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Cream of Mushroom Soup with Ale and Cumin

Scott Phillips

Servings: 4 to 6

A far cry from the canned version, this rich soup is rounded by hints of warm, toasty cumin and gently bitter brown ale.


  • 2 oz. (4 Tbs.) unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 lb. mixed fresh mushrooms, trimmed and coarsely chopped (about 5 cups)
  • 1/2 cup brown ale, such as Newcastle
  • 3 medium leeks (white and light green parts only), sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick and rinsed well (2-1/2 to 3 cups)
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 quart lower-salt chicken broth
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 12 small fried sage leaves

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 220
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 150
  • Fat (g): 17
  • Saturated Fat (g): 8
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7
  • Cholesterol (mg): 35
  • Sodium (mg): 260
  • Carbohydrates (g): 12
  • Fiber (g): 2
  • Protein (g): 7


  • Heat 2 Tbs. of the butter and the oil in a 6-quart pot over medium-high heat until the butter melts. Add the cumin and cook, stirring often, until a shade darker, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms, turn the heat up to medium high, and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Reserve 2 Tbs. of the mushrooms for garnish.
  • Add the ale and cook, stirring often, until absorbed, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the leeks and the remaining 2 Tbs. butter and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute more.
  • Remove the pot from the heat, add the broth, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper, and stir, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Working in batches, purée the soup in a blender.
  • Clean the pot, return the soup to it, add the cream, and bring to a simmer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with the reserved mushrooms and fried sage, if using.


Rate or Review

Reviews (3 reviews)

  • Denmark2 | 11/22/2015

    There is an imbalance between the mushrooms, the leeks, and the cumin; and the mushrooms lose out. The leeks and cumin predominate. The soup is improved somewhat by letting the mushroom/leek mixture simmer in the stock before blending. It is also better the day after it is made when the flavors have had time to meld. All in all, there are too many good mushroom soups to spend much time on this one.

  • User avater
    Pielove | 11/05/2014

    This was really tasty-- I love the hint of cumin! Ours had a good balance of mushroom and leek flavors, with neither overwhelming the other. Even my 9-year-old kid loved it.

  • user-4082459 | 10/29/2014

    This was really disappointing. The soup lacked the richness and earthiness I was hoping for and ended up tasting and looking like leek soup. The toasted cumin was really nice, but this soup needs way more mushrooms (or way fewer leeks), and maybe I would roast them first.

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