This wild mushroom soup tastes decadently creamy, with a decided savory note. Fresh herbs give the soup a punch of brightness, balancing the savory, earthy notes of mushrooms. The recipe is easy to make, coming together in about twenty minutes. If you can't find wild mushrooms, the soup is equally delicious made with button, cremini, and other domestic varieties purchased from the grocery store.
What's in it?
This recipe yields a decadently creamy soup with a deep, rich flavor owing to the inclusion of aromatic vegetables, wild mushrooms, herbs, bone broth, and cream.
Which mushrooms should you use?
Wild mushrooms are found mainly in the spring and fall, after the rains, and which varieties are available in your area largely depend on your region and climate.
If you forage for your own, make sure you are familiar with edible varieties (and their look likes) that grow in your area. If you're new to mushrooming, plan to go with a local mycology group or a knowledgeable guide.
Chanterelle mushrooms are available in the fall, and they have a citrusy aroma and smell vaguely of apricots.
Bolete mushrooms, also known as porcini and cep mushrooms, are delicious in this soup, too. They have a classic mushroom shape and a faun-colored cap.
Lobster mushrooms work well too, but you'll need to add more broth and extend the cooking time because they tend toward toughness.
Hen of the woods grow in frilly, spanning clumps. They're delicious mushrooms, but also medicinal too.
Oyster mushrooms taste faintly of the sea, and their season spans from mid- to late Spring.
Shiitake, cremini, button, and other domestic mushrooms also work in this recipe if you can't find wild mushrooms.
You'll follow four basic steps when you make this recipe. It begins by sautéeing onions and celery in a mixture of olive oil and butter, and then you'll add the mushrooms and thyme. From there, you'll simmer it all together in chicken broth before adding cream and blending the soup to a fine and uniform consistency. With that in mind, there are a few tips to ensure the recipe comes out right.
- Use a variety of mushrooms for the best flavor. Each variety of mushrooms brings a unique flavor to the soup. Using a variety means that your soup will have a deeper and more complex flavor than if you used a single type of mushroom.
- Large, tough mushrooms need more time to cook, and they may need more liquid, too, to make up for the increase in cook time. Lobster and similar mushrooms will take longer to soften than chanterelles and other delicate varieties.
- Add the cream at the very end. If you add it too soon, the cream will taste overcooked instead of fresh, and it may separate.
- If you plan to freeze it, skip the cream altogether and purée the mushroom soup in its absence. Then, when reheating add the cream at the very end.
- If you don't have an immersion blender, you can purée the soup in an upright blender. Work in batches, and fill the blender only one-third full with each batch.
- If you're not serving the soup right away, plan to store it in the fridge for up to three days and in the freezer for up to six months.
Skip the wine, and add additional broth as well as a squeeze of lemon juice.
Add sherry instead of white wine. Dry sherry is a natural companion for mushrooms, and you can use it in this recipe if you prefer it to dry white wine.
Swap the chicken bone broth for a medicinal mushroom broth to deepen the soup's flavor.
Tarragon, chervil, and parsley also work well in this recipe, but add them at the end of cooking, with the cream.
If you can't find wild mushrooms, substitute a mix of cultivated mushrooms such as shiitake, cremini, or white buttons.
If you're dairy-free, skip the heavy cream. Instead, soak a half-cup of cashews in warm water overnight, and then drain the cashews and blend them into the soup for a creamy texture.