Nothing warms the soul like a bowl of creamy and flavorful soup. When the earthy richness of mushrooms meets the sweet allure of caramelized onions, you have a truly delightful and satisfying Cream of Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Soup. Packed with complex flavors and a velvety texture, this hearty soup is perfect for chilly evenings or when you just want a comforting culinary experience. In this article, we’ll take you through the step-by-step process of making this delicious delight that will become your family’s favorite.
To make this cream mushroom and caramelized onion soup, gather the following ingredients:
– 1 pound (450 g) mushrooms (cremini, white button, or a mixture), scrub and cut
– 2 large onions, thinly sliced
– 3 tablespoons of butter
– 2 tablespoons of olive oil
– 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
– 1 cup heavy cream
– 1/2 cup milk (whole or 2%)
– 2 cloves of garlic, minced
– 2 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)
– 1 bay leaf
– Test salt and pepper
– Fresh parsley or chives for garnish
Step 1: Caramelize the onions
In a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Add thinly sliced onions to the pot and cook slowly, stirring occasionally. Onions take time to caramelize, so be patient. Continue cooking for about 30-40 minutes until the onions turn a deep golden brown color. The slow cooking process brings out the natural sweetness of the onion, which adds a delightful depth of flavor to the soup.
Step 2: Saute the mushrooms
Once the onions are caramelized, add the chopped mushrooms to the pot. Increase the heat to medium and cook the mushrooms until they are tender and slightly browned. This step enhances the earthy flavor of the mushrooms and complements the sweetness of the onions.
Step 3: Add the garlic and thyme
Stir in the minced garlic and fresh thyme sprigs (or dried thyme) into the pot. Cook for a minute or two until the garlic is fragrant, infusing the soup with an aromatic flavor.
Step 4: Pour the broth
Next, pour the vegetable or chicken broth into the pot with the bay leaves. Increase the heat to bring the mixture to a boil. Let it cook for about 15-20 minutes, so that the flavors meld together and the soup thickens a bit.
Step 5: Blend the soup
Remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs from the pot. Using an immersion blender or a regular blender (in batches), carefully blend the soup until it has a smooth and creamy consistency.
Step 6: Add cream and milk
Return the blended soup to the pot and stir in the heavy cream and milk. Simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes, so that the soup thickens and the flavors combine.
Step 7: Season and serve
Taste the soup and season with salt and pepper to your liking. Ladle cream of mushroom and caramelized onion soup into bowls and garnish with fresh parsley or chives to add color and freshness.
Cream of Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Soup: Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use different types of mushrooms in the soup?
Absolutely! Although the recipe calls for button mushrooms, feel free to experiment with other mushroom varieties such as shiitake, portobello, or even wild mushrooms for a stronger flavor. Different mushrooms will add unique flavor levels to the soup, making it more enjoyable.
Can I make this soup vegetarian or vegan?
Yes, you can easily make this soup vegetarian or vegan by using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth and replacing heavy cream with plant-based alternatives like coconut cream or cashew cream. The result will still be creamy and flavorful, perfect for those following a vegetarian or vegan diet.
How do I prevent onions from burning while caramelizing?
Caramelizing onions requires patience and low heat. To prevent burning, thinly slice the onions and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Adding a pinch of salt can draw out the moisture from the onions and prevent them from burning. Keep a close eye on the onions to make sure they caramelize evenly without turning dark brown or black.
Can I make this soup in advance?
Yes, you can make Cream of Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Soup ahead of time. Allow the soup to cool completely before transferring to an airtight container. Store it in the fridge for up to 3 days. When reheating, heat the soup gently over low heat, stirring occasionally so it heats evenly without curdling.
Can I freeze the soup for later use?
Yes, this soup is freezer-friendly. After preparing the soup, let it cool before serving the freezer– Safe container or freezer bag. Label the container with the date and freeze it for up to 3 months. Thaw the soup overnight in the refrigerator before reheating on the stove or microwave.
Also read: Can you freeze cream of mushroom soup?
Can I add other vegetables to the soup?
Of course! Although this recipe highlights mushrooms and caramelized onions, you can boost the nutritional profile of the soup by adding other vegetables such as carrots, celery, or leeks. Stir-fry additional vegetables with onions for added flavor and texture.
What can I serve with Cream of Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Soup?
This hearty and creamy soup pairs well with a variety of dishes. Serve it with crusty bread, a side salad or even a grilled cheese sandwich for a complete and satisfying meal. You can also sprinkle fresh herbs like parsley or thyme on top of the soup to add color and brightness.
How long will the soup last in the refrigerator?
If stored properly in an airtight container, this soup will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 3 days. If you plan to keep it longer, consider freezing it for extended storage.
Can I make a dairy-free version of this soup?
Absolutely! To make a dairy-free version, replace the heavy cream with a non-dairy milk substitute such as almond milk, soy milk or oat milk. Additionally, use plant-based butter or olive oil to caramelize the onions.
Can I use dried mushrooms instead of fresh mushrooms?
Although fresh mushrooms are recommended for this recipe, you can use dried mushrooms if you can’t find fresh. Soak the dried mushrooms in hot water until they are rehydrated and tender, then chop them and add them to the soup as directed in the recipe. Soaking liquid can also be used as a flavoring addition to soup broth.
Enjoy the comforting goodness of Cream of Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Soup and feel free to customize it to your taste preferences and dietary needs!
Cream of Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Soup A true indulgence offering a harmonious blend of flavors and velvety texture. From the deep sweetness of the caramelized onions to the earthy richness of the mushrooms, every spoonful brings comfort and satisfaction. This delightful soup is perfect to enjoy as a starter or as a healthy meal with crusty bread on the side. Prepare this comforting dish to warm your heart and delight your taste buds with a symphony of flavors.