Mushroom soup is comforting, warm, and full of delicious umami flavor.
But the humble soup can be elevated to the next level with just a few simple ingredients.
In this article, I’m excited to share my best herbs and spices for transforming an ordinary bowl of mushroom soup into something special.
From classic combinations like thyme and rosemary to bolder flavors like cardamom and oregano, these easy additions take your favorite comfort food up a notch—so let’s get cooking!
Rosemary has a unique flavor that can make any dish stand out!
It’s lemony-pine-like, with hints of minty, sage-like, and peppery notes.
A little goes a long way when it comes to rosemary – start by adding only small amounts to your dishes.
When it comes to mushroom soup specifically, rosemary is the perfect ingredient for elevating the flavors.
The earthy taste of mushrooms pairs perfectly with the herbal aroma of rosemary.
Add just enough so as not to overpower but still bring out all those delicious umami flavors!
Thyme is a classic herb that adds depth and complexity to any dish.
It has a subtle, sharp flavor with hints of mint and earthiness.
When blended with other herbs, it brings out the umami in your dishes making them even more delicious.
When adding thyme to a mushroom soup, you should start off with just 1/2 teaspoon or less as too much can overpower the dish.
As for what ingredients pair well with this versatile herb; garlic, bay leaf, oregano, rosemary, parsley, and onions all work great!
Thyme also pairs well with vegetables like mushrooms and carrots as well as proteins such as fish or chicken.
Parsley has a distinct and recognizable taste.
It’s clean, peppery, and slightly earthy with a subtle hint of natural aromatic oil.
When added to dishes it can bring an extra dimension of flavor that is both unique and refreshing.
When making soup, the amount of parsley you should add will depend on the dish itself as well as your own personal tastes.
As a rule of thumb, try starting with one tablespoon per bowl – this will give you enough flavor without overpowering the other ingredients in the soup.
Parsley pairs particularly well with mushrooms; it helps to enhance their umami flavor while adding its own distinct taste at the same time.
Other ingredients which pair nicely include garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, fresh herbs such as rosemary or thyme, onions, tomatoes, and potatoes – all great additions to any mushroom soup!
4. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is known for its hot, spicy flavor.
It has a hint of sweetness and fruity notes, too.
When added to dishes like soup, it gives them an extra kick without overpowering the flavors of other ingredients.
For mushroom soup specifically, I recommend adding just a pinch or two of cayenne pepper; you don’t want to make it too spicy!
This will add a subtle warmth and depth that complements the umami flavor perfectly.
Ingredients like garlic, onions, thyme, oregano, parsley, mushrooms, and cream cheese all pair nicely with the flavor of cayenne pepper in mushroom soup.
These ingredients can be used either fresh or dried depending on what you have available in your kitchen.
A few drops of Worcestershire sauce also adds another layer of complexity to this comforting dish!
Paprika is a mild and slightly sweet spice that has a subtle peppery flavor.
It’s great for adding warmth and depth to dishes, so it’s perfect for soups like mushroom soup!
When adding paprika to your soup, you can use either the hot or sweet variety depending on how much heat you want.
Start with 1/4 teaspoon and add more to taste.
Paprika pairs very well with other ingredients such as onion, garlic, cumin, oregano, parsley, and basil.
For an extra umami boost in your mushroom soup try adding some Parmesan cheese or smoked paprika too!
Salt is one of the most essential ingredients in any dish, and it’s often used to bring out the flavor of other ingredients.
Salt has a unique taste that can be described as salty, yet it also elicits sourness, sweetness, and bitterness under certain situations.
When adding salt to your mushroom soup, you should start by sprinkling a small amount – about 1 teaspoon per 4 cups of soup – into the pot while cooking.
Taste and adjust accordingly until you get the desired level of saltiness.
Salt brings out the savory umami flavors in mushroom soup so ingredients like garlic, thyme, parsley, and black pepper pair well with this spice/herb.
Cheese is another great addition for an extra bit of richness!
7. Red Pepper Flakes
Red pepper flakes are a great addition to any dish that needs an extra kick of flavor and heat.
They have a slightly sharp and earthy taste, with just enough spice to make your mouth tingle – but not so much that it burns!
When cooking mushroom soup, you don’t need too many red pepper flakes; start by adding in 1/4 teaspoon as this should be enough to give the soup some flavor without overpowering it.
Of course, if you like your soups spicier, feel free to add more.
Ingredients such as garlic, onions, tomatoes, and mushrooms all pair wonderfully with red pepper flakes for umami-rich dishes.
This spice is also great when combined with herbs like oregano or basil for added depth of flavor.
Oregano is a great herb to add to your mushroom soup.
It has a strong, pungent flavor that’s composed of earthy/musty, green, hay, and minty notes.
The taste of oregano is unique – it’s both strongly aromatic and slightly bitter.
It can also impart an astringent mouthfeel if used in larger quantities.
When adding oregano to your soup, start with about one teaspoon for every four servings of soup as a good starting point.
You can always adjust the amount depending on how strong you want the flavor to be.
Oregano pairs really well with other herbs like basil and thyme, as well as spices such as cumin and coriander.
Adding any combination of these ingredients will result in a more complex flavor profile for your mushroom soup!
Sage is a wonderful herb that can add an extra layer of flavor to any dish.
It has a strong, slightly minty and musky taste with a pungent aroma.
Sage pairs well with fatty meats such as pork and goose, but it’s also great for adding complexity to vegetable dishes like mushroom soup!
A little goes a long way; just a teaspoon of ground sage should do the trick for your soup.
Sage combines well with most ingredients, but some flavors work better than others.
When making mushroom soup, I recommend adding garlic and onions to bring out the flavor of the sage even more.
Together they create a delicious umami flavor that’s sure to please all your guests!
You can also try pairing it with other herbs such as thyme or rosemary for an earthier taste or vegetables like carrots or potatoes for added sweetness.
The flavor of basil is complex and unique.
It has a mildly sweet taste, with hints of mint, pepper, anise, and even licorice.
The initial flavor can be quite pungent, so it’s best to add just a little bit at first to get the right balance.
When adding basil to your mushroom soup, start by adding 1/4 teaspoon per serving.
This should give you enough flavor without overpowering the other ingredients in the soup.
If you find that it needs more kick after tasting it, add some more until you reach your desired taste.
Basil goes great with many savory ingredients like mushrooms, onions, and garlic as well as tomatoes and cheese.
You can also pair basil with sweeter flavors – try adding honey or maple syrup for a hint of sweetness!
Basil is also delicious when combined with herbs such as thyme or oregano for added depth in your dish.
11. Celery Salt
Celery salt is a unique and versatile seasoning that can take your dishes to the next level.
It has the same salty flavor as regular table salt, but with an added subtle aroma of celery.
This comes from the crushed celery seed that’s been mixed in!
When it comes to adding celery salt to your soup, start small and work your way up until you get the desired flavor you’re looking for.
As a general rule, I would say no more than 1 teaspoon per 4 servings of soup.
Celery salt pairs well with many other ingredients such as onion powder, garlic powder, chili flakes, or paprika for a bit of heat.
You can also use it to season vegetables like mushrooms or potatoes before roasting them in the oven.
Celery salt will help bring out their natural sweetness even further!
12. Chili Powder
Chili powder brings a distinct flavor to any dish, with its combination of mild yet spicy and smoky notes.
It has a deep red color and contains spices such as cumin, coriander, oregano, garlic powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper.
The heat level will depend on how much cayenne pepper is in the chili powder mix.
When adding chili powder to your mushroom soup, start by adding one teaspoon at first so that you can test the taste.
You can always add more if you want it spicier.
Ingredients that pair well with chili powder include bell peppers, onions, garlic cloves, or ginger for a hint of sweetness; tomatoes for acidity; beans for texture; mushrooms for umami; broth or stock for savoriness; and fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro.
Adding these ingredients will take your mushroom soup to the next level!
13. Black Pepper
Black pepper has a sharp, penetrating aroma and a characteristic woody, piney flavor.
It is hot and biting to taste which can really bring out the flavors in a dish.
When it comes to seasoning your mushroom soup, just add a pinch or two of black pepper for a subtle flavor.
Black pepper pairs well with many ingredients! It works great with onion and garlic, as well as herbs like thyme, oregano, and parsley.
Adding some fresh mushrooms will also help enhance the umami flavors of your soup.
Lastly, you could sprinkle some cheese on top for an extra cheesy kick!
In short, adding black pepper to your mushroom soup can take it from good to great!
With its pungent yet pleasant flavor profile and its ability to blend with other ingredients easily makes it one of the most versatile spices around – perfect for elevating any dish’s flavors in no time!
13 Best Herbs and Spices For Mushroom Soup
- Cayenne Pepper
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Celery Salt
- Chili Powder
- Black Pepper
- Pick your favorite spices and herbs from this collection to add to your mushroom soup.
- Prepare the rest of your delicious meal.
- Enjoy in no time!