Leek and Mushroom Soup

Leek and Mushroom Soup

By Sally on December 08, 2013

gluten-free, soups, stews & chilies, the daniel plan, vegan,

8 Comments

Mushroom 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.

Coming across the old scribbled page a few days ago, I 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.

mushrooms

Coconut 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 Soup

Prep 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 mushrooms

Next, 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 Soup

For 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 processor

Add 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

Helpful Links

Benefits of coconut milk, from LiveStrong and from The 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

8 Comments

Leave a Comment
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. :)

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)

    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!

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!

    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.

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!

    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.

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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