If you haven’t noticed yet, I absolutely love mushrooms and when I cook with them, I use LOADS and this creamy mushroom bacon soup is no exception. This soup is filled to the brim with 4 types of mushrooms – shiitake, white button, baby bella, and dried porcini mushrooms. The porcini mushrooms pack the most flavor and you will create an additional porcini broth to flavor the soup even more. This easy recipe is definitely one you’ll want to have in your back pocket for those chilly nights when you don’t know what to make!
This creamy mushroom bacon soup that is decadent, filled to the brim with mushrooms, and has just a hint of heat and plenty of aromatics to create a flavorful, filling dinner.
Skill Level: Easy
Time to Make: 1 hour 30 minutes (30 minutes inactive)
INGREDIENTS FOR CREAMY MUSHROOM BACON SOUP
10 slices of bacon
2 stalks celery, plus 1 tablespoon of leaves
1 yellow onion
6 cloves garlic
1½-2 pounds mixed mushrooms (such as shiitake, cremini, white button, or baby bella)
2 ounces porcini mushrooms, plus 1 cup of hot water
6 cups chicken stock
4 sprigs thyme
2 sprigs rosemary
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
Salt, pepper, and cayenne powder to taste
Minced fresh chives
Extra virgin olive oil
Paprika or cayenne powder or Aleppo-style red pepper flakes (optional)
Prepare Ingredients: Slice the bacon cross-wise into thin strips. Trim the celery and thinly slice crosswise. Roughly chop the leaves. Peel and dice the onion. Peel and mince the garlic. Discard the stems of the shiitake mushrooms and slice the caps. Slice cremini or baby bella mushrooms. Tear the dried porcini mushrooms into 1” pieces and cover with 1 cup hot water. Allow the porcini mushrooms to soak as you prepare the rest of the recipe. Tie the end of the rosemary and thyme sprigs with a piece of kitchen twine to keep them together.
Cook the Bacon: Add the bacon to a large soup pot (large enough to hold at least 8 cups of liquid) and turn the heat to medium. Cook, stirring regularly, for 8-12 minutes or until all the fat has rendered. Remove the bacon using a slotted spoon and transfer it to a large bowl. Set aside a pinch or two of the cooked bacon for garnish. Remove about half of the fat from the pot and transfer it to a bowl (you may need it later).
Cook the Vegetables: To the soup pot. add the onion and celery. Cook for 5-7 minutes until softened and beginning to brown. Add the garlic and cook for 45 seconds until fragrant. Spoon the cooked vegetables out of the pot and transfer them to the bowl with the cooked bacon.
Cook the Mushrooms and Start the Soup: In batches, cook the mushrooms. It will take time to brown all of them, but you want the mushrooms to sweat and then you want the liquid to evaporate and the mushrooms to brown. Cook, stirring regularly, for about 10-12 minutes. Once most of the liquid has evaporated, transfer the cooked mushrooms to the bowl of the vegetables and bacon and brown the remaining mushrooms. During the last minute or two of the last batch of mushrooms cooking, turn the heat to high and add all the vegetables, remaining mushrooms, and bacon back to the pot. Add 1 cup of the chicken stock and scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Add the remaining chicken stock along with the porcini mushrooms and the soaking liquid and the thyme and rosemary. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Finish the Soup: After 30 minutes, remove and discard the thyme and rosemary. Ladle 3-4 spoonfuls of the mushrooms into a food processor and pulse until smooth. Add the milk and heavy cream and continue pulsing until smooth. If you’d like more of your soup to be puréed, add a few more ladles of the mushrooms to the food processor and pulse until smooth. Pour the purée back into the soup and stir to combine. Taste and season with salt, pepper, and cayenne powder if desired and cook an additional 10 minutes over low heat.
To Serve: Divide the soup between bowls. Garnish with fresh minced chives or thyme leaves, cayenne powder (optional), and the reserved crispy bacon. Enjoy!