Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup has a full bodied savory flavor and is loaded with two different kind of mushrooms. This soup is quick and easy to make with both dairy free and extra creamy options. However, for a deep rich flavor take the extra time and caramelize the onions.
For a complete mushroom feast this soup makes a wonderful companion along side Creamy Mushroom Pasta. Also, it tastes divine when served with a crusty Sourdough Baguette, Homemade Garlic Bread or with Old Fashioned Cornbread.
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Secrets to Extra Flavorful Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup (Psst! It’s the Ingredients)
This Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup has simple ingredients that come together to make an irresistible soup perfect for chilly nights. Listed below are the ingredients needed and their purpose.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil– If you have the time to caramelize the onions, using extra virgin olive oil can add deep rich flavor to the soup. (Since the onions are cooked over medium heat it is safe to use this low smoke point oil.) However, if you only have the time to cook the onions to translucent state it is best to use a combination to butter and regular olive oil. (See Caramelized Onions vs Translucent Onions below.)
- Brown Onion (aka yellow onion)- An aromatic vegetable that adds a ton of flavor especially when caramelized.
- Garlic– Also an aromatic, adding a decent amount of garlic is a secret to packing extra flavor to this soup.
- Mushrooms– For this soup I used Baby Bellas and Shiitake mushrooms. I highly recommend using at least two different types of mushrooms for the difference of flavor and texture that they will bring. (See Best Mushrooms section below.)
- Salt and Pepper– A basic for most recipes, however the type of salt used can make a huge difference in the flavor of the soup. This salt is by far my favorite for cooking or as a finishing salt.
- Thyme– This herb brings in an earthy and yet bright flavor that helps to round out the other ingredients.
- All Purpose Flour– The secret to thickening the soup.
- White Wine or Sherry– Intensifies and enhances the flavor of the mushrooms and aromatics.
- Beef Broth– Adds a richness to the soup. However, chicken or vegetable broth can easily replace the beef broth.
- Milk, Heavy Cream or Non-Dairy Milk– I have made this soup with all three of these options successfully. However, each brings varying degrees of creaminess to the soup. (See Mushroom Soup Without Cream and Extra Creamy Mushroom Soup section below.)
Best Mushrooms for Cream of Mushroom Soup
For this recipe I used both Baby Bella and Shiitake mushrooms because they are highly available and very affordable when purchased at Costco. However, there are many other varieties. Here are a few different mushroom variations to choose from.
- White Button Mushrooms– This is the most common type of mushroom seen at most grocery stores in the U.S.
- Cremini Mushrooms– Very similar to button mushrooms and just as readily available.
- Oyster Mushrooms– These mushrooms are a little more on the expensive side and have a mild anise flavor.
- Maitake Mushrooms– Harder to come by, maitake mushrooms can be most often found at health food stores or farmer’s markets and has a bit of a spicy flavor.
- Porcini Mushrooms– A very rare and popular mushroom that is in season only for a short time in Autumn. However, this mushroom is prized by chefs for their tender and meaty texture.
- King Oyster Mushrooms (aka King Trumpet)- This mushroom has a meaty texture with a savory flavor that has been described as a cross between portobello and maitake mushrooms. You can find this mushroom at Asian markets.
Caramelized Onions vs Translucent Onions
Sautéing the onions at the beginning of making this Mushroom Soup is a wonderful way to impart the aromatic flavor of onion in a smooth way. However, you may be torn as to whether taking the time to caramelize the onion is worth the extra time investment. Let me reassure you, either way the soup will taste amazing. Although caramelizing the onions add a depth of flavor and sweetness to the soup that makes it irresistible.
To caramelize the onions place an enameled cast iron dutch oven over medium heat. Add the oil and the diced onion to the pan and give the onions a quick stir. Let the onions cook stirring every 10 minutes or so until they reach a deep caramel color. This will take about 45 minutes to 1 hour to complete.
Note: It will be important to scrape any bits that may stick to the bottom of the pan while caramelizing. Also, adjust the heat as necessary to either prevent burning or cooking at too slow of a pace.
How to Make Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup
- Place an enameled cast iron frying pan over medium high heat to cook the onions to a translucent state or over medium heat for caramelized onions. Add oil and diced onions. Cook to the desired doneness.
- Using a damp towel or paper towel and wipe the mushrooms clean.
- Slice the Baby Bella mushrooms and set aside.
- Remove stems from the Shiitake mushrooms and roughly chop.
- How the onions will look when lightly caramelized.
- Add crushed or minced garlic to the onions and cook for 1 minute.
- To the pan add all the sliced mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper.
- Cover over medium high heat until the mushrooms have released most of their moisture, about 8-10 minutes.
- Stir in flour to the pan and cook for about 2 minutes.
- Add wine and simmer for another 1-2 minutes.
- Pour in the beef stock and bring to a simmer over the same medium/high heat until thickened and then lower heat to medium.
- Stir in milk or cream and bring to a simmer. Take off heat and serve immediately. This soup is delicious eaten as is or garnished with parsley, chives, red chili pepper flakes or parmesan cheese.
Mushroom Soup Without Cream (aka Nondairy)
I really do love extra creamy Mushroom Soup. However, I have to be careful about how much dairy I consume since it is heavy in iodine. Because of this I have successfully made this Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup with nondairy milks many times. To do so simply replace the milk with one of the nondairy milks listed below in the same quantity. These are the nondairy milks that I have had the best results with.
- Unsweetened Flax Milk
- Unsweetened Almond Milk
- Soy Milk
Extra Creamy Mushroom Soup
For extra creamy Mushroom Soup use 4 cups beef broth and 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, following the directions as written.
Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup
Changing this recipe to be completely vegan is as simple as replacing the beef broth with vegetable stock and using one of the nondairy milk options listed above. (See Mushroom Soup Without Cream section.)
Time Saving Tips
We all have those nights when dinner needs to be made as quickly as possible. Here are a few tips that can help to make this soup incredibly fast.
- Use the 15 minute Caramelized Onion technique.
- When returning home from the grocery store or on Sunday evening pre-dice the onions. This will shave off about 5 minutes of prep time.
- Use precut mushrooms.
- Another option is to completely forgo the fresh mushrooms and instead use dried Shiitake Mushrooms, dried Wild Mushrooms or dried Portobello Mushrooms.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use this soup in place of condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup?
Unfortunately no. The way this recipe is written is with a soup like consistency. However, to make a condensed version for casseroles, pot pies or an extra thick soup simply follow the instructions but lower the amount of both beef broth and milk to 3/4 of a cup.
What can be done with leftover Cream of Mushroom Soup?
Leftovers are wonderful just heated up again or can be added to chicken and dumplings. Additionally, add pasta and shredded chicken for a fun dinner the next night.
Does this soup freeze well and how long does it last in the refrigerator?
This Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup will last for approximately 4-5 days stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Unfortunately, it can be tricky to freeze so it is best to try and use the leftovers rather than freezing.
Recipes for Mushroom Lovers
More Heart Warming Cream Soups
Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 medium brown onions (aka yellow onions) *roughly diced, about 3-4 cups
- 1 tablespoon crushed garlic *or minced
- 24 ounces Baby Bellas mushrooms *sliced
- 12 ounces Shiitake mushrooms *stems removed and roughly chopped, See Note #1 below
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 cup white wine See Note #2 below
- 3 cups beef broth *or vegetable broth for vegan
- 3 cups whole milk See Note #3 below
- Place an enameled cast iron dutch over over medium/high heat. Add oil and diced onion. Cook to desired doneness. See Note #4 below.
- Add garlic to Dutch Oven and saute for approximately 1 minute.
- To the pan add cut mushrooms, salt, pepper and thyme. Cook until the mushrooms have released their moisture and reduced slightly, about 8-10 minutes. See Note #5 below.
- To the mushrooms add the flour. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add wine and simmer for another 1-2 minutes.
- Pour in broth and bring to a simmer over the same medium/high heat until thickened and then lower heat to medium.
- Stir in milk and bring to a simmer. Take of heat and serve immediately. This soup can be eaten as is or be garnished with fresh chopped parsley or chives, red pepper flakes or parmesan cheese.