The first question I bet a lot of you are asking is “what kind of mushrooms should I use?” There is an easy answer for this: whatever kind is your favorite! If you are a novice in the mushroom world, you can purchase the regular, common, white, button mushrooms that you can find in the produce section of every grocery store. If you are a mushroom connoisseur, get wild! Shiitake, maitake, hen-of-the-woods, oyster, morel, enoki…there’s a veritable cornucopia of mushroom types to try out there, each with its own distinctive features, colors, and flavors.
But here’s a tid-bit of information for you: ever heard of a crimini mushroom? Or a champignon? Or a portobello? Well guess what…they are ALL just different versions of the same common mushroom. Criminis are brown and the younger version of the common white mushroom. Champignons are just a fancy name for the common white mushroom. And when common white mushrooms grow up and mature, they are called portobello mushrooms. Each of the stages of the mushroom’s life gives it subtle differences in flavor, but don’t be fooled into outrageous prices for the less common forms of the common mushroom.
You’ll notice in the recipe that I suggest using homemade chicken soup or beef bone broth. My favorite is beef bone broth because I think the earthy flavor of most mushrooms (and I’ll be honest – I usually use plain old white button mushrooms for this recipe!) is really complemented well by beef flavor. But you will still have a perfectly tasty soup with chicken broth and if chicken broth appeals more to you for any reason, absolutely go ahead and use it.
Please do, however, make your own broth. I’ve provided a link in the recipe for directions on how to make beef bone broth. It takes a bit of time (although a lot of that time is spent simply simmering the ingredients), but it is well worth it from a flavor standpoint, but also from a financial and health standpoint. The reason I prefer that you make your own is because then you know exactly what is in it. You know for a fact that there are no preservatives or MSG or things like that in it.
Plus, when you make your own broth, you are participating in a centuries – maybe millennia – old tradition undertaken by people all over the world. Making broth from the bones and other uneaten parts of animals and leftover vegetable scraps used to be – and still is, in some areas of the world – a daily activity. Folk medicine tells us that these broths keep us healthy and strong and can cure a plethora of health problems. This is, of course, something modern medicine has only recently started to explore. But I think it’s pretty cool to stand in my modern kitchen, with all my modern kitchen tools, doing the same basic thing humans have for centuries.
And finally – the optional bacon. Optional? Crazy talk! Who doesn’t add bacon whenever possible? But seriously – although you’ll sadly miss out on the smoky, meaty, bacon flavor, if you are for some inexplicable reason opposed to bacon, leave it out. You will still have a perfectly delicious bowl of mushroom soup. I love to enjoy mine with a Paleo zucchini muffin or one of my other Paleo white-bread substitutes on the side. Enjoy!
(Make this next: Slow Cooker Italian Sausage Soup)
- 10 ounces sliced mushrooms
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 ½ cups homemade chicken soup or beef bone broth
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 1 ½ tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 4 bacon slices (optional)
- salt, black pepper to taste
- Heat non-stick pan over medium heat.
- Add bacon and cook until crisp.
- Crumble bacon and set aside.
- In a large pot melt ghee over medium heat.
- Add onion and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add mushrooms and cook for 8 minutes or until golden brown.
- Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add soup and 1 teaspoon of thyme, cover with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and use a stick blender to blitz until smooth.
- Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
- Divide soup between four bowls, sprinkle with crumbled bacon and remaining thyme leaves and serve.