, then whisk in water, Half & Half, and Knorr Vegetable packet.  Turn heat to high and stir constantly until soup has thickened.  Remove from heat and stir in sherry, cayenne, and Accent.  Add salt and pepper to taste.


  1. “While it was great, I was wanting something that was a little thicker like a chowder, and I knew I wanted some more hearty, flavourful mushrooms.” You’re right. Mushrooms are indeed hearty! They help fight heart disease and they are rich in anti-oxidants called ergothioneine, which helps combat disease in the body.

    Mack Shepperson

    1. Thanks for the feedback, Mack! You know, I'm often torn when making cream of mushroom soup (or any creamy soup). If I made it for myself, I'm with you every time - I want it thick like a chowder or a gravy. I want it to glob off the spoon instead of run, heheh. But Justin isn't into soups that heavy, so I often try to compromise with a creamy soup that isn't super thick. After reading your comment... now I'm jonesin' for a thick ass mushroom soup. :P -jen

    2. Also super stoked to hear that you made our recipe!! -jen