Polish Mushroom Soup Recipe — Zupa Grzybowa

polish mushroom soup

I kind of can’t believe I made this. I can’t believe I made it and liked it. Seriously. I have hated mushrooms for as long as I have had teeth and … funny story about that.

In preschool, I bit this kid on the arm once. Hard enough to break the skin. If you’ve never done that, it’s gross. It’s taut between your pointy baby canine teeth and then, suddenly, it’s a hole. The hole tastes like minerals and vampire breath. Blech. It gives way with a little “pop!” and for YEARS, that bouncy pop! was all I could think of when my teeth rubbed up against a mushroom. And so I hated them for that reason. Well, that plus the dirt-taste.

But then, I guess about two years ago I was at a stranger’s house for lunch — it wasn’t as unusual as that sounds — and she was making us an omelet and threw some braised portobellos in there. And who was I to say, “Excuse me, ma’am, thank you for lunch and all but mushrooms make me hurl and did I mention I am an ungrateful bitch? I’ll be taking my leave now, good day.”

So I ate the omelet, fully expecting to have to covertly spit chunks of it into my napkin but I didn’t because it was tasty and just like that, I liked mushrooms.

All that is to say, here’s a beautiful, creamy mushroom soup recipe for you! The dried mushrooms are really key and porcini (aka King Bolete) are preferred but I can’t find those around here so I use dried oyster mushrooms and they are just fine. You can use low fat sour cream and you can also just add a spoonful of it to individual bowls if you prefer. If you want a smooth soup, feel free to puree all or part of the soup with an immersion blender. Don’t skip the lemon juice! It’s very necessary and delicious.

Mushroom Soup


Mushroom Soup — Christmas in Poland

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5 from 1 review

To make this recipe for a traditional fasting Wigilia, omit the sour cream

  • Author: Hilah Johnson


  • 1/2 ounce dried mushrooms (oyster, porcini)
  • 2 large potatoes
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large onion, small diced
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • dash nutmeg
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  1. Put the dried mushrooms in a bowl and pour 1 cup hot water over them. Allow to sit 2-8 hours.
  2. Cut the carrot into small bite-sized pieces. Peel and dice the potato. Mince the celery. Combine in a large pot with the water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and bay leaf. Bring to boil and then reduce heat and simmer until potato and carrot are tender, about 15 minutes. It’s okay if the potatoes break up. They will thicken the soup.
  3. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat and saute onion and mushrooms with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Drain the soaked mushrooms, reserving the liquid, and chop coarsely. Add them to the pan along with the soaking liquid that has been strained to remove dirt and grit.
  4. Simmer the mushrooms and onions until liquid has absorbed fully.
  5. Add these to the vegetables and broth along with nutmeg and parsley and simmer 10 minutes.
  6. Stir in sour cream and lemon juice at the end.

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mushroom soup recipe


  1. cardamonbraid on December 7, 2013 at 11:50 am

    WOW to recipes in a row that were perfect. There was a DIVE in Wisconsin that use to make a polish mushroom soup. The sold the place and what did the new owners drop but the mushroom soup. I was bummed, but I am bummed no longer Taksa Mychet Hilah

    • Hilah on December 8, 2013 at 2:56 pm

      Hooray! I hope this is close to the one you remember. If you make any changes to it, let me know what you do!

      • ELIZABETH A WINES on November 26, 2023 at 10:52 am

        i always used kirsch dried mushrooms canno9t find them what can I use?

  2. Diane on December 7, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    I adore mushrooms and will definitely be making this. Also have found dried porcini and WF and World Market (and possibly Fresh Plus). Anyhoo, here’s to soup in the cold weather!

    • Hilah on December 8, 2013 at 2:57 pm

      Thanks, Diane! I’ll have to look at World Market. They have such an unusual selection of things. I love their food department.

  3. Natalia on December 9, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    Ohhhhh dont tell me u polish?!?! I am, (born n raised in Poland!!!) n im gonna make it for sure, ok let me stop before i get too sentimental :)))

    • Hilah on December 9, 2013 at 7:07 pm

      Hi Natalia!
      I’m not Polish, but I am doing a series of recipes from around the world. If you have any favorite Polish recipes, please share them!

  4. Bob on December 12, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    That is one groovy soup bowl/plate. I have not seen it before. Drip stuff to the sides and it runs back in. I’m headed to the kitchen shop to get a couple. Does it have a name? BTW, Polish girls are HOT.

    • Natalia on December 12, 2013 at 10:15 pm

      U sure right, we are HOT 😉

    • Hilah on December 14, 2013 at 10:40 am

      I’m not sure what it is called. I got it at IKEA, though.

      • Bob on December 16, 2013 at 12:52 am

        Thanks, IKEA just calls it a “bowl”, page 294.

  5. Shannon on January 6, 2014 at 12:24 am

    Thank you so much for posting this recipe. I am still in search of the mushroom soup my grandmother made on Christmas eve, she did not leave the recipe behind. Her mushroom soup used a stock I believe out of sho!t ribs. Also she served it with mashed potatoes. The sour cream sounds the same. Thank you. Please if you hear of a recipe that sounds like the one I am searching for let me know.

    • Hilah on January 6, 2014 at 4:19 pm

      Will do! Hope this one is close at least, Shannon.

    • Candy l on October 8, 2019 at 7:26 pm

      Your Grandma May have used pork ribs. We have a recipe in our family made with pork and sauerkraut, potatoes (cooked very soft, or mashed), a wild mushroom called “honey mushroom” (Armelaria. Mellea), lots of pepper, maybe some chicken stock? The soup was simmered for Christmas Eve, served over the potatoes. I believe you could use Shiitake mushrooms or Cremini as a substitute . As I remember it we used pork ribs or pork shoulder, I think they were roasted then the meat used in the soup. Sauté some onions, add in the pork, some chicken or pork stock, some sauerkraut and the mushrooms , pepper to taste. Cook the potatoes until very soft or mashed and ladle the soup over it.

      • Hilah on October 14, 2019 at 7:47 am

        Thanks for sharing this recipe. It sounds delicious!

  6. Wayne H on January 9, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    The United States is the only fungophobic country in the world. I can’t believe you can’t find Porcini (Boletus Edulis) at the store. They sell them here at Safeway in Colorado, along with other dried mushrooms, right above the fresh mushrooms, but I pick my own.

    • Wayne H on January 9, 2015 at 3:06 pm

      ALSO: Use the water your= reconstituted the dried mushrooms in as part of the water you’re using the for the soup, replacing tap water.

      • Hilah on January 10, 2015 at 8:28 am

        Great idea. Thanks, Wayne!

  7. Gaye Lowe on March 13, 2020 at 1:22 pm

    Is this gluten free and vegan – without the sour cream and using vegetable stock?

    • Hilah on March 17, 2020 at 11:33 am

      Yes and use oil instead of butter

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