Mushroom Soup Gets a Makeover

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By Pamela Morgan

A Bowl of Comfort

Mushroom Soup Makeover_cropped soup overhead_Pamela Morgan_Flirting with Flavors

Ah, that good ole can of cream of mushroom soup! It reminds us of our mothers and grandmothers; used in beloved dishes like string bean casserole and the like. With its creamy blend of ingredients it adds an unmistakably nostalgic taste to many dishes. When I get a dose of nostalgia, I’m brought back to my days growing up in Texas. I loved mushroom soup… from the can. There’s a certain something about mushroom soup, don’t you think? It pulls you in and makes you want to never stop eating it. It’s instantly crave-able…that rich umami flavor and velvety texture.

A Reboot in the Kitchen

Mushroom Soup Makeover_ingredients_Pamela Morgan_Flirting with Flavors

Reboots are everywhere these days, and this one is a crowd-pleaser. My wild mushroom soup will give you all the joys and memories of your childhood comfort dish with even fuller flavor and healthier benefits that come with using whole ingredients. No cans or can-openers required.

I know a dish is a success when my husband likes it and Michael just can’t get enough of this soup. The meaty and unctuous mushrooms combined with salty goodness from layers of flavors make it irresistible. Whether you whip it up on a weeknight or make it the star of a Saturday night soiree, it’s guaranteed to be a hit with everyone who gets to enjoy it.

So, let’s leave the cans for our grandmothers and make this soup. One of the upgrades of this dish is how we only blend half of the soup, which means you still get a great texture from the vegetables that make up the layers of flavor. It’s the perfect treat for these autumn nights. Don’t forget a nice crusty baguette for dipping!

Wild Mushroom Soup Print This Post Print This Post

My appreciation for wild (and cultivated exotic) mushrooms really sprang up when I met John Gottfriend nearly forty years ago. A specialty-mushroom dealer in New York City and a founder of The Gourmet Garage, he introduced me to porcini, morels, chantrelles, and shiitakes, not to mention lobster mushrooms, chicken-of-the-woods […]

Prep Time: 15m | Cook Time: 1h | Total Time: 1h 15m | Serves: 4 | Yield: 6 cups of soup


  • 1 ounce dried wild mushrooms
  • 6 cups homemade chicken stock
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 pounds (3 large) portobello mushrooms, stems discarded, caps shopped into 1/4-inch pieces
  • salt
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 1 cup finely chopped leek (white and pale-green parts only)
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme (dried or fresh)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup medium-dry Madeira wine
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley


  1. In a strainer under cold water, rinse the dried mushrooms. In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups of the chicken stock to a boil. Add the rinsed mushrooms, remove from the heat and let stand, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is cool and the mushrooms reconstituted.
  2. With a slotted spoon, remove the mushrooms from the liquid, pressing as much of the liquid out of them and back into the pan as possible; finely chop the mushrooms. Let the liquid settle, then pour off and reserve the clear portion; there should be about 1 1/2 cups. Discard the sandy residue.
  3. In a 5-quart pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the portobellos and 1 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have rendered their juices, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped wild mushrooms, onion, carrot, leek, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf. Lower the heat, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are becoming tender, about 10 minutes more. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables are becoming tender, about 10 minutes more. Add the Madeira, raise the heat to high and cook, tossing and stirring often, until the liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in the remaining 4 cups of chicken stock, the reserved mushroom liquid and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a simmer, partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very tender and the soup has reduces to 6 cups, about 30 minutes.
  5. Cool slightly, then transfer half the soup to a food processor and puree, or force it through the medium blade of a food mill. Return the puree to the soup pan and stir. (The soup can be prepared to this point up to 3 days in advance. Cool completely, cover and refrigerate.)
  6. In a medium pot over low heat, bring the soup to a simmer. Stir in the parsley and adjust the seasoning. Serve hot.

Recipes: Cioppino – Italian Seafood Stew  Cookbook author and entertaining expert, Pamela Morgan is the owner of NYC based Flirting with Flavors, where she offers exclusive cooking parties, inspirational seminars and special events. She is highly regarded as a special event planner, culinary consultant, cookbook author, and is a food & entertaining editor for Hamptons’s Cottages and Gardens.   Pamela sees food as a flirtation: sexy, provocative, and a little mysterious. Her desire is to teach you how to flirt your way into a full on passion for cooking and entertaining! Visit her web site for recipes, entertaining inspiration and much more.

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