This soup blows the doors off the canned stuff and delivers instant comfort. It’s so quick and easy, I actually make it for myself for a weekday lunch, and the leftovers are just as magical the next day!
First let me say that Better Than Bouillon’s Mushroom Base is the magic ingredient. Mushrooms are naturally full of flavor boosting glutimates (think naturally occurring MSG) so they amp up the flavor of anything they are added to. This mushroom base is a quick, convenient way to add depth of flavor and umami-liciousness to so many things.
I add it to soups, stews, stir fries, gravies. A half tsp or so adds that savory “something” without your being able to detect the flavor “mushrooms!” My man has a primal loathing for mushrooms and even he doesn’t mind it at all when I add this to dishes.
Quick tip: Better than Bouillon makes a wide range of bases and they are all some of my most-reached-for flavor boosting ingredients.
If you have a jar of this mushroom base and 30 minutes, you can make a swoon worthy, creamy mushroom soup – or – BONUS! If you stop in the middle of this recipe, you will have a glorious mushroom sauce for steaks, burgers, meatloaf, grilled portobellos or heck, a piping hot, fluffy mountain of mashed potatoes!
Here’s what you need:
- 8 oz of sliced mushrooms – all one kind, or as I used here, a packaged, precut blend
- 2 Tbsp clarified butter (I love Trader Joe’s) or 1 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp neutral oil like grapeseed
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 2 tsp Better Than Bouillon Mushroom Base
- healthy splash of DRY Sherry, Brandy, DRY Vermouth, white wine, apple cider – optional but adds so much flavor
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 tsp dried fine herbs or 1/4 tsp dried tarragon – optional but again, lots of flavor
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- kosher salt, to taste if needed
Here’s what to do:
In a 4 qt Dutch oven or heavy bottomed sauce pan, sautee mushrooms in butter over medium heat
When the mushrooms start to pick up a little color…
add the shallots and sautee till they are tender and translucent.
Deglaze the pan with a healthy splash (2-4 Tbsp max) of dry Sherry, dry Vermouth, brandy, crisp white wine or even apple cider.
If you don’t want to use any of these options, skip this step. But you’re skipping a lot of flavor. Just sayin’…
When all the liquid has evaporated, add the flour, stir and cook for 2 minutes.
Resist the temptation to add more fat. It might look a bit dry, but it will be fine!
Add the water, mushroom base, and black pepper. Stir, bring to a boil and simmer a few minutes to thoroughly cook the flour.
At this point you have an amazingly flavorful mushroom gravy – just add salt to taste. If you want it thicker, simmer a bit longer. If you want it thinner, add more water.
To move on to create mushroom bisque…
add the fine herbs/tarragon and milk. Bring to a simmer – once you’ve added the milk, don’t let the soup come to a full boil.
You can add more milk if you want a thinner texture, or a splash of half and half to add richness.
You have some texture choices with this soup. You can serve as is, hit it with a few bursts of your stick (immersion) blender to break up the mushrooms into smaller bits, or full-on puree it for a silky smooth soup.
I like the middle road of partly pureed with lots of mushroom bits, so I grabbed my stick blender.
This soup is rich tasting but not too crazy on the fat. It will serve 4 as appetizer portions or 2 for a meal with bread and a mixed green salad. If you need more servings, this recipe is easy to double, triple etc..
One caution: this soup will not freeze well. Plan to eat what you make within a day or so.