Portobello Mushroom & Leek Soup

This portobello mushroom and leek soup is a cup of warmth and heaven.  The base of the soup is made of a broth that can easily be enjoyed on its own, but who wouldn’t want to add in some cream?  I have no shame when it comes to adding a splash of cream to a soup during the Fall.  It may not be as decadent as a traditional bisque, but I can assure you that it is equally as rich and flavorful.  You will not miss the extra calories either, especially because you can have two bowls of this soup and not feel guilty! The base of the soup does take some additional preparation, but I can assure you that you will want to lick the bowl clean and wonder why you ever grabbed for that can opener when you can make a healthy, hearty soup from scratch.

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Preparing the mushrooms is a key step in creating this soup.  Be sure that you do not wash the mushrooms or submerge in water!  I cannot stress how important this is and how it will eat away at your OCD instincts (I try not to think about it), but it is important to creating a flavorful soup.  To prepare the mushrooms I take a clean dish towel or paper towel and wet half of the towel.  I alternate between the wet and dry sides of the towel to wipe off any debris from the mushrooms.  Separate the stems from the caps.  Chop the caps in 1/4 inch pieces and set aside.  Roughly chop the stems in half.  Chop up the carrot and onion into roughly 1 inch pieces.

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Once everything is chopped up and ready to go, add  the mushroom stems, onion, and carrot to a pot over medium heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the sprigs of thyme.  Stir everything around and give it a good coating of the olive oil.  When everything is sizzling away and smelling fragrant, add in 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper and 1 tablespoon of minced garlic (or garlic powder).

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You want to cook the mixture until the vegetables are soft when you put a fork through them.  Stir the mixture around occasionally to be sure that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot.  The veggies will take approximately 10-15 minutes to cook to achieve the perfect consistency.  You will know because it will be a delicious caramelized golden color.  Basically Fall in a pot.

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At this time you will want to add in 6 cups of water.  The veggies will not like the initial shock of water, so just stir things around to get them moving.  Your burner should still be on medium heat at this point, so crank up the heat until you see the water start to boil.  Once a rolling boil is achieved, turn the mixture down to low, and let it simmer for 30-45 minutes.  The longer the better with this step.  Once the soup has been simmering away and is a dark luxurious brown color, turn the heat off and strain the soup with a strainer over a large bowl to separate the broth from the veggies.  Set aside the broth until later.  You may even make the broth the night before and let it sit in the fridge overnight to let the flavors marinate even more.

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In the same pot you used to make the broth, heat up two tablespoons of good quality butter and two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.  Add in your chopped mushroom caps along with the leeks.  *Just a quick note on the leeks – be sure that you DO wash these very well, as they have a lot of sandy build up in between each layer.

Cook this mixture until the leeks and mushrooms are both golden – about 15 minutes.

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Add in your flour at this point and stir everything around thoroughly for the flour to completely coat the veggies.  Cook the flour for 2 minutes to be sure that you cook off the raw flour and everything is sizzling again.

Grab your reserved broth and carefully add it to the pot of mushrooms and leeks.  Add in 1 more teaspoon of salt and give everything a good stir.  Bring the mixture to a boil and then immediately reduce to low again (just like you initially did with the broth).

Let the flavors simmer away for 20-25 minutes.

Add in the greek yogurt, milk, and half & half to the pot.  You will notice that it will greatly bring down the temperature of the soup.  This is ok!  Mix everything together to be sure that the greek yogurt has completely broken down in the soup and there are not any clumps.  I use a whisk at this stage to assure myself that there are zero clumps.

Throw in the parsley and season with any additional salt & pepper to taste.

Heat everything thoroughly, but do not bring the soup to a boil.  Serve immediately!!

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There is zero judgment coming from this girl if you add in a nice swirl of heavy cream at the end.  After all, you need to reward yourself!

Ingredients

16 oz. baby portobello mushrooms (two packages)

2 leeks

2 small yellow onions

2 medium carrots or a small handful of baby carrots

4-6 sprigs of fresh thyme

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

2 teaspoons of salt, separated

1 tablespoon minced garlic

6 cups of water

2/3 cup flour

1 cup half & half

1 cup milk

1/3 cup non-fat plain greek yogurt

1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley

*a generous drizzle of heavy cream with some additional pieces of thyme at the end!

 

 

Questions for you…

Do you love cream based or broth based soups?

What is your favorite soup?

 

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