Creamy mushroom orzo soup

This comforting creamy mushroom orzo soup is a delicate blend of mushrooms, orzo, and creamy broth. The umami-rich soup is amplified with ground dried mushrooms. This is great for cool days when you need a warm cozy hug. This is warm comfort in a bowl!

soup in a white bowl sitting on a gray plate with spoon to bottom left

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The first food I remember making on my own was a can of Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup with grilled cheese (hello, latchkey kids of the ’80s). This is a much-upgraded version of a creamy mushroom soup. It’s loaded with orzo and mushrooms with a bit of lemon zest added at the end to brighten it up.

The mixture of fresh and dried mushrooms boosts big, deep, earthy flavor reminding us of who the star of the show is. The seasonings are subtle enough to shine through and compliment the natural flavor of mushrooms without overpowering it. Cooked in one pot, you are minutes away from a satisfying bowl of creamy goodness!

Grab these ingredients

ingredients to make the soup
  • Butter:  used to cook the mushrooms, onions, garlic, and tomato paste.
  • Fresh mushrooms:  I use white button or Baby Bella mushrooms because they are easy to find in most grocery stores. They are the same type of mushroom just at different ages.
  • Dried mushrooms: these were found in the refrigerated section in produce near the fresh mushrooms in my local store. I used the stir-fry mix dried mushrooms. Using both the fresh and dried mushrooms provided the best combination of meaty texture and flavor.
  • Seasonings: dried thyme, tomato paste, soy sauce, fresh ground pepper, and salt. Paired with 2 cloves of garlic, this will be the most flavorful mushroom soup!
  • Corn starch the corn starch helps thicken the soup just a tad bit. We’re also adding dry pasta that we’ll cook in the soup, so just a sprinkling of cornstarch helps thicken the soup to the right consistency.
  • Chicken stock: You want to use good quality chicken stock for all the other ingredients to really shine through. This can also easily be swapped for vegetable broth.
  • Dry sherry: Mushrooms and sherry are a classic combination, it brings out the best in woodsy mushrooms. Dry sherry can be found for a modest price at many grocery stores and most wine shops. Avoid using cooking sherry, which is inferior to drinking sherry and usually has plenty of salt added to it.
  • Soy sauce: Adds salt and intensifies the umami flavor.
  • Dried pasta: Orzo is the pasta of choice here because it cooks quickly. And, since it is made from durum wheat it gives it a heartier texture and is able to absorb the flavors of ingredients around it.
  • Lemon zest: A small amount of an acidic ingredient like lemon zest added at the end of cooking brightens the flavor.
  • Heavy cream: the cream helps thicken the soup and makes it creamy and silky.

Overview: How to make creamy mushroom orzo soup

Melt butter in a dutch oven, add mushrooms, onion, garlic, tomato paste, 1 kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Cook until vegetables are browned about 15 minutes.

Sliced mushrooms with onion, onion garlic, tomato paste, salt, and pepper in a dutch oven
mushrooms cooked down after 15 minutes in dutch oven
Cremini mushrooms are also known as baby bella mushrooms.

Add sherry, scraping up any brown bits, and cook until reduced about 3 minutes. Add ground mushrooms, 3 cups of water, broth, soy sauce, thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered for about 10 minutes. Stir in orzo and cook for 8 minutes. Stir in cornstarch slurry and cook until thicken about 2 minutes.

Dutch oven with ground mushrooms, water, broth, soy sauce and dried thyme added.
dutch oven with cornstarch slurry, cream and orzo added.

Remove from heat and stir in cream and lemon zest. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Check for seasoning and serve.

 soup in a white bowl on a grey plate with spoon resting on bottom left.

A side salad would be a great to serve along side of this soup as it is rather hearty!

If you are in the mood for tomato soup, this roasted tomato soup with basil is perfect.

Creamy mushroom orzo soup: FAQS

What mushrooms are best for mushroom soup?

Regular button mushrooms and baby bellas are really, really good in this soup. Or a combo of the two would work great!

Can I freeze this soup?

Yes, just thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in a small pot on the stovetop.

How can I make this vegan?

Just use plant-based butter, vegetable broth and sub coconut cream in place of the heavy cream.

What herbs do you recommend?

A few sprigs of thyme leaves, 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley, or 1/4 cup of fresh chives.

Can I add protein?

Yes, some cut-up cooked or rotisserie chicken would be great addition!

creamy mushroom orzo soup in white bowl on gray plate

Creamy mushroom orzo soup

Sarah Allison
This comforting creamy mushroom orzo soup is a delicate blend of mushrooms, orzo, and creamy broth. The umami-rich soup is amplified with ground dried mushrooms. This is great for cool days when you need a warm cozy hug. This warm comfort in a bowl!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 48 minutes
Total Time 58 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 8

Equipment

  • Dutch oven
  • Rasp style graters
  • Measuring spoons

Ingredients
  

  • ¼ ounce dried stir-fry mix mushrooms
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound button mushrooms or baby bellas trimmed and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 onion chopped fine (1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 tsp diamond crystal kosher salt (half if using table salt)
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • cup dry sherry
  • 4 cups (2 quarts) low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 3 ¼ cups water (separated)
  • ¼ tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 cup orzo
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Instructions
 

  • Grind shiitake mushrooms in spice grinder until finely ground (you should have about 3 tablespoons).
  • Melt butter in Dutch oven over med-high heat.
  • Add sliced mushrooms, minced garlic, onion, tomato paste, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are browned and dark fond develops on bottom of pot, 15 minutes.
  • Add sherry, and cook until reduced about 3 minutes, scraping up any browned bits.
  • Add ground mushrooms, broth, 3 cups water, dried thyme, and soy sauce, and bring to boil.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until mushrooms are tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Stir in orzo and cook for 8 minutes.
  • Whisk cornstarch and remaining ¼ cup water in small bowl. Stir cornstarch slurry into soup, return to simmer, and cook until thickened, about 2 minutes.
  • Remove pot from heat and stir in cream, and lemon zest.
  • Cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Test for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if needed.

Notes

I use a spice grinder to process the dried mushrooms, but a blender also works. 
How to store: Store leftover soup in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
How to freeze: You can freeze it in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months, but the texture and flavor might not be as good as the day you made it. When ready to serve, thaw frozen soup overnight in the refrigerator.
How to reheat: Reheat cold soup over the stovetop on medium-low heat until warmed through, about 5 minutes. If it becomes too thick, add a splash of water or stock to thin it out.
This recipe was inspired by America’s Test Kitchen wild rice and mushroom soup.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 245kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 8gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 178mgPotassium: 403mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 407IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 30mgIron: 1mg
Did you make this Recipe? Leave a comment & recipe rating below. Tag @thesassandsalt on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece!

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5 from 1 vote

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