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!
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
- 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.
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.
Remove from heat and stir in cream and lemon zest. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Check for seasoning and serve.
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
Regular button mushrooms and baby bellas are really, really good in this soup. Or a combo of the two would work great!
Yes, just thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in a small pot on the stovetop.
Just use plant-based butter, vegetable broth and sub coconut cream in place of the heavy cream.
A few sprigs of thyme leaves, 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley, or 1/4 cup of fresh chives.
Yes, some cut-up cooked or rotisserie chicken would be great addition!
Creamy mushroom orzo soup
- Dutch oven
- Rasp style graters
- Measuring spoons
- 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
- ⅔ 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
- 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.