Wild mushroom soup


Mushroom soup made with chanterelle mushrooms

With wild mushrooms growing in such abundance in Sweden it is no surprise that svampsoppa (mushroom soup) is an absolute classic in Swedish cuisine. It can be dressed up to make a very impressive starter or, with some nice bread, it can make a hearty lunch.

In the autumn Swedes would normally make it with whatever mushrooms they have foraged. Many Swedes I know seem to be at their happiest when they have got back from a successful forage armed with a basket or two full of wild mushrooms!

Mushrooms dry well and so at other times of year Swedes would normally use dried mushrooms. Any wild mushrooms can be turned into a good soup. If I am using fresh mushrooms, kantareller (chanterelles/girolles) are my favourites, simply because of their wonderful golden colour. If I am using dried mushrooms, I prefer to use trattkantareller (funnel chanterelles or yellowfoots) because they rehydrate well and they are so full of flavour.

There are two recipes below because kantarellsoppa (chanterelle soup), which has a more subtle flavour, requires more mushrooms to be successful, whilst trattkantarellsoppa (funnel chanterelle soup) is more economic and only needs a small quantity of dried mushrooms. Both are superb! John Duxbury


Recipe summary for mushroom soup


• If using fresh wild mushrooms clean them with a brush or a damp cloth, but try to avoid washing them.

Dried chanterelle mushrooms being soaked

• If using dried mushrooms, use water at room temperature to rehydrate them. Although dried mushrooms are often rehydrated with hot water they will be better flavoured if you use water at room temperature although it takes a little bit longer, 30 minutes instead of 15-20 minutes. (Always strain the liquid afterwards, through muslin if necessary, and reserve the liquid to add to the stock.)


25 g (1 oz) butter
2   shallots, peeled and finely diced
400 g (14 oz) chanterelle (girolle) mushrooms*
480 ml (2 cups) chicken or vegetable stock
240 ml (1 cup) whipping cream
25 g (1 oz) parsley, finely chopped
    salt and white pepper

*Or 60 g (2½ oz) dried mushrooms


1. Reserve about a dozen of the best looking mushrooms to be used as a garnish. Coarsely chop the rest.

2. Heat a large saucepan on a low heat. When hot, add a tablespoon of butter and sauté the shallots for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until soft but not coloured.

3. Increase the heat and add the mushrooms and stock. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes.

4. Pour everything into a blender and blend thoroughly. Pour the soup back into the saucepan through a strainer. Reheat.

5. Meanwhile fry the reserved mushrooms in the remaining butter, slicing them up a bit if they are very big. When they have browned nicely remove them, pat them dry with paper towel and keep warm. (If they become watery when frying continue heating until the water evaporates.)

6. Add the cream to the soup and heat through without boiling.

A bowl of wild mushrooms soup

7. Pour the soup into warm bowls and garnish with the fried mushrooms and chopped parsley.


Funnel chanterelle soup

A dish of funnel chanterelle soup

This recipe can be used with any type of dried mushrooms, but funnel chanterelles are my favourite.


30 g (1¼ oz) dried mushrooms
500 ml (2 cups) water
2 tbsp   butter
2   red onions, finely chopped
2   garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbsp   flour
500 ml (2 cups) good quality chicken or vegetable stock
½ tsp   freshly chopped thyme
½ tsp   salt
¼ tsp   freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp   dry sherry
90 ml (6 tbsp) cream


1. Soak the mushrooms in 500 ml (1 cup) of water at room temperature for 30 minutes.

2. Pick the mushrooms out of the water and put in a sieve over a bowl. Carefully strain the mushroomy water, through muslin if necessary, and add the strained liquid to the stock.

3. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat and add the red onion, garlic and mushrooms. Fry until softened, but not coloured. (If any liquid is produced, continue to heat until it evaporates.)

4. Remove from the heat, sprinkle over the flour and stir it into the onion and mushroom mixture.

5. Gradually add the stock, stirring carefully after each addition, and then add the thyme, salt and pepper.

6. Bring the soup to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes.

7. Add the sherry, cream and adjust the seasoning just before serving.


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