Umami-Bomb Creamy Mushroom Soup on

Umami-Bomb Creamy Mushroom Soup

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Good and Good for You Living on

Umami-Bomb Creamy Mushroom Soup on

Mushroom Magic

Mushroom Soup is a classic, comforting soup, perfect for this time of year. Mushrooms are having a moment! They are popping up at traditional grocery stores, farmer’s markets, doctor’s offices, and even on our screens with informative films like Fantastic Fungi – and scary zombie apocalypse shows like The Last of Us.

Read on for this great recipe, more info on a best life living tip that explains what mushrooms and ham bones have in common, and a self-care technique that can change your brain.

Maitake mushrooms on
Maitake mushrooms aka Hen of the Woods

What is Umami?

Mushrooms are a rich, low-calorie source of fiber, protein, and antioxidants. (I am a huge fan and even added mushroom coffee to the very rich and delicious  Mocha Mushroom Chocolate Pudding!)

They are also celebrated as mood enhancers, plant-forward meat replacements, and functional foods to benefit our brain and nervous systems. And, mushrooms may also help to lessen the risk of developing serious health conditions, such as Alzheimer’s, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

mushrooms on
(From the bottom left corner: shiitake mushrooms, white button mushrooms, and morel mushrooms)

Best Life Living Tip

The “best life living tip” I can share is to eat food that tastes good! No one wants sad food. Food science and the concept of umami are important when it comes to building flavor without excess sugar, salt, and fat.

Umami is the savory flavor you find in foods such as meat, cheese, mushrooms, and soy sauce. It is the fifth taste after sour, salty, bitter, and sweet.

According to the Mushroom Council umami is important as

  • Flavor enhancement: The more umami present in food, the more flavorful it will be.
  • Enhances satisfaction: Umami creates both appetite appeal and satiety, the feeling of being gratified to the fullest extent.
  • Less salt use: Umami counterbalances saltiness and allows up to a 50 percent salt reduction without compromising flavor.
  • Brings out the best: Umami highlights sweetness and lessens bitterness.

Scientifically, umami is the distinctive flavor of amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. Umami-rich foods have big bold flavors. Think about classic Caesar salad dressing, a combination of egg protein and salted anchovies. Or old-fashioned greens simmered with ham. Or this cream-less creamy soup, in which the mushroom flavor is complemented by a dollop of miso and freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Photo by <a href="">Jacqueline Munguía</a> on <a href="">Unsplash</a>

Self Care Technique

Mushrooms are considered “brain food.” There’s brain health in terms of consuming foods that are good and good for your brain. This includes salmon, beans, berries, dark greens, and more. Another side of “brain health” is not what we ingest through our mouths, but also what we consume with our thoughts.

John Hopkins Medicine reports, “The mechanism for the connection between health and positivity remains murky, but researchers suspect that people who are more positive may be better protected against the inflammatory damage of stress.”

Our brain’s chemistry affects how we feel! Cortisol decreases when we think happy thoughts or feel joy, and the brain creates serotonin in response to our positive emotions. When serotonin levels are normal, one feels happy, calm, less anxious, more focused, and emotionally stable


Ideas and Inspiration from Experts

Super excited about this book, Mushroom Gastronomy coming out in June. You can pre-order now. It’s by Krista Towns, aka @themushroomgourmet on IG and the Culinary Editor of Fungi magazine. Check her out at

Check out my IG reel of how to make this amazing Umami-Bomb Creamy Mushroom Soup.

Bon Appétit Y’all!

Virginia Willis

Umami-Bomb Creamy Mushroom Soup on

Umami-Bomb Creamy Mushroom Soup on
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Umami-Bomb Creamy Mushroom Soup

Porcini, or cèpes as they are known in French, are incredibly rich, meaty, and fragrant mushrooms. I like to combine an inexpensive mushroom, such as white button, with dried porcini, as the fairly benign white mushrooms will take on the earthy flavor of the porcini. Given the fact that fresh porcini are about thirty dollars a pound when you can find them, this is a very economical alternative.
Prep Time10 minutes
20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Appetizer, dinner, lunch, Soup, supper
Cuisine: American, French
Keyword: baked potato soup, healthy recipes, mushroom, umami
Servings: 6
Calories: 137kcal


  • ½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 T EVOO more for serving
  • 1 onion preferably Vidalia, chopped
  • 2 pounds fresh mushrooms such as white button, cremini, or shiitake, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon white miso
  • 3 cups homemade chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons 0 % skyr or light sour cream, for serving
  • 6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano


  • Add the dried porcini mushrooms to the boiling hot water to plump, about 15 minutes. Remove the mushrooms and squeeze out the excess liquid. Place the mushrooms in a bowl. Strain the soaking liquid through a fine sieve or coffee filter into another bowl. Set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat and add the onion. Cook until the onion is translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the fresh mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are tender, 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Add the stock, reserved mushroom liquid, and miso. Bring to a boil, then decrease the heat to simmer. Cook until the mushrooms are very soft, about 30 minutes.
  • Purée the soup with an immersion blender. Leave it coarse for a more rustic soup, or purée it until smooth for a more elegant soup. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.
  • Ladle into warmed bowls. Dollop with optional skyr or light sour cream. Run a skewer through the cream to create decorative swirls. Garnish with parmesan. Serve immediately.


Calories: 137kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 368mg | Potassium: 680mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 45IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 1mg

food styling by Cynthia Graubart 

Let’s cook something up! If you are interested in hosting me for a speaking engagement, event, cooking class, or book signing, let me know! Send an email to and we’ll be back in touch as soon as possible.

I am not a doctor, RD, or health professional. I am simply sharing what works for me. My blog is for informational or educational purposes only and does not substitute professional medical advice or consultations with healthcare professionals.

Note that this post may contain affiliate links and I may make a commission if you use my affiliate link to buy the product.

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Virginia Willis cookbooks


Please note that this post may contain affiliate links.

Virginia Willis

Georgia-born French-trained chef Virginia Willis has foraged for berries in the Alaskan wilderness, harvested capers in the shadow of a smoldering volcano in Sicily, and executed the food styling for a Super Bowl commercial seen by over 160 million people. She is a James Beard award-winning cookbook author and chef for Food Network Kitchen. Virginia lost 65 pounds and has kept if off for over 3 years. Her health journey has been documented in Eating Well, as a cover story for Woman’s World, Allrecipes, and AARP. Virginia has embraced her new outlook on life and has become a cheerleader for those wanting to make their own life changes, “If a French-trained Southern chef can do it, you can, too!” Her cookbooks include Fresh Start: Cooking with Virginia My Real Life Daily Guide to Healthy Eating and Weight Loss; Secrets of the Southern Table, Lighten Up, Y’all, Bon Appétit, Y’all, Basic to Brilliant, Y’all, Okra, and Grits. She is the former TV kitchen director for Martha Stewart, Bobby Flay, and Nathalie Dupree; has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants; and traveled the world producing food stories – from making cheese in California to escargot farming in France. She has appeared on Alex vs America, The Rachel Ray Show, Food Network’s Chopped, CBS This Morning, Fox Family and Friends, Martha Stewart Living, and as a judge on Throwdown with Bobby Flay. Virginia has also been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, People Magazine, Eater, and Food52. She has contributed to Eating Well, Garden & Gun, and Bon Appétit, and more. Fans love her down-to-earth attitude and approachable spirit. Learn more about Virginia and Good and Good for You Living, a real life health and wellness approach for mind, body, and spirit that includes food, fun, and fitness at

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Holly Chute

    That mushroom soup sounds wonderful

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