30-Minute Classic Cream of Mushroom Soup

A certain crispness has arrived in the air causing me to reach for my long navy blue wool coat every time I leave the house, and do you know what this means? Soup season is here! I’ve wanted a good mushroom soup in my back pocket for a while, but when I started searching for one I found that so many of them are either broth-like with a tangle of wild rice and wild mushrooms (sounds delicious, but simplicity was what I was after) or a thick cream like broth with browned mushrooms floating on top (also lovely sounding, but far too heavy for weekday lunches!)

So, I got to work on this: my Classic Cream of Mushroom Soup, ready in just 30 minutes with a deeply mushroomy flavour, made from a simple cheap punnet of chestnut mushrooms, and while hearty, made lighter with a not too heavy texture and a spoonful of creme fraiche, rather than turning to double cream or a roux base.

Make this light but rich mushroom soup for lunch next week (it serves two but is easily scaled up: I prefer to write recipes to serve small numbers as doubling is always easier than halving) or save it to serve in little cups to kick off your next autumn dinner party, or to enjoy in warm mugs huddled around the November 5th bonfire. Bolster the meal with a good loaf of bread for the table: my No-knead Rosemary & Black Olive Loaf would be perfect here.

I’m really pleased with how these pictures turned out, actually, as I was really worried about photographing what is essentially a bowl of grey liquid in an appealing way. However, as you can see if you’re serving this up to guests – or you like me believe in the practice of presentation even when cooking just for yourself – can see a sprinkling more of thyme, along with either another swirl of creme fraiche or a little cream if you’ve got some open in the fridge, and a final few grinds of black pepper work wonders in visually lifting a simple bowlful.

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30-Minute Classic Cream of Mushroom Soup

  • Author: Rachel Phipps
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2
  • Category: Soup
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This Classic Cream of Mushroom Soup recipe takes just 30 minutes to make, yielding a rich, steaming bowlful of creamy mushrooms soup that is both light and hearty, perfect to enjoy for lunch on a chilly day. Made with creme fraiche instead of double cream and without butter or flour this soup lets the simple mushroom flavour shine through!


  • 1/2 tbsp light oil
  • 1 banana shallot
  • sea salt
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 large sprig thyme
  • 250g (9 oz) chestnut mushrooms
  • generous splash white wine
  • 450ml (2 cups) vegetable stock (made with 1/2 stock cube)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp creme fraiche
  • freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Peel and finely sliced the shallot before gently frying it for a few minutes until soft and just starting to colour with a good pinch of sea salt.
  2. Peel and either crush or finely grate the garlic clove before stirring it along with the thyme sprig into the cooked shallot. Cook for another minute more until aromatic.
  3. Meanwhile, wipe any bits of mud gently from the mushrooms – you won’t want to peel them here as they’ll lose flavour, or wash them as they’ll water down the flavour of the soup – and slice them.
  4. Add the mushrooms to the pot and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until cooked through and starting to colour and stick to the bottom of the pan.
  5. Add the stock, bring to the boil and turn down, allowing to simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in the creme fraiche, and fish out the thyme sprig. Blitz with a stick blender and season to taste with more sea salt and a very generous amount of black pepper before serving in warm bowls.