This cream of mushroom soup recipe for the slow cooker delivers deep, earthy mushroom flavor together with smooth butter and rich cream. It starts with fresh button and dried shiitake mushrooms slow cooked with herbs, spices, savory chicken stock, and a splash of sherry. A garnish of sautéed mushrooms and a sprinkling of dill adds the perfect finishing touch.
A quick way to hydrate your dried mushrooms is to place them in a medium-sized bowl and cover with water. Microwave on high for 30 seconds and wait 5 minutes before adding the mushrooms to your recipe.
You could skip pre-soaking your mushrooms for this recipe, but it's not recommended. Dried mushrooms usually contain at least a few bits of grit. By soaking first, the dirt releases into the hot water and not into your hot soup. You don't have to lose flavor either. Just pass the soaking water through a coffee filter and add it back into your soup.
1/2 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms
3/4 cup hot water for dried mushrooms, keep and strain the soaking water
6 tablespoons butter
1-1/2 pounds white mushrooms, cleaned with a damp paper towel, trimmed and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
1/4 cup dry sherry
3-1/2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade (brown chicken stock)
1/2 pound white mushrooms, sliced and sautéed for garnish (optional)
2 tablespoons butter (for optional garnish)
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons water
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon dried dill
1. Soak dried mushrooms: In a medium bowl, soak the dried shiitake mushrooms in hot water according to package directions or use the rapid method mentioned above. When finished, keep the water and strain it through a coffee filter-lined fine-mesh strainer; add to slow cooker.
2. Melt butter: While the mushrooms are soaking, melt butter in a Dutch oven. Use medium-low heat.
3. Sauté mushrooms and onions: Add sliced mushrooms and chopped onions. Stir to coat vegetables with butter. Cook over medium heat until mushrooms have softened and released their liquid, about 6-7 minutes.
4. Add: Transfer to slow cooker. Add minced garlic, nutmeg, dry sherry, chicken stock, and soaked mushrooms.
5. Cook: With lid on, cook on LOW for 4-6 hours or on HIGH for 2-3 hours.
6. Dissolve: When 30 minutes of cooking time are remaining, place 3 tablespoons of cornstarch and 1/4 cup of water in a small bowl. Stir to dissolve.
7. Add: Add the dissolved cornstarch and heavy cream; stir to combine. Continue cooking on LOW for 20 minutes.
8. Prepare optional garnish - see directions below.
9. Purée: Using an immersion blender, purée the soup directly in the slow cooker. Blend until desired smoothness.
10. Stir in: Stir in dried dill. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
11. Garnish: Ladle into bowls and garnish with sautéed mushrooms.
Preparing sautéed mushrooms for garnish:
1. In a skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over low heat.
2. Add 2-1/2 cups sliced mushrooms and season with a little salt and pepper.
3. Cover and cook over medium heat for about 6-7 minutes or until mushrooms have released their liquid.
4. Uncover skillet and cook until the released liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms have turned a beautiful brown. Flip to brown each side.
Rentschler, Kay. "Silky-Smooth Mushroom Soup." Cook's Illustrated All-Time Best Soups & Stews, 2014.
"Shiitake Mushrooms." MSU Health4U. Accessed March 24, 2018. http://health4u.msu.edu/articles/2016-shiitake-mushrooms.