There's not much to it really, just a whole chopped onion and some garlic, in a vegetable broth with some sauteed mushrooms. And it doesn't take that long to cook; the whole recipe can be made in about an hour.
To keep this recipe vegetarian I used veggie stock, but you can use any type you like and find on sale. You need about 5 cups of liquid for the recipe. I used a can of stock (about 2 cups) plus 3 cups of water. I'm too cheap to use all stock, so I added water, but you can use more stock if you are flush with cash. (I found that sauteing mushrooms releases an intense flavor that supplements any amount of water you might add.)
If you liked my French Onion Soup from a few years back (click here,) then you must try out my future Top 9 Recipe, Vegetarian Mushroom Soup. Especially comforting on a cold winter's night.
- 3 small packages of mushrooms - I used 5 ounce packages of: white button, portabella, and brown crimini. Okay to use one type of mushroom or any combination. For dry mushrooms: bring a small pot of water to a boil, turn off, and soak mushrooms for 30 minutes.
- 14.5 ounces vegetable broth - or any favorite broth. Or 2 bouillon cubes (in 5 cup of water total.) I used a 14.5 ounce can of vegetable stock (about 2 cups).
- 1 onion - white or yellow, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic - fresh or from jar.
- 3 cups of water - or more broth.
- 1/2 cup of wine - optional, I used white wine.
- 1 teaspoon favorite herbs - optional. Fresh or dried. I used fresh sage and oregano.
- 1 tablespoon oil
- Salt and pepper to taste. Depending on the type of broth you use, the soup may not need any salt - taste broth first before adding salt.
Chop one whole onion. Saute in pot with tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Cook and stir onions until soft and starting to caramelize, about 5-10 minutes.
Mince a tablespoon of garlic, okay to use chopped garlic from a jar. Add to onions and cook another minute.
Clean mushrooms if needed. (Wipe off dirt with a soft brush or dishrag.) For small button mushroom slice in half - I like about a quarter inch thickness. Pre-cut mushroom are a bit thin, but still okay.
For larger portabella mushroom twist out stems and set aside; you will slice those up to use in soup. Hold mushroom cap with black inside "gills" facing you. Take a spoon and lightly scrape out the black gills and discard. Gently cupping the mushroom cap in your hand will keep it from breaking apart as you remove the gills. Sometimes the cap will break anyway, but that's okay as you will be slicing it up.
You can leave the gills on if you like, it's just my preference to remove them.
Once the portabella mushrooms are cleaned, then slice them up, again I like thick slices. For variety, I slice the caps into long strips, since the button mushrooms are small enough.
Once onions are cooked and starting to caramelize stir in the mushrooms. Cook them another 5 minutes until soft. Carefully stir them, as the larger portabella slices are easy to break. I may look like a lot of mushrooms but they quickly shrink.
Finally add broth (about 2 cups) and 3 cups of water (or more broth.) Add white wine, optional.
Stir ingredients to mix and add salt and pepper to taste. You may need less salt if you use bouillon cubes or if the broth is salty. Taste soup as you season it.
Now, you are cooking the soup uncovered to reduce it. This will intensify the mushroom broth. Low simmer about 30-45 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by a third. Stir occasionally. Should the soup reduce too much, then add a little broth or water, and heat through.
You can add less onion, any amount really. Same with garlic.
I left the mushroom slices large, but you could cut them in smaller pieces or thinner slices.
For extra lusciousness stir in a cup of cream, or add a dollop of sour cream before serving. And heat soup back up.