Cream of mushroom soup is a common ingredient in recipes as cooler weather approaches. This healthy comfort food in a bowl deserves its place along with the casseroles (like my favorite green bean casserole) soups, and stews of the season.
Will the Real Cream of Mushroom Soup Please Stand Up?
Unfortunately, most store-bought cream of mushroom soup has a variety of problematic ingredients. Offenders include:
- Vegetable oil: chemically processed, high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, and potentially harmful on a cellular level
- Modified food starch: A highly processed starch that contains maltodextrin (often used as a name to hide the presence of MSG)
- Monosodium glutamate: A food additive and excitotoxin that may interfere with natural neurotransmitter production
- Soy protein concentrate: This is why I’m not a fan of soy
- Other bad ingredients: such as soy lecithin, yeast extract, and “flavoring”
In addition, despite the “cream” on the label, canned soup has very little actual cream. Cream is the ninth ingredient on the list, after vegetable oil, processed flour, MSG, and other questionable items. And it isn’t even real cream! It is actually “dehydrated cream” containing milk and soy lecithin as a thickener.
Certainly, these ingredients are probably cheaper and much better for the bottom line of the companies producing processed foods, but they certainly aren’t better for us, the consumer!
No Time for Homemade?
Update: Since I wrote this post I found one premade mushroom soup I do love, and that’s Kettle and Fire’s Mushroom Bisque. It is made with their amazing bone broth, is non-GMO, and is made with all real-food ingredients I would use in my own kitchen. It is dairy-based, so opt for the homemade version below if that is an issue for you.
A Better Cream of Mushroom Soup (& It’s Easy!)
Like most foods, homemade not only tastes better, but it is typically healthier too. Cream of mushroom soup is no exception! This simple DIY version works as a substitute in recipes or is delicious on its own.
Unlike the processed canned version, it only has 10 ingredients total (including spices). Bonus: They are all real food ingredients that you can order at a grocery store. (No need to contact your friendly local industrial products salesman to get the soy protein concentrate or MSG!).
I typically make several batches of this and keep in the refrigerator. I also freeze it for easy meal prep at Thanksgiving or for when I used to get a pregnancy craving for something with mushrooms in it. 🙂
If you use cream of mushroom (or cream of anything) soup in recipes for your family, consider taking 20 extra minutes to make your own. I promise you will be hooked!
Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup
- 1 lb fresh mushrooms
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup butter (or coconut oil)
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 2 TBSP arrowroot powder
- 1 quart chicken broth
- ½ cup heavy cream (or heavy coconut milk, optional)
- ½ cup sour cream (optional)
- Chop mushrooms and onion and mince garlic.
- Melt butter or coconut oil in a large pan and add chopped mushrooms and onion.
- Saute until translucent and cooked.
- Add garlic and saute an additional 2 minutes.
- Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and arrowroot and stir.
- Add broth and simmer about 10 minutes until it starts to thicken.
- Add cream and sour cream and stir in until smooth.
- Serve as a soup or use as cream of mushroom soup in recipes.
How do you use cream of mushroom soup?
Discussion (60 Comments)
This recipe looks delicious. I can’t have butter, but I can maybe replace it with coconut oil. Thanks so much.
What would be a good substitute for chicken broth? I would love to make this today, but it’s Friday and I’m Catholic. 😉
If you can’t use chicken or meat-based broth/stock, use vegetable stock or, even better in this recipe, would be mushroom broth. Often you can reconstitute dried mushrooms in hot water and use the liquid from that.
Is coconut or almond milk a suitable substitute? I skip the dairy now but I still want to make green bean casserole as its a favorite in our house. Also, any substitute for the butter or just omit it?
Use heavy coconut milk. That will work the best. If you want to cook your onions/mushroom/garlic in something, you could use coconut oil or tallow.
This is awesome! Do you have a cream of chicken recipe also?
I was thinking that there must be a better version. Thank you!
Do you think making a large quantity canning this in mason jars for later use would work well?
How long is the shelf life in the refrigerator?
Thanks for the recipe! I can’t wait to try it out. Do you have an approximate shelf life? I’d love to make a huge batch and keep some in the fridge and freeze some.
Could you can this? Probably have to use a pressure canner. . . Sometimes taking freezer space isn’t an option.
I used to use cream of mushroom soup all the time but stopped because one day I looked at the ingredients and nearly dropped the can right on the floor! Thank you for sharing a homemade recipe! Can’t wait to try this!!