Soul-Warming Hungarian Mushroom Soup
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A hearty and comforting Hungarian Mushroom soup that’s sure to fill you right up. A dollop of sour cream is what takes this soup over the top — loaded with all the warm and cozy vibes!
The weather in Texas is so bipolar right now.
We were high up in the 80s with our crisp spring salads, Birkenstock’s, and mom jeans during the beginning of the week, y’all. And now we’re back down in the 30s with boots, scarves, and comfort food. What in the what is even going on?
If you’re anything like me, comfort food is about the only thing that makes the 30-degree weather bearable. Well, that, and fuzzy socks. But mostly just soups. That’s where this Hungarian mushroom soup comes in to warm me right up. This isn’t your average mushroom soup recipe. It’s not the kind of gloopy gloppy stuff that comes in a can. It’s hearty and filling. Tender seared mushrooms, aromatic herbs, and spices are the beginnings of this pot of soup. It’s humble ingredients that blend beautifully together and elevate it to something brand new. It’s exciting for the palate with that rush of umami from the mushrooms and a hint of sour cream to smooth it all out.
The recipe is as simple as sautéing a few ingredients and allow it to just simmer and really develop those flavors. And in around 40 minutes you’ve got the creamiest, most velvety smooth soup loaded with hearty mushrooms to fill and warm you right up.
Every year I share a handful of soup recipes. I mean, not going to lie, I’m recipe testing soups in midsummer because I’m so excited about sharing them for fall and winter. And oddly, the ones that I love the most are the ones made with veggies, like today’s Hungarian Mushroom soup, my secret ingredient tomato soup, or the roasted veggie soup with tortellini, fire-roasted minestrone, and my autumn squash and leek soup.
This recipe requires a handful of ingredients, most of which are pretty straight-forward and easy to find. The one ingredient I feel like you may have trouble finding is optional. And I found that it is available online. Trust me; it does make the soup a whole lot tastier! More on that in a bit.
What do you need to make Hungarian mushroom soup?
- grated garlic
- chicken or vegetable stock
- soy sauce
- half and half (or milk)
- creme fraiche (or sour cream)
- chopped parsley
What kind of mushrooms do I need to make Hungarian mushroom soup?
I suggest using a variety if you can find them. Button and crimini mushrooms are a great starting point, but if you’d like to make the soup even more flavorful, you can add a few shiitakes or any other variety that you like.
What is mushroom powder and where can I find it?
Whenever I share a recipe that calls for mushroom powder, I get this question. Mushroom powder is a little chef secret used to really amp up the mushroom flavor in a stew or gravy. It’s the secret ingredient in my homemade beef tips, and it adds a power-packed flavor punch – aka umami. The mushroom powder adds a subtle complexity to the soup, making it taste as if you simmered it all day long.
For this recipe, I highly suggest using mushroom powder (such as the one from Trader Joe’s, powder porcini or shiitake mushrooms, or even a bit of the Better Than Bouillon mushroom base. I’ve tried the recipe both with and without the mushroom powder, and though it works perfectly fine without the powder, the flavors are a lot more pronounced when you use that little bit of mushroom powder/base to amp up the soup base!
How to clean mushrooms for this soup recipe:
I like to use a damp paper towel to clean and brush off the dirt on mushrooms individually. I know this can be a bit time-consuming. But unfortunately, if you rinse mushrooms under running water, they tend to soak a lot of it up like a sponge. Mushrooms that are water-logged won’t develop that beautiful golden color on them when you saute them in butter. They also won’t pack that earthy punch in this mushroom soup. The water will dilute the mushroom flavor rather than enhancing it the way those nicely seared mushrooms would.
How to make the best Hungarian mushroom soup:
- Melt the butter in a soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat and sauté the onions and mushrooms for 5 minutes. Then season with the dried thyme, dried dill weed, and paprika and allow the mushrooms and onions to continue cooking for an additional 7-10 minutes. Stir the mixture often, so it doesn’t brown too much or burn. Sprinkle the grated garlic and mushroom powder 30 seconds before the mushrooms are done.
- Slowly pour in the chicken stock, soy sauce, and lemon juice and scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen all that stuck on flavor. Allow the soup to gain a simmer and then let it reduce for 5 minutes. This step will help concentrate the mushroom flavor. While the soup is reducing, place the milk and flour in a mason jar (with a tight-fitting lid) and give it a shake until combined. Alternately, you can whisk the ingredients in a small bowl until they are smooth. Pour this mixture into the soup and continue to cook the soup for another 8-10 minutes or until the flour mixture thickens it.
- Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the soup while you add in the sour cream. Sprinkle with parsley to finish and serve warm with grilled bread rubbed with a clove of cut garlic!
What if I didn’t have time to let my creme fraiche/sour cream come to room temperature. How can I prevent it from curdling?
Sour cream is notorious for being difficult to work with. When I first started cooking, any recipe that called for sour cream would almost always curdle on me. But as I started reading up on it, I picked up a trick that works like a charm for stroganoff or Swedish meatballs. If you allow the sour cream to come to room temperature for at least 45 minutes before adding it to the recipe, it won’t curdle. It also helps if you remove the hot soup or sauce from the stove and stir it a few times to cool it down a bit before adding the sour cream.
TIP: If you absolutely do not have the time to do this, whisk the sour cream in a bowl using a fork and add a tablespoon of the soup mixture to the sour cream as you continue to whisk the sour cream. Do this about 3-4 times and then add the sour cream to the soup. It should keep the soup from curdling!
I hope you’ll make a pot full of this soul-warming Hungarian mushroom soup to serve up at your next party or for boxed lunches throughout the week. And can we all just agree that homemade soup is a 1000x better than mushroom soup in a can? All that’s missing is fresh crusty bread, and you’ve got a full-on comforting meal. And bonus points if you serve it with homemade focaccia.
- 4 tablespoons of salted butter
- 1 lb. mushrooms, sliced (use crimini, button, etc.)
- 1 ½ cups white onions, chopped
- 1 teaspoon EACH: dried thyme AND dried mushroom powder (optional)
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- 2 ½ cups low sodium chicken stock (or vegetable)
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons EACH: all-purpose flour AND chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon EACH: sweet paprika AND lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons dried dill weed
- 1 cup half and half (or whole milk)
- ⅓ cup room-temperature creme fraiche (or sour cream)
- SAUTE: In a dutch oven or soup pot, saute the onions and mushrooms in the butter over medium heat for 5 minutes. Then, season with dill, thyme, and paprika and allow the mushrooms and onions to continue cooking for an additional 7-10 minutes, stirring often. Sprinkle the grated garlic and mushroom powder 30 seconds before the mushrooms are done.
- WHISK: Then, slowly pour in the chicken stock, soy sauce, and lemon juice and scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen anything that might be stuck on. Allow the soup to gain a simmer and then let cook and reduce for 5 minutes. While the soup is reducing, whisk together the milk and flour in a small bowl until smooth (you can also just shake it all in a mason jar.) Then pour the mixture into the soup and continue to cook the soup for 8-10 minutes, or until the soup thickens, stirring as required.
- FINISH: Remove the soup from heat. Stir the soup while you add in the sour cream slowly and allow for it to mix. Sprinkle with parsley to finish and serve warm with grilled bread rubbed with a clove of cut garlic!
- Mushroom powder adds a ton of umami to this soup recipe. It really amps up the mushroom flavor so I prefer to use it. However, I know it can be difficult to find so it is an optional ingredient. But I urge you to try and find it if you can, it really kicks this soup into high gear. I found one at Trader Joes that works well, powder porcini or shiitake mushroom is also easily available on Amazon and if all else fails, use Better Than Bouillon mushroom base.
- See post for added instructions on how to keep the sour cream from curdling if you're worried about that.
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