Leek and mushroom soup is one of my favorites yet I’ve not made for ages because my husband was not crazy about mushrooms. This recipe languished in the archives, waiting to be reborn. Coming across the old scribbled recipe a few days ago I decided to update it. The new recipe came out even better than the original.
Hearty, Earthy Leek and Mushroom 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. And all of the ingredients in this soup are immune system boosting. Bottom line – mushrooms are good for you!
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. For this soup I use both white and brown (cremini) mushrooms, but you can use all of either one.
About Coconut Milk
One update was to change dairy milk to a plant-based milk, from half and half (or cream) to coconut milk. Coconut milk provides a rich creaminess to this soup without a coconut flavor. Coconut milk used to get a bad rap because of saturated fat but not to worry. It’s a medium chain fatty acid (MCFAs) our bodies easily and efficiently for energy. Even better, MCFAs may be beneficial for heart health and boost our immune systems.
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.
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).
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. If you are not a tarragon fan substitute fresh thyme. If oyou can’t get fresh, use dried. Use 1/2 to 1/3 of the amount of fresh.
How to Make Leek and Mushroom Soup
In a large pot or pan (I use a 5 1/2 quart Le Creuset) melt the butter (dairy or plant-based) 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.
Add the mushrooms to the pot and turn heat up to medium. Cook until the mushrooms have given off their liquid and it’s mostly cooked away, 12-14 minutes. Add broth and coconut milk. Heat through, and the soup is ready to serve. Taste and add the lemon juice if desired. I like to give my soup a couple of pulses in a blender to refine it just a bit, but it’s up to you. Season to taste with salt and pepper. For a thicker soup, stir in 2 teaspoons of arrowroot starch mixed with a little water at the end while reheating.
Leek and Mushroom Soup
- Food Processor
- 2 pounds fresh mushrooms white, brown cremini or combination
- 2 tablespoons butter, dairy or plant-based or sub coconut or olive oil
- 1 cup thinly sliced leek
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 3 large garlic cloves very finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped tarragon or thyme leaves
- 4 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth preferably homemade
- 3/4 cup canned coconut milk full fat
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Prep the 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 1/8″ thick (3 mm) in a food processor with the slicing blade or by hand.
- In a large pot (5 quart) heat oil 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, 12-14 minutes.
- Add broth and coconut milk. Heat through and serve hot. Taste and add the lemon juice, then season with salt and pepper. If you want the soup a little smoother, pulse in a blender a few times before serving.