For lunch: Spicy Garlic Mushroom Soup

by Shumaila

V loves Indian food. He prefers it to all other cuisines. And unlike me, he is not too experimental with his food. Give him dal chawal (a rice and lentil Indian dish) 365 days of the year (366, in case its a leap year), he will be a satisfied customer.

So, when I decide to make something that would be defined “experimental” in his dictionary, I have to do a lot of planning. I have to mentally prepare him for it so that he is not caught by surprise. And if its a vegetable he doesn’t like, my task is made that much more difficult.

Now, V is not particularly crazy about mushrooms.

And if V is not particularly crazy about something, that thing will not get anywhere near him.

I, on the other hand, love mushrooms. And, alas, me being ‘the quintessential Indian wife’ (barf!) that I am, mushrooms don’t feature on our grocery list.

Well, 9 out of ten times they don’t.

But then, if V is a stubbron Taurean, I am an undaunting Capricorn. And I take things like these as challenges. As a result, there have been occasions in the past where I have tried to get him to eat mushrooms- the spinach & mushroom fettuccine and Mushroom Pesto Pizza being examples of the aforementioned occasions. And, since I am the one who cooks everything, he is left with no choice but to eat.

Either that or he has to go hungry.

Like I mentioned, I am the quintessential Indian wife.

So, when these baby bellas that had been lying in the refrigerator, were on the verge of going bad, I was made to test my undaunting nature once again.

I turned to foodgawker and saw this.

Yup, garlic-mushroom soup was what I was going to make!

So I set off with the planning yesterday. V was informed of my decision and obviously, was not too happy with it. But the diplomat Taurean tried his best to not show it. His bad luck! *Who told him to be so nice!*

Anyway, I went ahead with the plan and made it for lunch today.

A couple of bites into the soup, this is how our conversation went:

The Undaunting Quintessential Indian wife: So, what’s your opinion on mushrooms now?

The diplomatic, stubborn, picky Taurean husband: Hmmmm, at least now I know I can order mushroom soup next time we go out.

The Undaunting Quintessential Indian wife: (triumphant smile)


The soup has some heat to it thanks to the dried red chilli pepper I used. The original recipe calls for drizzling some hot chile oil, but it had enough heat, so I skipped that part. I used baby bellas, but button mushrooms would do- that’s what the original recipe calls for. The color and flavor will change accordingly. I have used oregano here, since my garden is overflowing with it, but feel free to substitute it with thyme.

Adapted from here

Serves 3


  • 8 oz baby bellas, sliced
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, finely chopped ( roasted garlic would also do)
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 tsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 medium onion (about 1 cup), finely chopped
  • 2-3 dried red chilli, crushed
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup milk, divided
  • 2 cups water (stock would also do- I used water)


  1. Heat 1 tsp EVOO and 1 tsp butter. Sauté the garlic till golden.
  2. Add the mushrooms, cook till roasted and light brown in color. Remove from heat and set aside in a bowl.
  3. In the same pan, add butter and olive oil, 1 tsp each. Saute till translucent.
  4. Add oregano leaves, pepper, kosher salt and crushed dried red chilli. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the flour and cook for a few seconds.
  6. Add 1/2 cup milk and let simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Add 3/4 of the mushrooms and let cook for another 3-4 minutes. This here is a great cream sauce to put on bread and eat like that.
  8. Switch off the heat and transfer everything to a blender and carefully blend till it is pureed (the sauce is hot, so let a little steam escape before closing the lid of the blender).
  9. Return to the pan, add rest of the milk, water and the rest of the mushrooms. Simmer at low for about 10 more minutes. Remove from heat and squirt a teensy bit of lemon juice.
  10. Ladle into individual bowls. Generously drizzle the Spicy Oil on the soup, if you want to.
  11. You can also garnish with crushed Pepper, scallions and thyme, if you want to.

Knoblauchcremesuppe (Garlic Cream Soup)