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Creamy mushroom soup with Shiitake

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Creamy wild mushroom soup

In between the Christmas cookie recipes, I have to fit in this cream of Shiitake mushroom soup I made last week from scratch without using any heavy cream, and using only 1.5 cups of half-and-half. And, by the way, you can use any type of wild mushrooms in place of Shiitake. I’ve made this soup years before, with different types of mushrooms, and it’s always been popular with the family, and I thought it would be nice to make a rendition of it during the holidays this year. Warm and hearty mushroom soup is so welcome on cold winter nights, as a prelude to any dinner. In fact, for the past 2 weeks, a bowl of this mushroom soup or a carrot-lentil soup always awaits me and my husband as a warming appetizer before dinner. And I wholeheartedly recommend the same for you: fill yourself up with soup before dinner, and you won’t be as hungry and will probably eat less for dinner.

mushrooms by the bowl

I know many people use store-bought cream of mushroom for gravies, but this is a SOUP! This recipe doesn’t use any heavy cream and uses only 1.5 cups half-and-half, majority of creaminess in the soup comes from pureeing mushrooms, carrots, onions and vegetable stock (which you make yourself by boiling water with vegetables) into a wonderful thick concoction that looks like it’s full of cream. The thick density of pureed mushrooms is easily solved by adding a bit of half-and-half. Or, if you’re a purist and don’t want any cream, you could even get away by substituting half-and-half with lesser amount of milk. Then, right before serving, sprinkle the soup with freshly ground black pepper and salt and enjoy your quiet winter evening warmed by a comforting homemade mushroom soup!

Mushroom soup

cream of wild shiitake mushroom soup, Christmas, holidays

Homemade creamy mushroom soup with Shiitake mushrooms

Prep time: 35 min
Bake time: 40 min


  • 15 large whole shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • more salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 1.5 cups half and half
  • 3 green onions, chopped (OPTIONAL)

1) Slice mushrooms into bite-sized pieces. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large pan, add sliced mushrooms and cook for about 10 minutes until mushrooms soften. Remove half of cooked mushrooms to a separate plate.

2) To the other half of mushrooms, remaining in a large pan, add chopped onion, carrots, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper to taste. Continue cooking vegetables for 10 more minutes, until onions and carrots soften a bit.

3) Add 2.5 cups of water to vegetables (mushrooms, carrots, onions) in the pan, bring to boil and boil on medium heat for 20 minutes. Some liquid should visibly evaporate, leaving reduced stock, but don’t let all water evaporate. add more water if that’s the case.

4) Remove from heat and add the stock you just made (water with mushrooms, carrots, onions) into the food processor. Process the mixture until it achieves puree consistency.

5) Put puree back into the same cooking pan, add reserved cooked mushrooms that you removed to the plate earlier. Add 1.5 cups of half and half. Bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer (low heat) and cook covered for 5 minutes, constantly stirring. Add more salt and pepper if desired. Your soup is done at this point, or you can add chopped onions towards the end or use them as garnish, or skip them altogether (depends if you like green onions in your soup).

shiitake mushrooms

Shiitake mushrooms

sliced shiitake mushrooms

Sliced shiitake mushrooms

chopped onions and carrots

chopped onions and carrots

cooking mushrooms, carrots, onions

cooking mushrooms, carrots, onions

adding water to vegetables

adding 2.5 cups water to vegetables

pureeing in food processor

using food processor to puree vegetables and vegetable stock you just made

pureeing vegetables and chicken stock in food processor

pureeing vegetables and vegetable stock in food processor

pureed vegetables and chicken stock

pureed vegetables and vegetable stock

put it back in the pan

Put puree back in the pan – see how thick and rich in color it is! Just a little bit of half-and-half will make perfect! No need for heavy cream.

green onions

Green onions (optional)

chopped green onions

Chopped green onions (optional)


Soup with added half-and-half. Nice cream of mushroom color!




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{ 80 comments… add one }
  • Von December 10, 2012, 7:00 pm

    I’ve never made muchroom soup from scratch because I don’t like the idea of putting in so much cream, so I love how the creaminess in this recipe comes from the mushrooms themselves rather than the cream!! Will definitely have to try this out next time I’ve got mushrooms to make soup 🙂

    • Julia December 12, 2012, 2:38 pm

      And I like the flavor of this soup much better, than the soup loaded with heavy cream and just a little bit of mushrooms. I’d rather taste mushrooms, not the cream.

    • Kimberly November 21, 2013, 11:00 pm

      You actually could totally eliminate the cream by using steamed pureed cauliflower instead. You’re welcome.

      A Lactose Intolerant Gal

      • Julia November 22, 2013, 5:40 pm

        Kimberly, that’s a really good idea! Just recently I started using cauliflower instead of cream in alfredo pasta sauce, and I could the same here! Thank you, can’t wait to try it! I am sure the flavor will not suffer a bit.

      • Emma November 24, 2013, 1:52 pm

        I just stumbled upon this recipe. I need to make this without dairy and I wondered how about the cauliflower substitute – how much steamed cauliflower is the correct amount to use as a replacement for the heavy cream? Many, many thanks!

        • Julia November 25, 2013, 2:24 am

          My rough guess is that you will need any where from 1/4th to 1/5th of the whole cauliflower floret. Here is the recipe for cauliflower alfredo sauce which I made with a single very large cauliflower floret. That recipe produced 5 to 6 cups of the sauce. You might as well just cook the whole cauliflower floret following that recipe (you can use water instead of a little bit of cream), and then measure 1 cup or 1.5 cups to add to this mushroom soup recipe. Use water to thin out the cauliflower sauce or the mushroom soup – I always do.

  • Lisa H. December 10, 2012, 10:00 pm

    Flavoursome soup… good winter warmer 😀

    • Julia December 12, 2012, 2:47 pm

      Perfect for cold evening!

      • Mona February 26, 2015, 7:11 pm

        Very good mushroom soup. I make a lot of soups, all of them from scratch. I mixed Shitakes with wild mushrooms and added potatoes to make the soup thick (I had a lot of chicken broth and not enough mushrooms).

  • Ashley December 11, 2012, 6:52 am

    This sounds so perfect for the cooler weather we have had the last week. I really like that there is no heavy cream and you can never go wrong with mushrooms : )

    • Julia December 12, 2012, 2:59 pm

      Pureed mushrooms, vegetable stock plus half-and-half tastes and looks pretty much like you have a ton of heavy cream in this soup.

  • [email protected] December 11, 2012, 7:59 am

    Beautiful photos! We had mushroom soup for dinner a few days ago, and now I want to try your version. Looks amazing!

    • Julia December 12, 2012, 3:00 pm

      Thank you. 🙂

  • Mushrooms Canada December 11, 2012, 8:21 am

    I absolutely LOVE Shiitake Mushrooms in soup! Thanks for sharing such a great recipe that’s not heavy on the cream. Perfection!


    • Julia December 12, 2012, 3:03 pm

      Thank you for your comment! 🙂

  • jaime @ sweet road December 11, 2012, 6:47 pm

    Mmm, nothing beats that umami mushroom flavor!

    • Julia December 12, 2012, 3:10 pm

      You made me look up what umami means. 🙂 That means savory taste in Japanese! What a cool word to add to my culinary vocabulary.

  • Yvette - Muy Bueno December 11, 2012, 9:31 pm

    I made this for dinner tonight. My family LOVED it! Great recipe and great photos. Gracias!

    • Julia December 12, 2012, 3:08 pm

      Very happy to hear that!

  • Denise Browning December 22, 2012, 7:28 pm

    It looks delicious, Julia! I love the pics as well. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!!! xx

    • Julia December 27, 2012, 5:08 pm

      Thank you, Denise!

  • Lisa P. May 3, 2013, 9:42 pm

    Thank you for the amazing recipe. I made this for dinner tonight with drop biscuits. It was so yummy. I didn’t have Shiitake mushrooms, so I used Portabella and it was so good. I also added garlic. Thank you again.

    • Julia May 3, 2013, 9:56 pm

      You’re welcome! So glad to hear that! That’s truly one of my favorite soups. I bet portabellas were great in it!

  • Nicole August 9, 2013, 9:06 pm

    Wow! Just made this soup today for lunch, and we loved it. It really is creamy but not heavy, as you say. I used creminis, less water and less cream, since in Mexico our cream is more heavy. I will share my version on my blog soon and hope you like it, of course it will have your credit, too. Congratulations on your site, I love it!

    • Julia August 10, 2013, 1:58 pm

      So glad you liked it! That’s what I like about that soup – it’s not that heavy, it doesn’t even use heavy cream, only half-and-half. Creminis would be so good in it!

  • Brittany @ Barr & Table September 29, 2013, 4:53 pm

    This recipe looks delicious! How many servings does it make?

    • Julia October 3, 2013, 2:50 am

      Oh mine! This soup makes a huge number of servings 🙂 I think my family plus extended family have been eating this soup for a week, almost every day. 🙂 And, because the soup is thick, the portions are usually on the smaller size, which further increases the number of servings.

  • Rachel Cotterill September 30, 2013, 10:32 am

    This looks simply delicious 🙂

  • Natasha of Natashaskitchen.com September 30, 2013, 10:51 am

    Pinned! Pinned! Pinned! Do you think this would work with regular button or baby bellas? Say, if I was too cheap to buy the fancy ones? 🙂

    • Julia October 3, 2013, 2:47 am

      Oh, absolutely! It would work with any “mainstream” mushrooms. 🙂 Regular button or baby bella mushrooms will taste great in this soup – I’ve made this soup with all kinds of mushrooms. I think there is definitely a difference in flavor depending on what type of mushrooms you’re using – but it’s all good!

  • RJ October 4, 2013, 5:09 pm

    I raise my own shitake mushrooms and this recipe was great with very fresh mushrooms. Since most of my mushrooms are 6″ across I used only 3 which was perfect.

    • Julia October 4, 2013, 9:34 pm

      You raise your own shiitake mushrooms? I am very jealous. I was lucky this year to eat lots of freshly picked porcini mushrooms (king boletes) – picked right from the woods. They were huge and so good!

  • Laura November 18, 2013, 6:53 pm

    Do you know how many calories per serving ?

    • Julia November 22, 2013, 6:31 pm

      Here is an excellent calorie counter that lots of food bloggers use to add calorie count to their recipes: calorie counter. Create an account, and just copy and paste the ingredient list.

  • Kevin November 23, 2013, 12:04 pm

    This recipe looks amazing! If I wanted to use heavy cream instead of half and half, would that mess with the consistency? I was also thinking of replacing the olive oil and salt with truffle flavored olive oil and truffle salt to get that umami mushroom flavor.

    • Julia November 25, 2013, 2:30 am

      Kevin, you can definitely use heavy cream! It would not mess up the consistency except that the soup might be too thick. In that case, just use a little bit of water to make it less dense or you might just like the thicker consistency – I know I do. Oh yes, truffle flavor would be GREAT in this soup! 🙂 I use truffle all the time in cooking – I used to be a big fan of truffle oil, but now we just buy truffle salt – it’s much more flavorful! If I used truffle oil, I would add just a splash at the very end on top of the soup as you serve it! Or, in my case, I would sprinkle the truffle salt over the soup when the soup is already in serving bowls.

  • Averie @ Averie Cooks December 1, 2013, 3:18 am

    I know this post is a couple years old but it looks amazing. Great recipes are timeless! Pinned 🙂

    I love shrooms!

    • Julia December 7, 2013, 3:40 am

      Averie, thank you so much for visiting! That’s an honor to get a compliment from such an accomplished food blogger! 🙂 Thank you!

  • Emmalene December 26, 2013, 5:34 am

    Made this for christmas dinner and everyone was impressed! Thanks for the amazing recipe! 🙂

    • Julia December 26, 2013, 2:40 pm

      Thanks for stopping by and letting me know you loved the soup! Makes me so happy! 🙂

  • Kathy January 31, 2014, 11:18 pm

    Going to try this! Thank you.

    • Julia February 3, 2014, 3:17 pm

      Definitely try it! Homemade mushroom soup is one of the best ways to use mushrooms, in my opinion.

  • Eleanor May 28, 2014, 2:57 am

    Tried this with potatoes instead of carrots. Now I am bloated.
    No half and half for me. Still tasted yummy I finished 4 demitasse cups of this.

  • Annie Lee July 8, 2014, 3:33 pm

    Hi, I’m making this soup soon, and because I’ve never made mushrooms in any form before, I was wondering if it was okay to mix the shiitake mushrooms with regular white mushrooms if I didn’t have enough of either? The recipe looks delicious and I would love to make it.

    • Julia July 14, 2014, 3:00 pm

      Yes, you can definitely mix shiitake mushrooms with regular white mushrooms. I mix and match mushrooms all the time!

  • Lori August 16, 2014, 4:30 pm

    I count macros, so for anyone interested. For six servings of 1 cup each, here’s the breakdown. Per serving: Calories 128; Carbs 7; Fat 9; Protein 3. I did use 1 cup of organic veggie broth in place of 1 cup of the water. Delicious!!

    • Julia August 18, 2014, 2:36 pm

      Lori, thank you for this information! It’s very helpful. I need to find some sort of plugin to start providing calorie count on my recipes.

  • Kelley @LoveLikeCrazy August 17, 2014, 12:14 pm

    I made this forever ago, and was just going through my Pinterest for dinner ideas for the week, and figured I should comment, since I always browse the comments when deciding to make a recipe. This was hands down the best soup I have ever had / made. Absolutely delicious!! Thanks for the recipe!

    • Julia August 18, 2014, 2:33 pm

      Kelly, thank you! What a sweet comment! I love this soup so much, too!

  • Dawn October 7, 2014, 3:45 pm

    Hi I just wanted to let you know that I found your recipe through pinterest and I have made your cream of mushroom soup TWICE in TWO days. It was so good the first time that I made it again to freeze in tupperware for lunches. I made some dairy modifications that I thought your readers may be interested in. I followed the recipe exactly omitting the butter and cream actually. To cook the vegetables I just sprayed the pan with some Pam cooking spray instead of using butter. Once the vegetables are cooking in the water I also added one block of Mori Nu tofu to the pot. Everything else I did the same. It is STILL wonderful!! Still creamy from the blended up mushrooms and tofu. The first batch I used Shiitake and the taste was awesome but because I omitted the dairy at the end the result is very brown (looks funny, tastes great). The second batch I used oyster mushrooms which are very white and then at the end added plain white button mushroom cooked and crumbled for texture to the creamy soup. The second batch is much lighter like a regular cream of mushroom soup. Thank you for the wonderful recipe.

    • Julia October 8, 2014, 2:48 pm

      Dawn, thank you so much for such a detailed comment! You’ve got really good ideas in your comment on how to make this soup dairy free. What an interesting observation you made that lighter color mushrooms, such as oyster mushrooms, will result in a lighter color soup vs. darker mushrooms, such as shiitake. Great tips! 🙂

  • Janet Fazio October 15, 2014, 12:10 pm

    I’m looking forward to trying this recipe. I like mushroom soup on it’s own, but it’s also a great casserole addition. Have you tried using it as a substitute for cream of…. soups?

    • Julia October 16, 2014, 2:54 pm

      Janet, I haven’t, but it’s not a bad idea, especially when you make a lot of this soup – you could easily side-track and create a completely different soup using a small amount of this one as cream. Let me repeat, not a bad idea. 🙂

  • Laima December 14, 2014, 11:20 pm

    Thank you for the delicious recipe!
    I made it almost like you wrote except with a couple edits –
    Instead of regular pepper I used Quatre Epices (White pepper, cloves, nutmeg & ginger)
    and instead of half and half I used milk which made for a leaner lighter soup. And the french spices added it a festive flare – perfect for a wintery evening.

    It came out perfect! I am definitely going to make this again : )

  • Courtney D February 15, 2015, 8:53 pm

    Made this tonight and we loved it! Except for the 4 year old, who is a mushroom hater. I just wanted to say, for those wondering about servings, my family of 4, which includes my husband and I, a 6 and 4 year old, polished this off easily (with the 4 year old not eating it even). I had 1 bowl and my hubby had 2, with the 6 year old having 1 small bowl a well. Next time I will definitely double it, because it’s so good. I just wanted to say that since I saw above a comment that this makes a huge number of servings. Not the case here!

  • Casper February 22, 2015, 9:23 am

    I want to make this, but make it Vegan. No animal products. Mushrooms are one of my favorite foods. Not sure whether to use almond, coconut or rice milk to make this creamy. Even hemp milk would do nicely. Dairy is not meant for humans, it is meant for the animal that the mother made it for. Dairy industries are among the cruelest in the world. Go Vegan, have a heart, give a damn.

  • Casper February 22, 2015, 9:34 am

    I just decided to try this great recipe with cauliflower instead of cream, dairy of any sort. I have a wonderful coconut product by Nutiva that will suffice for butter. I am looking forward to trying this recipe. Hemp milk will also be part of this. Thank you for the basic idea, I am having soup tonight, thanks to this recipe .. . .. . .. 🙂

  • Andrew February 22, 2015, 10:39 pm

    I hate to say it, but I followed this recipe exactly (aside from deglazing the pan with white wine before adding the onion and carrot) and it tasted really bland.

    REALLY bland

    I’m thinking it was the shiitakes? They were prepackaged Dole brand Shiitakes from Safeway. I’ve never had them before this, but I’ve always been told that they’re delicious. These tasted kind of not flavorful? I don’t know how to describe it.

    I added cayenne, more salt, and some sage and it ended up being ok. I think I’ll try adding some wild rice and melted brie to the leftovers.

    I’ll try this again too with different mushrooms and see how it goes. It’s kind of an expensive dish to make though if it turns out the shiitakes just aren’t any good.

  • Linda March 14, 2015, 1:34 pm

    This sounds wonderful! I’ve been making big pots of soup all winter for my husband and me for dinners and lunches ALL week! Can you please tell me based on your recipe, how many servings this makes. I may need to double it or triple it….just wondering.

  • Melissa April 2, 2015, 12:06 pm

    I’ve been wanting to try this soup because it looks so wonderful but my local stores rarely have shiitakes. I did happen to find some yesterday but they were presliced so I’m curious approximately how many ounces would you say you used for your original recipe? Thank you!

  • Amanda September 30, 2015, 7:55 pm

    Great recipe! I made it tonight but i added some red wine to the mix and it was really good! Thanks!

  • Jamie October 2, 2015, 8:39 pm

    This soup was so so good!! I didn’t have half and half so I used half heavy cream, half milk. I also used chicken broth in place of the water. Served with some warm french baguette… mmmm

  • Regina October 5, 2015, 10:01 am

    I use the canned cream of mushroom soup in a variety of recipes. Would this recipe work well as a replacement for canned in other recipes? If so, would I use the same amount ounce-for-ounce?

  • Candice October 25, 2015, 5:08 pm

    This recipe for home made mushroom soup is absolutely beautiful! I also added 1 tsp of garlic powder, and also 2 tbsp of sour cream when I added the half and half to make it more rich. I also used Cremeni mushrooms and is so delicious!! I would highly recommend it! Thank you so much for the wonderful share and making it super simple!

  • Debra November 17, 2015, 3:56 pm

    In a word – Phenominal! I’ve been wanting to make mushroom soup for years, but it seemed daunting and I didn’t like the high sodium found in the canned varieties. Recently I attended a wedding where the first course was mushroom soup, BUT, they had added wild truffles. THAT did it, I had to duplicate it, sans truffles of course! Since I love mushrooms, and knew I would have to double this recipe or end up hoarding it from my husband :), I used 2 pkgs.. shitake, 1 pkg. oyster and 1 pkg. baby portabellos. Yumm. I used 4 cups of homemade chicken broth which really added to the unami flavour and since I wanted a creamy version I didn’t separate a portion of mushrooms. Also I and needed it to be GF (gluten free), I mixed 2 tbl. of arrowroot flour in some cold broth that I’d set aside, and mixed it in at the last two minutes of boiling and pureed the entire batch after it cooled a bit. It turned out thick and creamy, so I can add cashew milk (or whatever) and my husband can add regular dairy. I cannot tell you how amzing this soup smells as you’re cooking it. Really wonderful recipe. Thanks so very much, you outdid yourself on this one!

  • Sammy January 26, 2016, 11:33 am

    I made this soup a couple days ago and followed the directions word by word, and let me say, this soup was AMAZING! It was gone within 3 days amongst my family. I am now subscribed to stay updated with her recipes because all the ingredients and the directions she listed produced a flavorful soup; unlike some recipes I tried, something was always missing! THANK YOU!

  • Marc March 21, 2016, 1:14 am

    Just made this tonight. Great simple soup. I used 1/2 a red onion and a shallot. As well, I used shitake, oyster and regular mushrooms mix. Beautiful. Thanks.

  • Ann April 10, 2016, 7:55 pm

    About how much would you say 15 large shiitake mushrooms weigh? I am looking forward to making this.

  • Wendy Goood April 10, 2016, 9:26 pm

    Delicious. We loved it.

  • Karen Blasingame April 26, 2016, 2:24 pm

    I love the idea of using different types of mushrooms all together! My question is this… I have dried shiitake and dried oyster mushrooms, how long would I need to cook these down with the carrots and onions before adding fresh mushrooms? I very much look forward to making this dish. Thank you!

  • David Anstey December 17, 2016, 1:14 pm

    Awesome recipe. I had a big bag of dried shiitakes and some chanterelles I put to use for this recipe. I used the water I reconstituted the mushrooms in to make sure i got every bit of the flavour.

    • Julia December 18, 2016, 2:57 pm

      I am glad you liked it! I love shiitake – they are so flavorful! Perfect for the soup!

  • Rochelle December 22, 2016, 6:47 pm

    I love this soup….can it be frozen? Thanks for the great recipe!

    • Julia December 22, 2016, 11:30 pm

      Yes, this soup can be frozen. I am glad you liked it!

  • Chantel January 15, 2017, 1:40 pm

    We grow shiitakes in our backyard and are always looking for great ways to use them. This recipe uses a good amount of them and it’s super easy and quick, not to mention delicious. I’ve made it about 5 times now and I’ve passed it on to other shiitake lovers. One thing I noticed in the directions at Step 5, you say to cook covered for 5 minutes, while constantly stirring. No can do. Reminds me of one of my favorite scenes from Raising Arizona. “Well, which is it, young feller? You want I should freeze or get down on the ground? Mean to say, if’n I freeze, I can’t rightly drop. And if’n I drop, I’m a-gonna be in motion.”

    • Julia January 31, 2017, 3:20 am

      Lucky you – growing shiitakes in your backyard!
      You’re funny! 🙂 I guess I meant cooking covered while occasionally lifting the lid and stirring so that the stuff doesn’t get stuck to the bottom of the cooking pan.

  • Iryna February 15, 2017, 4:37 pm

    Julia, I’ve made this soup yesterday. I had some unused Shiitake mushrooms and was searching for a good recipe to use them up. I stumbled across your recipe and since it was easy and required minimum ingredients, I made it right away.
    What a delicious soup it was! So flavorful and creamy. To me it resembled a little bit Porcini mushrooms soup. But since fresh Porcini are quite difficult to get here in the US, Shiitake are pretty good alternative.
    Anyways, I’ll definitely be making this soup again, so good!

    • Julia March 12, 2017, 11:13 pm

      Thank you Iryna for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment! You make a great point that this soup does taste like it’s made with porcini mushrooms even though it’s really shiitake. I am SO GLAD you enjoyed it! 🙂

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