Recipe Review

This Simple-yet-Fancy French Mushroom Soup Is My Favorite Way to Kick Off Thanksgiving

published Nov 10, 2022
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
2 bowls of mushroom soup on table with rust-colored fabric runner. Both soups have been garnished with crème fraîche, herbs, mushroom slices. Gold spoon
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk; Prop Styling: Andie McMahon

Last year I hosted my first Thanksgiving. It was a moment I had anticipated for years, given my love of cooking, and one I obsessed over, as cooking is also my career and I really didn’t want to mess it up. I envisioned a true sit-down dinner rather than something that was more rushed and buffet in style. And because I was only hosting a small group, I could make that happen.

Serving soup before the meal always felt equally fancy and fussy to me, but when I came across Dorie Greenspan’s Paris mushroom soup, which she prepared for Kitchn’s Thanksgiving Food Fest, I felt confident it could be a special starter without extra hassle. It was all that and more, and now it’s a soup I plan to make for years to come.

A Case for Serving Soup Before the Turkey

I know soup doesn’t seem necessary before an abundance of turkey and side dishes, but Dorie’s mushroom soup convinced me that it is. The simple affair of blended mushrooms — enhanced with aromatics, herbs, and white wine — is understated, and that’s exactly the point. When served in small, individual bowls, it allows everyone to stop and savor before the main affair ensues — a moment true to the character of the holiday, in the best way possible.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk; Prop Styling: Andie McMahon

What Makes This Mushroom Soup Special

What’s especially nice about this soup is it’s satisfying but not heavy, leaving you plenty of room for the stuffing. That means if you have vegetarian guests, they could easily serve themselves another bowl to round out their meal.

It also comes together with ease days before Thanksgiving. I prepared it in full on Monday and refrigerated it in an airtight container until Thursday. I reheated it gently over the stove while I sliced the raw mushrooms and herbs for the salad garnish (which you definitely shouldn’t skip, because it lends just the right amount of texture to each spoonful). You can even make and freeze the soup a few weeks or months in advance, if you’d really like to get ahead. That leaves you really with no reason not to kick of Thanksgiving with this soup.