Leek and Mushroom Soup

by Sally on December 18, 2013 · 8 comments

in Gluten-free, Soups, Stews and Chiles, The Daniel Plan, Vegan Dishes

Leek and Mushroom SoupMushroom soup is one of my favorites, yet it’s one I’ve not made for ages because my husband was not crazy about mushrooms. So this lovely recipe languished in the archives, waiting to be reborn. I came across the old scribbled page a few days ago and decided to update it. The new recipe came out even better than the original. And yes, I now have a new mushroom soup fan.

Earthy Mushrooms for Hearty Soup

Mushrooms lend an earthy, meaty taste and texture to soup. They are also beneficial, nutritionally speaking, supplying selenium, potassium, riboflavin, niacin, vitamins D, B3 and B2 plus other nutrients. Studies show that mushrooms offer anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting properties. Bottom line – mushrooms are good for you!

Buying Mushrooms

When buying mushrooms, look for firm caps that are closed with no exposed gills. This is a sign of freshness. Mushrooms should not have brown spots, be slimy or withered. Buy organic if you can.

For this soup I use both white and brown (cremini) mushrooms, but you can use all of either one.

mushroomsCoconut Milk and Coconut Butter

One update was to change dairy milk to a plant-based milk, from half and half (or cream) to coconut milk. Not just for cocktails with little umbrellas or curry dishes, coconut milk provides a rich creaminess to this soup, and surprisingly, without coconut flavor.

While coconut milk used to get a bad rap because of saturated fat, not to worry. It’s a medium chain fatty acid (MCFA’s). Our bodies easily and efficiently burn MCFA’s for energy. Even better, MCFA’s may be beneficial for heart health and boost our immune systems. The brand I prefer is Native Forest. It’s rich, thick, organic and they use a BPA-free can, even though the label does not say so. I called the company to check.

Another update was using organic Coconut Spread from Earth Balance instead of dairy butter. Its gluten-free, lactose-free, soy-free and just plain delicious. Use it like you use butter.

Leek and Mushroom SoupPrep Your Vegetables

To wash mushrooms, trim the stems, then give them a quick rinse under a trickle of water, rubbing them in your hands, then roll in paper towels to dry.

cleaning mushroomsNext, thinly slice mushrooms. A food processor with a slicing blade makes this fast, but you can also do it by hand (good knife practice).

Leek and Mushroom SoupFor leeks, chop off the dark green top and root end. Discard or save for making vegetable or chicken broth. Slice the leek in half lengthwise and rinse under cold water to remove any dirt or sandy grit. Lay the leek halves flat on a cutting board and slice thinly. Next, chop the onion, garlic and tarragon.

Unfamiliar with tarragon? It’s a classic herb used in French cooking. It has an assertive, anise-like flavor that I love. Fresh is what I prefer to use as the flavor is better. If all you have is dried, use just 1 teaspoon instead of a tablespoon. If you are not a tarragon fan, use thyme instead.

Cook the Soup

In a large pot or pan (I use a 5 1/2 quart Le Creuset) melt the coconut butter over medium low heat and add the leeks and onion. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally until leek and onion are soft but do not have any color. It will take about 5-7 minutes. Add tarragon and a little salt and pepper.

sliced mushrooms with Kitchenaid food processorAdd the mushrooms to the pot and turn heat up to medium. Cook until the mushrooms have given off their liquid and the liquid has mostly cooked away. Add lemon juice, broth (chicken or vegetable) and coconut milk. Heat through, and the soup is ready to serve. For garnish, serve with lemon wedges and extra chopped fresh tarragon. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

leek and mushroom soup

Leek and Mushroom Soup

Leek and mushroom soup is earthy and satisfying. Lemon gives this soup a lift of bright flavor and the tarragon lends an aromatic, anise-like flavor. A food processor makes quick work of thinly slicing the mushrooms, but you can slice them by hand. If you don’t like tarragon, use thyme. If you are unfamiliar with cleaning and cutting leeks, please see post.

Serves 4-6 (makes about 2 quarts or 2 liters)


  • 2 pounds (1 kilo) fresh mushrooms (white, brown cremini or combination)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut butter
  • 1 cup thinly sliced leek
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced (very finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped tarragon leaves (or fresh thyme)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (preferably Meyer lemon)
  • 4 cups (1 liter) chicken or vegetable broth (preferably homemade)
  • 3/4 cup ( 175 ml) coconut milk (not low fat)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Prep mushrooms – With a paring knife, trim mushrooms stems flush to the base. Discard stems. To clean mushrooms, cup 2-3 mushrooms in your hands and quickly run them under a trickle of cold water, rubbing the mushrooms gently between your hands. Place washed mushrooms on a clean kitchen towel or paper towel.  Slice mushrooms about 1/8″ thick (3 mm) in a food processor with the slicing blade or by hand.
  2. In a large pot (5 quart) melt coconut butter over medium low heat. Add the leek and onion and cook slowly until soft, stirring occasionally, 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and tarragon, cook 1 more minute, stirring. Add mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms have given off their moisture and cooked down. Most of the liquid should be gone.
  3. Add the lemon juice, broth and coconut milk. Heat through and serve hot.

Note – This soup will keep refrigerated for 4 days, so make it ahead on the weekend and enjoy during the week. It’s great for lunch or dinner.

Helpful Links

Benefits of coconut milk, from LiveStrong and fromThe Coconut Research Center

My homemade chicken broth recipe

My homemade vegetable broth recipe

More about mushrooms and here from World’s Healthiest Foods,  and here

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Madonna/aka/Ms. Lemon December 18, 2013 at 9:39 pm

Sally this looks delicious. Your photographer is a genius to make brown food look good. :)


2 jillian January 3, 2014 at 6:26 am

Hi there, I just found your blog and I am loving it. The photos are gorgeous and the recipes look delicious. It’s so refreshing to hear your healthy spin on simple and seasonal foods. I share the same passions; food, faith, and health and admire how you’ve utilized all three!! Will be visiting often.

Happy New Year to you and your husband,
Jillian (from Rhode Island)


3 Sally January 3, 2014 at 10:11 am

Thanks Jillian! Happy New Year to you too, and may it be one filled with good food and good health, fueled by faith! Hope you will subscribe. Stay in touch!


4 Debra Christian January 7, 2014 at 11:01 pm

Hi Sally,

Just had to write to tell you that this is the most delicious mushroom soup I’ve ever tasted! Had friends in for a light lunch just before Christmas and served it with a nice plate of salad greens, cranberries, toasted walnut, pear and feta and lemon dressing. They raved about the soup and couldn’t believe the creamy texture came from the coconut milk. The fresh tarragon really makes this recipe a stand-out. Many thanks for this lovely recipe and your great web-site!


5 Sally January 8, 2014 at 1:14 pm

Love to hear that Debra! Thanks for commenting back! Yep, coconut milk is neat stuff. I find myself using it more and more.


6 Amber Wagley January 8, 2014 at 12:38 pm

I plan on making this tonight; it looks delicious. Will I get an okay result using coconut oil instead of coconut butter? Thanks for the recipe!


7 Sally January 8, 2014 at 1:17 pm

Hi Amber. Coconut oil should be fine. Next time you are at the store, pick up some of the Earth Balance Organic Coconut Spread (“coconut butter”). It’s in a blue labeled tub in the refrigerated dairy section. I think you will enjoy that as well. Please let me know how it comes out.


8 Linda January 14, 2014 at 5:10 pm

Hi Sally,

I made this for some girlfriends that I had over last week and was asked for the recipe by everyone. I made it especially for 1 of the gals who is Vegan, but everyone liked it. I think the heartiness of the mushrooms makes the difference. Sadly, my daughter is not a fan of mushrooms yet and this soup did not convince her. I’ll keep trying! Thanks for the recipe and I agree the tarragon really does make it stand out.


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