Saturday, January 10, 2015

Cream of Mushroom and Leek Soup

My husband really likes Cream of Mushroom Soup. I think it's ok but it's not my favorite. I usually like to add some oomph to it to make it more interesting. Leeks will give the soup a nice sweetness, so make sure you saute them so they are sufficiently caramelized.

Mushroom soup isn't particularly photogenic


4 T Butter
16 oz Mushrooms, separated into caps and stems, caps sliced
2 medium or 1 giant leek, chopped
1 quart (give or take) Chicken Stock (or other light stock)
8 oz Heavy Cream


Salt and Pepper to taste
Nutmeg (to taste)
1/4 Lemon (for juice)


4T Butter
1/4c + 2T Flour


1. Saute the mushrooms and leeks in the butter for about 15-20 minutes on low until they start to emit an aroma and they are soft and shiny.
2. While the mushrooms and leeks are sauteing, add the mushroom stems to the chicken broth and simmer on medium. If using unseasoned or packaged chicken broth, add some aromatics at this time to boost the flavor.
3. Add the chicken stock to the mushrooms and leeks and simmer for 1 hour.
4. In a separate pan, make the roux using the flour and butter. Bring the soup to a boil then add the roux to the soup.
5. Boil the soup for 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until thick
6. Turn off the heat and add the cream. If the soup is too watery, you can turn the heat up to high and boil it until it is thick enough, just make sure you stir it frequently to prevent the bottom from scalding.
7. Add seasonings and lemon juice.

Cooking Tip

Lemon or Lime Juice is my secret ingredient. The citrus adds a wonderful brightness to dense dishes and often it's not obvious that there was lemon specifically added to the dish. I usually use a little lemon juice in stews and vegetables. Orange juice and zest works great with squash. Lime is especially nice with coconut milk or bean-based soups.

If you're worried about seeds or pulp getting into your food, you can squeeze the lemon or lime through a strainer. I do not recommend pre-squeezed juices, they aren't as good as the real deal and getting it straight from the fruit really isn't hard.

For a great refreshing soda-like beverage, squeeze 1/4 to 1/2 of a lemon into a 16 oz glass and top up with cold seltzer water. You can also add the same amount of juice when you refill your water bottle for the gym or what have you with filtered water. I often put my daily dose of liquid magnesium supplement into this mixture because the lemon covers up the bitterness!

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