Julia Child’s Cream of Mushroom Soup

This recipe is a shortened version of Julia Child’s classic cream of mushroom soup, so it is easier to follow and practical to make for a weekday dinner without compromising on flavor.

Julia Child's Cream of Mushroom Soup - Making the classic dish with an easier, shortened approach and less cooking time. {Gluten Free}

The first time I tasted cream of mushroom soup was 18 years ago, when Pizza Hut had just opened their first store in Beijing. I was 15. It has been one of my favorite soups ever since. Over the years I’ve tried many versions of mushroom soup. I’ve enjoyed every single one of them.

When I decided to recreate this classic dish at home, my first thought was to learn from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. The original recipe is really long and it took me quite some time to figure out all the steps. Today I want to document my experience while making the recipe slightly shorter and easier to follow.

Julia Child's Cream of Mushroom Soup - Making the classic dish with an easier, shortened approach and less cooking time. {Gluten Free}

Cooking notes

I’ve done a few things that are slightly different from the original recipe, so the cooking time is shorter, but the results are just as satisfying. Here is what I did differently:

(1) Use whole mushrooms instead of separating the stems.

The original recipe removes the stems of the mushrooms, cooks the stems separately in the stock, and discards them at the end. The rationale is that this removes the tougher part of the mushrooms while infusing more flavor into the soup. However, I found the step unnecessary because the stem part never bothered me. Plus, the extra simmering and straining steps are quite time consuming.

If you don’t like the tougher parts of the mushroom stems, simply cut them off and discard them.

(2) Use less chicken stock to make a creamier soup.

The original soup uses 6 cups of chicken stock, is simmered for 30 minutes, and uses 4 egg yolks to make the soup creamy. To shorten the cooking time and to make the soup less calorie-dense, I used less stock and skipped the egg yolks for a soup that is just as creamy.

Julia Child's Cream of Mushroom Soup - Making the classic dish with an easier, shortened approach and less cooking time. {Gluten Free}

(3) Serve the soup without straining the broth.

The original recipe strains the broth, so it removes the mushroom stems and minced onion. Since I kept the mushrooms whole, I skipped this step because the onion in the soup tastes very good. If you want to keep your soup smooth, you could strain the broth in step 5 before adding the mushrooms. Or you could transfer the broth into a blender to mix the onion in.

Here it is, the slightly down-sized classic cream of mushroom soup recipe that is easy enough to make on a weekday evening. Your soup will come out delicious and delicate. It is not like those thick soups you might find at a chain restaurant or in a can. You can taste the delicious chicken soup infused with tons of mushroom flavor. Nothing is overpowering. The soup is creamy but not heavy. Simply toast a few pieces of bread and serve them on the side, and you’ll have a hearty winter dinner in no time.

Julia Child's Cream of Mushroom Soup - Making the classic dish with an easier, shortened approach and less cooking time. {Gluten Free}

More delicious soup recipes

Julia Child's Cream of Mushroom Soup - Making the classic dish with an easier, shortened approach and less cooking time. {Gluten Free}

If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it @omnivorescookbook on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with.

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Julia Child's Cream of Mushroom Soup - Making the classic dish with an easier, shortened approach and less cooking time. {Gluten Free}

Julia Child’s Cream of Mushroom Soup


  • Author: Maggie Zhu
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 3 to 4

Description

Making the classic dish with an easier, shortened approach and less cooking time.


Ingredients

  • 16 ounces (500 grams) white or brown mushrooms, sliced
  • 5 tablespoons butter, separated
  • 1/2 white onion, minced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 to 5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Pinch of Thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • (Optional) 4 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • (Optional) parsley or croutons for garnish

Instructions

  1. Heat 3 tablespoons butter in a 3.5-quart dutch oven or heavy duty pot over medium heat. Add onion and turn to medium-low heat. Cook and stir onion until tender and translucent, about 8 minutes. Do not brown the onion.
  2. Add flour and continue stirring over medium-low heat for 3 minutes, until flour and onion are well combined.
  3. Add chicken stock, about one cup at a time. Stir constantly until it forms a silky paste and starts simmering.
  4. Add the parsley, bay leaf, and thyme. Simmer over medium-low heat, partially covered, for 15 to 20 minutes, until the soup reaches the desired thickness.
  5. While simmering the broth, cook the mushrooms. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet until the butter starts to bubble. Add mushroom slices and season with salt. Stir a few times to mix well. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are browned, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms into the soup.
  6. Combine the egg yolks (if using) and heavy cream in a small bowl and beat until mixed well (*Footnote). Slowly add the cream-yolk mixture into the broth. Adjust the seasoning with salt and more cream if necessary. Heat over lowest heat for another 5 minutes. Do not bring the soup to a simmer.
  7. Garnish with chopped parsley or croutons. Serve hot.

Notes

1. The original recipe uses egg yolks to create a thicker soup. When I want a lighter soup, I use just heavy cream and skip the egg yolks. It produces a satisfying soup that is almost as creamy.

The nutrition facts are calculated without any egg yolks or toppings.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 4
  • Calories: 119
  • Sugar: 3.3g
  • Sodium: 922mg
  • Fat: 6.4g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.7g
  • Carbohydrates: 11.4g
  • Fiber: 1.1g
  • Protein: 4.5g
  • Cholesterol: 18mg

The original recipe was published on Oct. 15, 2013 and updated by Jan. 21, 2018.

Julia Child's Cream of Mushroom Soup - Making the classic dish with an easier, shortened approach and less cooking time. {Gluten Free}

Disclosure

Omnivore's Cookbook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
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Meet Maggie

Hi I'm Maggie Zhu! Welcome to my site about modern Chinese cooking - including street food, family recipes, and restaurant dishes. I take a less labor-intensive approach while maintaining the taste and look of the dish. I am originally from Beijing, and now cook from my Austin, Texas kitchen.

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14 thoughts on “Julia Child’s Cream of Mushroom Soup

  1. Pingback: Looking For Recipe For Pierogi Dough Using Sour Cream | Pizza Cooking

  2. Ryan

    As someone who has cooked this recipe by the book multiple times, and was only looking for the egg yolk to cream ratio, this recipe is exactly the Julia Child method distilled to normal english.

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Thanks for your kind words Ryan! I adapt this recipe long time ago, but I remember I added a bit more cream than the cookbook, otherwise the soup won’t be very creamy. Hopefully the recipe is helpful 🙂

      Reply
      1. Paul

        This is a very nice recipe and very close to the original. I used a tray of mixed varieties of mushrooms (Lidl sells them in Europe) which worked well though I think I would increase the proportion of mushrooms overall, but maybe not if those you use are strongly flavoured.

        I dug out Julia’s book while making this and I notice you doubled the amount of egg/cream mix. To be on the safe side I started off using half what you suggest and decided I wouldn’t want to add any more. It may depend on the type of cream and quality of eggs, it’s easy enough to start with two and decide whether to add more.

        It needs to be served at once as it’s pretty delicate once the eggs go in, but I’ve got some left over so I’ll try to reheat it gently in a bain marie.
        BTW, I think you forgot to mention adding the thyme along with the stock.

      2. Maggie Post author

        Hi Paul, thanks for your feedback! I doubled the cream because I found my soup was super thin. You’re right. It’s probably because the egg I used was very tiny, and the creamy wasn’t very rich.
        It’s a great idea to add multiple mushrooms into the soup. I have some dried wild mushrooms at home, so I’d love to try out a mixture of different types.
        Oops, I totally forgot about the thyme. Just updated the recipe. Thanks for taking time to share your cooking experience Paul! Talking about this soup makes me so hungry now! I haven’t cooked this soup for a long time and you just reminded me how good it is. Can’t wait to cook it again, with mixed varieties of mushrooms of course 🙂

      3. Paul

        As a footnote, gentle warming over a larger pan of boiling water worked perfectly as a way of reheating it several hours after making it. I took care to stir it gently so the edges didn’t boil.

      4. Maggie Post author

        This is great to know Paul! I never got to heat them up because I always finish a big pot myself. Next time I need to make a big batch. Great ti know the tip so I can heat it up properly 🙂

  3. Brett

    I will definitely be giving this recipe a try, but I had to laugh at your comment that your first exposure to cream of mushroom soup was at a Pizza Hut in Beijing. Having traveled a bit, I know that most people wouldn’t recognize a lot of menu items that are offered by their favorite restaurants outside their home country. Like McDonald’s selling McSpaghetti in the Philippines.

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      I have no idea McDonald’s sells McSpaghetti there lol But we do have congee with thousand year egg and savory fried doughs at KFC (breakfast item). Pizza Hut in China is super fancy. They even offer afternoon tea session and there’s always a long waiting line. There are fun things like durian pizza and seafood pizza that only exist there 🙂
      Anyhow, happy cooking and hope your soup turns out great!

      Reply
  4. Amy

    I made this last night. It was so easy and so good. Followed recipe exactly tho I didn’t have dried parsley. I ended up adding a few extra pinches of dried thyme and salt and pepper.

    Reply