brat kid, my favourite soup wasn’t any of the amazing homemade Chinese soups my mom made from scratch every night. Not the cream of corn or egg drop, or the other dozen or so in the rotation. Nope, none of those could top my true love for canned cream of mushroom soup – I would beg my mom to buy those iconic red and white cans. I still remember the congealed blob slithering itself out of the can and the distinctive ‘plop’ sound it made as it hit the pot. In hindsight, I’m pretty grossed out by the entire process, especially the hardcore whisking involved to avoid the coagulated soup chunks in an otherwise creamy soup.
I also recall digging around my bowl for a chunk of mushroom floating around the creamy white broth – there were so few in that can of soup that it was like a treasure hunt. But those days are over. I discovered this un-creamy version at Oliver & Bonacini and it was so tasty that I couldn’t believe there wasn’t any cream in it. It changed my entire perception of what mushroom soup could be. Instead of scouring the bowl for remnants of mushroom, each mouthful of O&B’s soup was filled with mushroom-y goodness. This recipe is one of their most well-known and loved permanent menu items and I’ve adjusted the recipe a bit to amp up the flavour profile.
I hope you enjoy this more than its canned counterpart, maybe with a drizzle of truffle oil, some fresh basil leaves, and while you’re at it, throw in a grilled cheese sandwich for a completely satisfying meal that doesn’t require a can opener (or a whisk).
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup diced onion
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 6 cups diced mushrooms (preferably a mix but all of one kind works too)
- 1/2 tsp dried basil leaves
- 4 cups water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 soup bouillon cube (vegetable or chicken)
- Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- Fresh basil leaves and truffle oil to garnish
- Heat a pot over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Add onion and garlic and saute for 4 to 5 minutes, allowing the onions to sweat and brown slightly. Add mushrooms and dried basil leaves and stir to combine, continue to stir for another 5 minutes. Add water and bay leaf, bring to boil, and add bullion cube. Reduce to simmer and continue to cook uncovered for approximately 20 minutes. Remove from heat and add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
- Using a blender or immersion blender, blend half the soup and pulse until ingredients are still a little chunky. Add remaining soup ingredients and blend again (Note: blending this way gives the mushrooms different textures - for a finder soup, pure until completely smooth). Serve immediately with fresh basil leaves and drizzle of truffle oil if using.