A delicious bowl of mushroom soup is just the thing for a comforting lunch. It’s also something that works as a great side to charcuterie boards or as a starter for supper. This recipe is thick and creamy while also a little lighter than most cream of mushroom soup. We’re using a roux and evaporated milk instead of cream.
This is my go to recipe when I have extra mushrooms lingering in the fridge. If I don’t have quite enough mushrooms for the full recipe, I’ll use less broth and evaporated milk – but the rest is the same.
How to Thicken Mushroom Soup
How do you get a thick and creamy soup? Here are some options:
1. Add Cream or Substitutes
At the risk of stating the obvious – high fat cream (18% or over) will add rich creamy texture to your soup. Add it right at the end and don’t boil vigorously. High fat dairy can withstand high heat better than low fat dairy, but if you add it right at the end, there’s no need to boil it.
In this soup we’re using full fat evaporated milk. This will have somewhere between 3 to 6% milk fat (compared to 18% or more in cream). It’s definitely lighter and it will add some thickness to our soup. I would not recommend skim or partially skimmed evaporated milk, it won’t add much fullness and it won’t be as heat stable.
2. Make a Roux
This recipe uses a roux. Melt fat, sprinkle on flour and slowly stir in liquid and bring to a boil. In this soup, we use this technique after the mushrooms and onions have softened. The flour will help thicken up the soup. Typically the ratio is 1Tbsp fat to 1Tbsp flour for every 1 cup of liquid. The liquid changes depending on how thick you want your final soup, sauce or gravy.
Fun Fact: A roux to which soup stock is added is called a velouté sauce. If we were adding just cream or dairy, it would be called a bechamel sauce.
By pureeing vegetables and pulses you can get a very rich and creamy texture without flour or cream. The higher the starch content in the vegetables, like carrots or potatoes, the thicker and smoother the texture. In this soup, we puree the mushrooms and onions, to create just a little fullness.
4. Beurre Manié (kneaded butter)
Mix equal parts flour and butter into a thick paste in a small container. Fill the tip of a spoon with a bit of the paste and whisk into simmering soup. Stir and bring to boil and soups starts to thicken. Repeat with little bits at a time letting it boil and thicken each time.
If your mushroom soup is not a thick and creamy as you’d like. Use this technique to thicken.
What Kind of Mushrooms to Use in Mushroom Soup
The beauty of this soup is that you can use whatever kind of mushroom you want and have access to. Want to go really wild – mix different varieties for even more depth of flavour.
You can also soak and used dried mushrooms or wild mushrooms direct from the forest- morels!
white button mushroom
Mushroom Soup Recipe
Cream of Mushroom Soup – Lightened Up
- 2 Tbsp butter or oil
- 1 lb mushrooms 454g sliced
- 1 onion thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 tsp thyme
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 2 Tbsp red wine or red wine vinegar
- 4 cups soup stock chicken or vegetable
- 1 full fat evaporated milk 354ml or 12 oz can
- 1 bay leaf
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
- In large soup pot, melt butter over medium high heat.
- Add mushrooms and sauté. They will release a lot of liquid, cook until liquid evaporates and mushrooms start browning, about 10-12 minutes. Stir frequently.
- Add onions, garlic and thyme and cook until softened, about 2 minutes.
- Sprinkle in flour and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Gradually stir in wine to deglaze the pan. Stir in soup stock and evaporated milk. Add bay leaf. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer to reduce liquid, about 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Remove soup from heat and remove bay leaf. If you prefer soup with some mushroom slices, use a slotted spoon to remove as many as you'd like and set aside.
- Use an immersion blender to purée the soup until smooth. Or transfer to upright blender, purée and return soup to pot. Be careful with upright blender – only fill half full to avoid steam bursts.
- Return soup to medium heat to heat through. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Return reserved mushrooms to soup and heat through. Garnish with fresh parsley and enjoy.
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
What to Serve with Mushroom Soup
Mushroom soup is perfect with grilled cheese, sandwiches and salads. It’s also a great start to many recipes – baked pork chops with mushroom soup – yes please. But mostly, I like a nice fresh piece of bread with my mushroom soup. Here are some of my favourites.
Ready to make a pot of Mushroom Soup? Let me know how it goes, down below in the comments or on Instagram @GetGettyS or on Facebook @GettyStewart.HomeEconomist.
Getty Stewart is a Professional Home Economist, speaker, frequent media guest and writer dedicated to putting good food on tables and agendas. She is the author of several recipe books on enjoying and preserving fruit, Founder of Fruit Share, a mom and veggie gardener. Sign up to get articles by Getty delivered to your inbox. You’ll get recipes, practical tips and great food information like this.