Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup

by Merissa on January 22, 2013

in Featured, Recipes

Post image for Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup

Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup


Canned 'cream of' soups are wonderfully convenient, bursting with flavor, and chock full of chemicals. Those little cans may seem wholesome, but a quick glance at the ingredients list of a major brand tells us otherwise:

WATER, MUSHROOMS, MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, WHEAT FLOUR, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF: VEGETABLE OIL (CORN, COTTONSEED, CANOLA, AND/OR SOYBEAN), SUGAR, SOY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, CREAM (MILK), SALT, POTASSIUM CHLORIDE, FLAVORING, LOWER SODIUM NATURAL SEA SALT, CALCIUM CARBONATE, DISODIUM GUANYLATE, DISODIUM INOSINATE, DEHYDRATED MUSHROOMS.

There is so much wrong here. The first ingredient is water? I thought this was a cream soup! And a condensed one at that! But cream is actually eighth on the list, behind sugar. Also, there are three different types of salt here. One of them is potassium chloride, which is primarily used in fertilizers. Disodium guanylate is a flavor enhancer in the same family as MSG (monosodium glutamate), and the oils and soy protein are almost certainly from genetically modified crops.

There are three truths about homemade food: it is healthier, tastier, and takes longer to make. Yes, making your own cream soup does require more time and effort than simply opening up a can of the store-bought stuff. But think of that as an investment, both in your health and in the happiness of your taste buds. The time you spend in the kitchen making real food from whole ingredients can be relaxing, satisfying, and educational. It involves all your senses- the weight of the knife in your hand as you slice up the mushrooms, the smell of butter as it melts in the pan, the sound of the onions sauteing as they soften and begin to brown, the soothing taste of chicken stock as you check its seasoning, and lastly, the sight of an appropriately messy kitchen, full of the warmth and dirty dishes that say “I am functional and fully appreciated.” Okay sure, that last bit seems a bit hokey. But once you begin to take the time to understand your food and to find pleasure in cooking it, the kitchen can become an oasis instead of a black hole.

This recipe for homemade cream of mushroom soup takes less than half an hour to make and has many different uses. My favorite one is to add it to beef stew. The mushroom flavor pairs really well with beef, and the creaminess it adds transforms the dish from homey to sophisticated. It is also really good poured over seasoned chicken breast then baked in the oven, or just eaten on its own. However it's enjoyed, you will have the comfort of knowing exactly what's in it and the satisfaction of having made it yourself.

Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup

Serves 2 as main dish, 4 as a side
What You Need:

  • 16 ounces fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced (slice in half first if more than 1-2" wide)
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 tbl unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup cream or half and half
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme

Heat the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and onions, stirring well to coat with the butter. Cook until the mushrooms have wilted and most of the liquid evaporates. Add the garlic and cook two minutes more.

Blend in the flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Cook for about one minute.

Whisk in the chicken stock. Simmer until slightly thickened, stirring frequently. If your stock is unsalted, you may have to add a bit more salt at the end. Let your taste buds decide!

Add the cream and bring just to a simmer. Remove 1 1/2 cups of the soup and puree it. Pour back into the pan, stir to incorporate.

Turn off heat, adjust seasonings if necessary, and enjoy!

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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

1 RevAllyson January 22, 2013 at 10:05 am

This is all kinds of yum! :) I make mushroom soup sometimes, though I’ll admit I fall back on cans for a lot of stuff like casseroles. Which leads me to the question: could this be canned? If it can be canned, then it would solve a lot of my problems! Little pint jars of mushy soup would be perfect for doing green bean cassarole and for pouring into other soups and such!

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2 Amanda January 22, 2013 at 11:45 am

I am not an expert on canning, but from what I understand, the current guidelines state that there is no safe method for canning foods with dairy products. It has something to do with the fat/protein in dairy insulating bacteria so that the canning process cannot kill them. If anyone else reading these comments has any information regarding this, please chime in!

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3 Merissa January 22, 2013 at 11:49 am

I have to agree with you there Amanda. I think canning any kind of dairy is questionable. Better to freeze!

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4 Missy January 22, 2013 at 10:12 am

Do you know if it freezes well? Could you freeze it and thaw as needed to add to recipes?

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5 Amanda January 22, 2013 at 11:47 am

Definitely! I always make a big batch and freeze some for later. When thawing, it might separate and look lumpy, but it will fix itself when reheated.

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6 Lisa January 22, 2013 at 10:42 am

Thank you!

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7 Bobbi January 22, 2013 at 3:06 pm

Wow, can’t believe it. I made this soup tonight! Logged on to the computer and bam, there was your email! lol. Yum yum!

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8 Stacey Rothrock Steinfeld January 22, 2013 at 4:47 pm

This sounds really good! I am working on removing all processed foods from our diet. Tonight I made Hamburger Helper without a boxed mix and it was amazing! I think I might make this and leave out the mushrooms, it could be a cream soup base for anything!

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9 Amanda January 24, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Great idea!

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10 Peggy January 22, 2013 at 4:58 pm

This sounds yummy, and so simple! Love mushrooms, so will definitely start there, but it seems quite adaptable to other veggies – I’m thinking asparagus, using the tough ends as part of a vegetarian base for stock. Thanks for a great article!

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11 Amanda January 24, 2013 at 4:15 pm

That sounds delicious!

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12 Lyn January 22, 2013 at 9:14 pm

There is a convenient alternative but it can be expensive. Pacific brand and some other organic brands make cream soups. My Harris Teeter store used to carry them and when they discontinued them, I had coupons that doubled to make them free or almost free. I stocked up and it has lasted me more than a year and still have some. I hate to see them go, as I’m not sure where to get them next without paying a lot more at a health food store. Pacific has great flavors and are gluten free to fit our recent wheat free diet.. I am still going to try this recipe. Thank you!

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13 KC January 24, 2013 at 1:21 pm

How long do you think I can store this soup the freezer? What type of containers do you freeze you items in? thanks

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14 Amanda January 24, 2013 at 5:51 pm

I freeze them in small Rubbermaid storage containers. I’m not sure how long it will technically last in the freezer, but mine usually hang out in there for a 1-2 months and are fine.

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15 Stacy December 9, 2013 at 11:31 am

According to http://www.stilltasty.com/fooditems/index/17031 it will keep in the freezer for 4-6 months! This is great for me since I don’t use it very much. :)

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16 Debbie January 24, 2013 at 11:04 pm

Has anyone tried to make the soup gluten-free? Could you substitute corn starch for the flour?

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17 Amanda January 25, 2013 at 7:31 am

I haven’t tried it, but since the flour only serves to thicken the soup, I think cornstarch, arrowroot powder, or even maybe rice flour would be fine!

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18 Gaynor May 21, 2013 at 9:36 am

Yes it is easy to make this soup gluten-free. Just use cornflour. I use cornflour for all thickening – and it is fine. Of course you need to be careful of chicken stock as well. So many pre-prepared stocks are thickened with wheat flour. Why??? Make your own if you can, otherwise read the labels carefully.

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19 Fay Clegg February 13, 2013 at 12:07 pm

I am definitely going to try this and if we love it, I am sticking to it. I know the canned kind has got to be bad for a person so I need to use up what I have and change to this!! Thanks!

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20 Cindy March 29, 2013 at 1:18 pm

this looks amazing!! do you think I could substitute almond milk for the cream?

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21 Amanda March 31, 2013 at 3:48 pm

I’m not sure, but you could certainly try! Almond milk has a unique flavor and a much thinner consistency than cream, so it would significantly alter the final product.

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22 Melissa February 21, 2014 at 4:22 pm

I’ve made it with cashew cream before and it was so yummy.

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23 Brian De Jong June 7, 2013 at 12:25 pm

Made it for my crockpot recipe. Fast, easy and no salt. Nice. And I will be freezing it for all “cream of” recipes.

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24 ReDina June 14, 2013 at 10:40 pm

This site is Awsome!!……………….Going to try everything. Tried of being poisoned by store canned items. Would greatly apprecaite the cock-pot recipe for creamed soup. Thank you and God Bless.!

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25 Suzannah July 15, 2013 at 5:31 pm

Would it work to freeze this in jars? I don’t have a lot of spare Tupperware.

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26 Merissa July 15, 2013 at 8:10 pm

As long as you don’t fill them up all the way. Leave a little bit of headspace :)

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27 Tiffany August 18, 2013 at 2:26 pm

This is absolutely heavenly! I used 1/4 cup of cornstarch in place of the flour. It turned out so yummy!

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28 Deb August 31, 2013 at 8:37 am

You should be able to can this too if you skip adding the milk until you go to use it. I would just write on a piece of masking tape how much you need to add and how long to cook it afterwards.

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29 Hostess with the Mostess October 21, 2013 at 3:00 pm

I am making a noodle dish with pork chops, going to make a mushroom gravy, modifying the soup into a sauce. Thank you!! And yum!

XoXo

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30 Merissa October 21, 2013 at 4:25 pm

That sounds great. Enjoy some for me!

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31 Kristen O October 29, 2013 at 12:15 pm

Just made this! Using it in a Curry dish I’m making tonight, but sampled it and it was DELICIOUS! I’ll have to make it to eat by itself sometime soon! Thank you!

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32 kirstan fengler November 2, 2013 at 11:01 am

I am so glad to found your recipe. I agree food should only a few ingredient and I should know where they come from.

Question: If I leave out flour (for gluten free family) the soup flavor will still be cream and yummy, it just won’t be as thick, correct?

Clarification: Potassium Chloride is a salt that is good for you. (Just like sodium chloride is table salt.) KCl is found in sea salt and if you have a problem with sodium it is the salt alternative for you. Just because it is used in fertilizer doesn’t mean its bad. In fertilizer it is the source for potassium which plants need)

Thanks again for this recipe.
K

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33 Merissa November 2, 2013 at 8:41 pm

Yes you could leave out the flour or replace with a gluten free flour or starch instead.

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34 Margaret December 1, 2013 at 3:05 pm

Bob’s Red Mill makes an all-purpose GF flour that works well for this recipe. Also, be sure to check your chicken stock (if you are not making it homemade). Most stock you find on the market are not gluten free.

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35 alex November 27, 2013 at 6:29 am

Would it be the worst thing in the world to use vegetable stock instead of chicken? We are vegetarian.

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36 Merissa November 27, 2013 at 7:56 am

Nope, that should work fine! :)

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37 Connie March 16, 2014 at 2:53 pm

Can you make this soup in bulk and pressure can if so can u give receipe for canning?

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38 Merissa March 16, 2014 at 4:09 pm

Possibly but you would need to leave out the half and half, butter, and flour. So that basically leaves you with mushrooms in spices and chicken broth. I have the instructions for pressure canning chicken broth here.

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