Oliver & Bonacini’s Mushroom Soup

mushroomsoupLast week, David and I enjoyed dinner at Canoe to celebrate our first anniversary (yay!). It was a lovely meal, from the 54-foot high view to the attentive service. One of the highlights for both of us was the mushroom soup, which we ordered as an appetizer. It was earthy, incredibly mushroom-y, and — best of all for lactose-intolerant me — dairy free (except for a small garnish of creme fraiche). I am a sucker for anything with mushrooms (I haven’t met a mushroom I didn’t like; we even successfully grew some oyster mushrooms this summer) and was eager to replicate this soup at home. Fortunately, the Toronto Star helped me out by having this recipe in its archives. We tried it today and have declared it part of our soup cycle.

This recipe is fast (less than 45 minutes!), healthy, vegetarian (can easily be made vegan if you omit the yogurt/cream garnish), and most importantly — delicious.

Oliver & Bonacini’s Mushroom Soup

Serves 4 | Original Source


  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped yellow onions (about 1 small)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Chopped leaves from 1 sprig thyme
  • 6 cups (1.5L) diced assorted mushrooms (such as shiitake, oyster and king oyster — I used cremini, oyster and reconstituted dried shiitakes and used the soaking liquid as part of the water)
  • Kosher salt + freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups (1L) water
  • 1 bay leaf

Optional garnishes:

  • Truffle oil
  • Chopped chives / parsley / cilantro
  • Trimmed enoki mushrooms
  • Plain yogurt / sour cream / creme fraiche


  1. In large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium. Add onions, garlic and thyme. Cook, stirring, 6 minutes, to soften, reducing heat if onions start to brown. Add mushrooms in 4 batches, seasoning each layer with salt and pepper and stirring constantly. (This allows each batch to cook down slowly.) Add water and bay leaf. Raise heat to high; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Discard bay leaf. For coarse soup, purée using hand-held immersion blender. For creamy soup, purée in blender.
  3. Return to pot over medium heat. Taste; adjust salt and pepper if needed. Serve immediately, or refrigerate overnight to let flavours develop.
  4. If desired, top each serving with a drizzle of truffle oil, sprinkling of chives, several enokis and a dollop of yogurt.

Makes 4 servings (about 4 cups/1L).