This extra rich and Creamy Garlic Mushroom Soup is so packed with flavour, your taste buds will be tingling. It’s quick and simple to make and just as good for a quick lunch as a main meal.
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I’ve never really been a great fan of canned mushroom soup. I use the Campbell’s condensed version in my version of Green Bean Casserole for authenticity’s sake. And that tastes brilliant as an ingredient.
But I’ve learnt that with the right mushrooms, a good dash of garlic and no skimping on the indulgent cream – mushroom soup can be delicious.
I find soups can get rather one note when they’re being eaten. The way to combat that is to have a decent garnish. For this recipe I fry off some extra mushrooms in butter and add a little fresh parsley. This adds both texture and more flavour.
I don’t do garnish for garnish sake – this is an integral part of the recipe. Please don’t skip it if at all possible. It does make a difference.
I also mentioned that the right mushrooms make a difference. I read a passage by Nigel Slater once talking about mushrooms that stayed with me. He mentioned that mushrooms which were a little less fresh developed more flavour. And I tested the theory – of course he was right.
You can make this recipe with mushrooms smooth and fresh from the shop. But if you can get them a few days in advance, you won’t regret it. I also tend to head for chestnut mushrooms (known as crimini mushrooms in the US). I think they have a little more flavour too. The regular white variety is fine however.
How to Serve Creamy Mushroom Soup
I like my soup piping hot and always served with bread and copious amounts of butter. I love many things about the US but the American habit of serving tiny dry crackers with soup will baffle me for as long as I live.
I’ve mentioned with this recipe the importance of the garnish already so don’t forget to add it. And if you are setting some soup aside for later, don’t forget to save some of the buttery mushrooms too.
Soup is always great for taking to work or out and about in a thermos. I’d recommend adding a little milk or extra stock to the recipe if you want to do this. It is quite a thick soup otherwise.
On this note I’d also suggest serving in a bowl with a spoon. Rather than serving as a mug or cup of soup to be drunk. Its not undoable but it is more awkward. Make it thinner if this really is your preference.
Make Mushroom & Garlic Soup into a Feast
I truly believe that you can make any dish into a proper feast! Whether thats a feast for one after work on a Tuesday, a casual feast for four on a Friday evening or a feast for 12 for a special occasion!
I mentioned that I like to serve bread slathered with butter with my soup. As I often seem to decide to make soup at the last minute, I often make last minute bread too.
My Chilli & Oregano Soda Bread is perfect for this. The oregano in the recipe complements the oregano in the soup too.
Soup nights aren’t a big thing here in the UK but I think maybe they should be. A couple of soups, some bread and maybe a chilli or hearty stew for good measure is a super easy way to host a get together on a cold night.
I’m thinking about hosting a book club meeting or maybe a bonfire night party – that sort of thing.
I’d serve a thinner chowder style soup like Turkey Soup with Butternut Squash, something packed with veg with a twist like my Chicken, Peanut & Lentil Soup and then this mushroom soup. And of course some breads etc.
Don’t forget to head over to my Feast Collection pages to find all of my tips and tricks to help you host a fun and stress-free feast. Plus remember to check out my recipe index to create your own awesome Feast!
Ingredients for Creamy Garlic & Mushroom Soup
I’ve already mentioned that I prefer to use chestnut/cremini mushrooms and I like them to be not so fresh. But you can really use almost any “standard” type mushroom. Button, closed cap, portabello, etc.
I wouldn’t use anything fancier like shitake, enoki, oyster or morelos. But you could make the soup with a better value mushroom and then use the fancy ones for the garnish. King oyster mushrooms would make an amazing garnish if you have them. Cut into thick slices and fry a little slower one side at a time.
You can use any onion or shallot. But beware that using red onions will make the soup a more muddy colour.
I am especially fond of oregano – it is my favourite herb. I dry my own for over the winter but it is just as good to use fresh. And the quantities are pretty interchangeable. I think its a great flavour match with mushrooms and cream. I use it in my Creamed Mushrooms recipe too.
If you aren’t so keen on oregano, you could substitute thyme. Halve the quantity if using dried, keep it if using fresh.
Rosemary would be another good option as would any dried herb mix you like. Herbs de Provence, an “Italian” seasoning or the UK classic “mixed herbs” would all work.
As a general rule, I try not to use dairy or meat products in recipes with are super easily veggie or vegan. It just makes cooking for a crowd with mixed dietary requirements easier. But just like with my Braised Red Cabbage recipe, chicken stock is the flavour bomb in this recipe.
I always prefer using a fresh homemade stock. But reality is what it is and chances are you (or I) don’t have any on hand. So it is absolutely fine to use a stock pot or stock cube. If you are in the US, cartons of broth are the best option.
Yes this recipe involves a really good quantity of cream. And it is worth it. So please don’t skimp on it.
If you use single (light) rather than double (heavy) cream, the flavour will be the same but the soup will be thinner. Double the amount of flour to retain some of the body of the soup.
You can sub in crème fraiche if you prefer but the flavour will be tangier.
I’ve already talked about most the options for flexibility in this post. You can change the mushrooms you’re using, the herb, substitute the cream and I’ll mention in a minute about using vegetable stock to make it veggie/vegan.
So other than adding ingredients, there isn’t much more to be flexible with.
On the basis that there is almost nothing that I won’t add chicken or bacon to, I do quite often add some chicken or bacon to this soup. Especially if I am serving it as a main meal of the day. I simply add it hot and cooked as another garnish.
Adding some cheese is another option. I love to add grated mozzarella but thats maybe not for eating in company. I’m not personally a fan but I can see that goats cheese would be a good classic flavour combo too.
How to Make Vegetarian Creamy Garlic Mushroom Soup
To make this recipe vegetarian is very simple. Swap the chicken stock for vegetable stock and you are good to go
How to Make Vegan Creamy Garlic Mushroom Soup
Making a vegan soup involves a few more swaps. As well as changing the stock, you will either need to swap the butter for a dairy substitute or use more olive oil instead. The cream will also need to be swapped for a non-dairy alternative.
Make it Allergy Friendly
This recipe is free from egg and nuts.
Gluten Free Garlic Mushroom Soup: To make this recipe gluten free, swap the flour for a gluten free flour blend. Or you can thicken the soup a little using a cornflour slurry instead. Do this after adding the stock but before adding the cream.
Dairy Free Creamy Mushroom Soup: As with the vegan version, you will need to swap the butter for a diary free alternative or olive oil. And use a dairy free “cream” instead of the dairy cream.
Please note that this recipe may contain other allergens not referred to above and any variations suggested have not been tested unless otherwise stated. For more information regarding any dietary information provided on this website, please refer to my Nutritional Disclaimer.
Equipment Notes for Creamy Garlic Soup
I know that it is more common to use a saucepan to make soup but I generally prefer to use a good large frying pan.
The larger surface area means that the ingredients have more hot surface area to fry in and get a good colour. In this case, its important for the mushrooms. Frying will give them a much better flavour than if they are cramped and boil instead.
And then then you will need some kind of blending appliance. I prefer to use a stick blender as I find that you lose less soup like you might in a traditional blender jug. It is important to not be tempted to use the blender directly in the pan as the surface will be scratched and you will ruin your pan.
A comprehensive list of the equipment used to make this recipe is included in the main recipe card below. Click on any item to see an example. There are no hard and fast rules so many items can be sensibly substituted to achieve the same results.
This soup is great to get ahead with. It can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days and will keep in the freezer for months.
If freezing, I recommend doing so in individual portions. I use strong sandwich bags. Make sure all the air is pressed out of them and then freeze them flat. This takes up much less room in the freezer and makes defrosting much quicker.
Allow the soup to fully defrost then heat up in the microwave or in a pan on the stove.
I do prefer to prepare the garnish fresh if at all possible – it takes about 3 minutes in a hot pan so you can have it whipped up while the soup is reheating.
Leftover Mushroom Soup
Leftovers can be stored in the fridge, frozen and reheated in exactly the same way.
Creamy Garlic Mushroom Soup Tips
Keep an eye on the onions cooking at the beginning. You want them to soften and go translucent – not colour. If they start frying and getting colour on them, it could turn the soup bitter.
Make sure the stock is well combined with the mushrooms and flour before starting to blend. You need to let the flour become one with the liquid to make a thicker soup. Otherwise you could end up with unpleasant lumps of flour in thin soup.
When you’re blending the soup and think its ready, just give it another 20 seconds. I promise it will make a difference.
You might think that I just make my food look a bit pretty for photos. But I love to spend a few extra seconds making my meals look presentable. After all, we do eat with our eyes. And lets face it, grey soup needs a little help. So please try spending 30 seconds arranging the garnish and then be pleased as punch when it looks delicious.
Don’t forget to let me know in the comments if you try making this recipe – I want to know what you think and if you made any substitutions, how did it turn out?
Still Have Questions?
Simple! Just contact me and I will do my best to help as quickly as I am able. Head over to my Contact Me page, any of my social media channels or post a comment at the bottom of this page and I’ll see what I can do.
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Creamy Garlic Mushroom Soup
- 150 g Onions
- 2 tbsp Salted Butter
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Sea Salt Flakes
- 400 g Chestnut Mushrooms
- 1 tbsp Garlic Paste
- 1 tsp Fresh or Dried Oregano
- 1 tbsp Plain Flour (All Purpose) - Gluten free if required
- 600 ml Chicken Stock - Or vegetable stock
- 200 ml Double Cream (Heavy Cream)
For The Garnish
- 2 tsp Salted Butter
- 1 tsp Olive Oil
- 100 g Chestnut Mushrooms
- 2 tbsp Double Cream (Heavy Cream)
- 1 tbsp Fresh Parsley
- Top, tail, halve, peel and finely chop 150g Onion.
- Add the onion to a pan with 2 tbsp Salted Butter, 1 tbsp Olive Oil and 1 tsp Sea Salt. Bring up to a gentle simmer over a medium high heat then turn to low. Allow the onion to soften slowly – for around 5 minutes or so. Stir occasionally.
- Meanwhile slice 400g Chestnut Mushrooms.
- When the onions are soft, add 1 tbsp Garlic Paste to the pan, stir in then allow to cook for 30 seconds.
- Add the sliced mushrooms, turn the heat up to medium-high and fry until browned and soft all the way through – around 5 minutes.
- Turn the heat to low and stir in 1 tsp Dried or Fresh Oregano.
- Add 1 tbsp Plain Flour to the mushrooms stir until it is all combined with the butter/mushrooms. It will look a bit ugly.
- Add 600ml Chicken Stock , stir well and and bring to the boil. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
- While the soup simmers, slice 100g Chestnut Mushrooms. Try to keep the slices whole.
- Fry on a high heat with 2 tsp Salted Butter and 1 tsp Olive Oil.
- Cook until browned and soft all the way through. Stir occasionally. Leave to sit on a very low heat while you finish the soup. Finely chop roughly 1 tbsp Fresh Parsley and set aside.
- Move the soup to a heatproof bowl, jug or blender jug.
- Blitz until smooth then add back to the pan.
- Stir in 200ml Double Cream and gently bring the soup up to the simmer. Check the seasoning and add any additional sea salt flakes to your taste if needed.
- Pour into serving bowls. Split 2 tbsp Double Cream between the bowls and swirl in. Lay on the cooked mushrooms and sprinkle over the chopped parsley.