The Best tasting Polish Mushroom Soup

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Mushrooms seem like such an ordinary vegetable, wrong! Let me show you how to transform them into delicious Best tasting Polish Mushroom Soup – Zupa Grzybowa. It is not just another soup. We will use dried and fresh mushrooms and a combination of aromatics that will create crazy good bowl of soup.

Mushroom Soup in a serving bowl

Did you know this Polish Mushroom Soup is also referred to as “mushroom soup – zupa grzybowa” and “polish mushroom soup – zupa grzybowa”?

This Polish Mushroom Soup can be enjoyed during colder months as much as during the summer. The broth base gives it lightness, while the combination of dried and bella mushrooms gives it substance. This soup is light and filling at the same time. Adding creamy sauce at the end creates, smooth, satisfying finish. 

What flavor are mushrooms?

  • Earthy: deep, earthy taste and smell that will take you back to the forest. It’s this earthiness that makes mushrooms so uniquely satisfying.
  • Umami: Mushrooms are known for their umami – “fifth taste.” Savory flavor that adds a layer of depth to the flavor profile.
  • Nutty: Depending on the type of mushroom, you might detect subtle nutty undertones. Another layer of complexity.
  • Slightly Sweet: some varieties, have a mildly sweet flavor note that balances out the earthiness.

Why you will love this recipe:

  • Rich umami flavor; combination of dried (reconstituted) and fresh mushrooms gives this soup delicious savory flavor
  • Texture, using both dried and fresh mushrooms adds different textures to this soup
  • Can feed a crowd – quick to prepare and oh so satisfying in flavor, this soup should be a staple in your home
Mushroom Soup in a serving bowl

Recipe Ingredients, Variations and Substitutions 

ingredients to make Polish Mushroom Soup

Wild dry mushrooms – this is what gives this soup delicious earthy and umami flavor; rinsing and proper hydration is important; if you don’t have dried mushrooms, use more of the fresh kind

Baby bella mushrooms, fresh – they add great texture to the soup; make sure to slice them uniformly for even cooking;  you can also use white cap or other wild fresh mushrooms available at the grocery store;

Water – hot water is needed to rehydrate the dried mushrooms; don’t toss the soaking water, keep it and use in this or other soup, stew recipes

Carrots – fresh, peeled and diced; I like small dice for this soup, but you can adjust to your liking; sweet potatoes could be a good substitute

Celery sticks – finely diced, adding nice crunch to the soup; you can also use celeriac root or fennel;

Onion – I used medium size yellow onion; you can also use leeks or shallots; the flavor may be slightly different but still delicious

Peppercorns, allspice and bay leaves – flavor boosters; use fresh whenever possible; if you don’t have allspice – sub with pinch of cloves; for peppercorns you can use black pepper, and for bay leaves you can use dried thyme, oregano or basil. Star with small amounts as dried herbs are more potent than fresh

Mushroom water – this is left over from rehydrating the dried mushrooms. Liquid gold, never toss, use is sops, stews and sauces

Broth – I used bone broth but chicken broth, beef broth, and vegetable broth will also work great in this recipe; 

Olive oil – we are using it to sauté the veggies; you can also use butter, ghee, tallow or vegetable oil 

Sour cream – this is used along with the flour to create that creamy finish for this soup. You can use Greek yogurt instead. If you don’t have either one, heavy whipping cream will work nicely as well. I would recommend starting with half a cup.

Smoked paprika – adds a subtle smoky note to the soup. Use it based on your preference, sub with regular paprika or skip.

Dill weed – this just makes the soup complete. Use dried or fresh, but don’t skip it. 

Mushroom Soup in a serving bowl

Equipment you will need:

  • Large cooking pot
  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s knife
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Strainer
  • Paper towel
  • Medium size bowl
  • Slotted spoon
  • Whisk

How To Make Polish Mushroom Soup (Step by Step Instructions)

  • Rehydrate the dried mushrooms: Bring 2-3 glasses of water to boil. While the water is cooking, rinse the dried mushrooms under running water. You can also brush them lightly using a pastry brush. 
  • Place the dried mushrooms in a medium size bowl and pour over the hot water. Cover with a lid (optional) and set aside for at least 2 hours up to overnight. 
  • Using a slotted spoon remove the reconstituted mushrooms from the bowl. Set them aside. 
  • Set another clean bowl with a strainer on top lined with a paper towel. Slowly pour the mushroom soaking liquid through the strainer with a paper filter. This is to remove any leftover impurities from the dried mushrooms. You will be left with clear mushroom water. Set aside the strained soaking liquid later use.

  • Prepare your veggies (carrots, celery and onion). Wash, peel and chop. For this soup I chopped them into small pieces.
  • Chop the reconstituted mushrooms
  • Clean the fresh mushrooms and slice them into even thickness pieces. (insert block how to do that)

  • In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. 
  • Add onions, carrots, celery and fresh mushrooms.
  • Cook the mushroom mixture 5-10 minutes until the vegetables are softened and mushrooms released their water and started to brown
  • Transfer all into a large soup pot. Add the rest of ingredients: rehydrated mushrooms, aromatics, spices, broth and mushroom water. 

  • Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook on low heat for 15-20 minutes. 
  • While the soup is cooking, prepare the cream. In a small bowl combine sour cream and flour. Mix well, until no more lumps and you have smooth paste. 

  • Temper the cream. Remove a few ladles of the clear soup from the pan and set aside to cool slightly. Slowly start adding the broth into the cream paste. Using whisk stir each time until combined. 
  • Pour the tempered cream into the simmering soup. Stir to combine. 
  • Cook few more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Garnish with fresh dill and a dollop of cream

How to clean mushrooms:

  • To clean the mushrooms gently wipe each one using a damp cloth or paper towel. Alternatively you can use a soft brush to remove any dirt. Brush in a downward motion to avoid pushing dirt into the gills
  • Only trim the very end of the stems if they look dry or discolored. Keep the stems intact, as they contribute to the overall flavor.
  • Avoid submerging the mushrooms in water. They will absorb all that moisture and become soggy. Their texture and flavor may be compromised.  

Most Common mistakes to avoid

  • Not soaking the dried mushrooms for long enough – this will result in uneven cooking and less flavor in the mushroom water
  • Overcooking the mushroom – yes, they can become mushy, soggy if cooked for too long. 
  • Rushing the sauté step – let the veggies cook together to release their juices and flavors; this is base of the soup and will result in deeper more complex flavors.
  • Not using the mushroom water – it is the secret that is making this soup so deep in umami flavor and delicious. 
  • Adding too much flour to the cream – this may result in think and unbalanced soup
  • Not tempering the cream – if you add it to hot soup it may curdle.  

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Storage instructions, reheating

  • Refrigeration:
    • Transfer the soup to an airtight container once it has cooled to room temperature. Refrigerate promptly to prevent spoiling.
    • If possible separate dairy, and add when reheating.
    • Label the container to keep track of freshness
    • Use within 3-4 days for optimal flavor and safety.
  • Freezing:
    • Cool the soup completely;
    • Portion the soup into freezer-safe containers or heavy duty freezer bags. Leave some space for expansion.
    • Use within 2-3 months for the best quality and taste.  
  • Thawing Frozen Soup: thaw it in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Reheating:
    • Stovetop: Place the soup in a saucepan and reheat over low to medium heat. Stir occasionally to ensure even warming. Add extra broth if needed to improve the consistency.
    • Microwave: always use microwave – safe container; reheat in short intervals, stirring in between to distribute the heat evenly. Be cautious with dairy to prevent curdling.
    • Avoid Boiling: heat the soup gently, avoid boiling to maintain the texture of the mushrooms.

Fresh vs Dried Mushrooms

Fresh Baby Bella Mushrooms:

  • Fresh baby bellas have a milder and more delicate flavor. Their earthy notes are well balanced by mildly sweet notes.
  • The texture of fresh baby bellas is more pronounced. When sliced and cooked, they maintain a chewy yet tender texture.

Dried Baby Bella Mushrooms:

  • Intense Flavor, just like with herbs, drying intensifies the flavor of mushrooms. concentrating their natural earthy and umami notes. The results is more robust and rich taste.
  • Umami Explosion: Dried baby bellas, once rehydrated, become rich in umami. They contribute a depth of flavor that can elevate dishes like soups, stews and sauces.

Recipe Considerations:

  • Depending on the recipe, you might choose between dried or fresh baby bella mushrooms. Dried ones are fantastic for infusing a concentrated mushroom flavor, while fresh ones bring a pleasing texture and more subtle taste.
  • When using dried baby bella mushrooms, the rehydration process is crucial. It not only brings them back to life but also infuses the liquid with their potent flavor.

Mushroom Soup in a serving bowl

Polish Mushroom Soup

Up until I made this Polish Mushroom soup I thought Tomato was my favorite. Ohh, was I wrong. This soup is just amazing. Rich in umami and earthy flavors, light but satisfying. This soup should be year round on your menu.
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Rehydrating Mushrooms 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 5 minutes
Course Dinner, Soup
Cuisine Polish
Servings 6
Calories 227 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 large cooking pot
  • 1 cutting board
  • 1 chef's knife
  • 1 vegetable peeler
  • 1 measuring cups and spoons
  • 1 strainer
  • 1 paper towel
  • 1 ladle
  • 1 slotted spoon
  • 1 whisk
  • 1 medium size bowl

Ingredients
  

  • 1.5 oz dry mushrooms sub: more fresh mushrooms
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced sub: sweet potato
  • 6 peppercorns, whole sub: black pepper
  • 6 allspice berries sub: pinch of cloves
  • 2 bay leaves sub: dried thyme, oregano, basil
  • 1 medium onion, diced sub: leeks, shallots
  • 2 celery sticks, diced sub: celeriac root, fennel
  • 8 oz baby bella mushrooms sub: white cap mushrooms
  • 4 tbsp olive oil sub: butter, ghee, vegetable oil
  • 2 cups mushroom water sub: more broth
  • 4-6 cups broth sub: use any kind you have
  • 2 tsp dill weed sub: fresh dill, parsley
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika sub: regular paprika or skip
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup sour cream sub: Greek yogurt or heavy whipping cream

Instructions
 

  • Rehydrate the dried mushrooms: Bring 2-3 glasses of water to boil. While the water is cooking, rinse the dried mushrooms under running water. You can also brush them lightly using a pastry brush.
  • Place the dried mushrooms in a medium size bowl and pour over the hot water. Cover with a lid (optional) and set aside for at least 2 hours up to overnight.
  • Using a slotted spoon remove the reconstituted mushrooms from the bowl. Set them aside.
  • Set another clean bowl with a strainer on top lined with a paper towel. Slowly pour the mushroom water through the strainer with a paper filter. This is to remove any leftover impurities from the dried mushrooms. You will be left with clear mushroom water. Set aside for later use.
  • Prepare your veggies (carrots, celery and onion). Wash, peel and chop. For this soup I chopped them into small pieces.
  • Chop the reconstituted mushrooms
  • Clean the fresh mushrooms and slice them into even thickness pieces. (insert block how to do that)
  • In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add onions, carrots, celery and fresh mushrooms.
  • Cook 5-10 minutes until the vegetables are softened and mushrooms released their water and started to brown
  • Transfer all into a large soup pot. Add the rest of ingredients: rehydrated mushrooms, aromatics, spices, broth and mushroom water.
  • Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook on low heat for 15-20 minutes.
  • While the soup is cooking, prepare the cream. In a small bowl combine sour cream and flour. Mix well, until no more lumps and you have smooth paste.
  • Temper the cream. Remove a few ladles of the clear soup from the pan and set aside to cool slightly. Slowly start adding the broth into the cream paste. Using whisk stir each time until combined.
  • Pour the tempered cream into the simmering soup. Stir to combine.
  • Cook few more minutes
  • Garnish with fresh dill and a dollop of cream

Notes

  • Don’t forget to check out the subsutition options in the blog post above.
 
  • Remember these common mistakes while cooking:
    • Not soaking the dried mushrooms for long enough – this will result in uneven cooking and less flavor in the mushroom water
    • Not using the mushroom water – it is the secret that is making this soup so deep in umami flavor and delicious.
    • Rushing the sauté step –  let the veggies cook together to release their juices and flavors meld
    • Adding too much flour to the cream – this may result in think and unbalanced soup
    • Not tempering the cream – if you add it to hot soup it may curdle.  
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Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cupCalories: 227kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 3gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 662mgPotassium: 436mgFiber: 2gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 4146IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 63mgIron: 1mg
Keyword dried mushrooms, mushrooms, polish soup, soup
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Did you make this recipe?

Mushroom Soup in a serving bowl

Conclusion

So what do you think? Are you going to make this mushroom soup zupa grzybowa? I strongly advice you do so. The combination of flavors of dried (rehydrated) and fresh mushrooms gives this soup rich, earthy and very umami flavor. The veggies fill this soup with variety of textures, making it very enjoyable.

The best tasting Polish Mushroom Soup FAQ

While you can use various mushrooms, some popular choices include cremini, shiitake, and porcini. The selection can influence the soup’s flavor profile.

How do I rehydrate dried mushrooms properly for soup?

Place dried mushrooms in hot water and let them soak for 20-30 minutes, up to 2 hours or even overnight. Strain and reserve the mushroom-infused liquid for extra flavor in the soup. Please click HERE to read more about how to properly rehydrate mushrooms.

Is it necessary to sauté fresh mushrooms before adding them to the soup?

Sautéing fresh mushrooms enhances their flavor and texture, adding depth to the soup. It’s a recommended step for optimal results.

Can I make mushroom soup in advance and reheat it later?

Yes, mushroom soup often tastes even better after flavors have melded. Reheat gently to avoid overcooking the mushrooms.

What’s the purpose of adding sour cream to mushroom soup?

Sour cream adds creaminess and a tangy flavor to the soup. It should be added just before serving to prevent curdling.

Can I freeze mushroom soup?

Yes, mushroom soup can be frozen, but it’s recommended to leave out the dairy (sour cream) before freezing. Reheat and add the dairy when serving. Click HERE to read more about storage instructions.

How can I make mushroom soup gluten-free?

Substitute flour with a gluten-free alternative like cornstarch or arrowroot powder for thickening.

What herbs and spices pair well with mushroom soup?

Dill, thyme, rosemary, and smoked paprika complement the earthy flavor of mushrooms. Adjust quantities based on personal preference.

Can I make mushroom soup without using broth?

While broth enhances the flavor, you can use water and rely on the natural essence of the mushrooms, especially if you have a rich mushroom-infused liquid.

How can I fix an overly salty mushroom soup?

If your soup is too salty, dilute it by adding more unsalted broth, water, or a potato to absorb excess salt. Adjust seasonings accordingly.

How can I thicken mushrooms soup

  1. Flour or Cornstarch Slurry:
    • Mix 2-3 tablespoons of flour or cornstarch with an equal amount of cold water to create a smooth paste (slurry).
    • Gradually whisk the slurry into the soup while it’s simmering.
    • Continue cooking and stirring until the soup reaches your desired thickness.
  2. Roux:
    • In a separate pan, melt equal parts butter and flour to create a roux.
    • Whisk the roux into the mushroom soup.
    • Allow the soup to simmer until it thickens to your liking.
  3. Mashed Potatoes or Beans:
    • For a healthier option, you can puree a small amount of cooked potatoes or beans and stir them into the soup. You can also puree a cup or so of the soup and add it back.
    • This adds thickness and a subtle creamy texture.
  4. Heavy Cream or Milk:
    • Adding a small amount of heavy cream or milk can contribute to creaminess and thicken the soup.
    • Be cautious not to boil vigorously after adding dairy to prevent curdling.

Can I make it without the cream?

Blend soaked cashews or almonds with a bit of water to create a creamy nut-based mixture. Stir this into the soup for added richness.

Can I make it without dairy?

Yes, of course. Here are few alternatives you can use instead of dairy:

  • Coconut Milk or Cream – use either one to achieve creamy texture. This also adds a unique flavor that pairs well with mushrooms.
  • Nut Milk – Almond milk, cashew milk, or any nut-based milk can be used to achieve a creamy consistency without dairy.
  • Pureed Vegetables – Blend a portion of the cooked mushrooms or add pureed vegetables like potatoes, cauliflower, or butternut squash for a naturally creamy texture.
  • Olive Oil or Coconut Oil – instead of butter, use olive oil or coconut oil for sautéing the vegetables. This adds richness without dairy
  • Nutritional Yeast – For a slightly cheesy flavor, you can add nutritional yeast to the soup. It’s a common dairy-free substitute for a cheesy umami taste

Can I add lemon juice to my Polish Mushroom Soup?

Absolutely! Adding lemon juice to Polish Mushroom Soup can enhance its flavors. The acidity from the lemon brightens the earthy and umami notes of the mushrooms, adding a fresh and slightly tangy dimension to the soup.

What are the benefits of eating mushroom soup?

There are several potential health benefits of eating mushroom soup.

  1. Nutrient-Rich: Mushroom soup is a good source of essential nutrients, including vitamins and minerals.
  2. Low in Calories: It’s often a low-calorie option, making it suitable for those looking to manage their calorie intake.
  3. Rich in Antioxidants: Mushrooms are known to contain antioxidants, which may contribute to overall health.
  4. Supports Immune Function: Certain compounds in mushrooms, may have immune-boosting properties.
  5. Dietary Fiber: If the soup includes vegetables, it can contribute to your daily fiber intake, aiding in digestion.
  6. Versatility: Mushroom soup is versatile, allowing for the incorporation of various mushroom varieties and complementary herbs and spices, enhancing both flavor and nutrition.
Mushroom Soup in a serving bowl

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