Because You’re Worth It: Leek & Shittake Mushroom Soup

There’s something so sexy about eating soup that’s velvety smooth and rich with flavor. You set aside special, uninterrupted time to savor this provocative dish because it deserves it. And so do you.

Photo Shoot #1

I am a lover of all things soup. And this one is no exception. I went to the market one Saturday morning sans grocery list, hoping for a little inspiration in the produce section. She called to me, then. The Leek. Or…”freek-a-leek” as I prefer to name her these days. She likes it. I gently plucked her from her domain and cradled her in my arms like a newborn babe. I think she giggled a little bit. I tickled her woodied face.

I was already starting to formulate the basis for a leek soup recipe when I came upon the mushrooms — all bunched up and practically begging to be sauteed. I wanted a mushroom with robust flavor but not so much that it would overpower the lightness of the leek. The shittakes looked really fresh that day, so I picked a handful of them up.

Photo Shoot #2

Back at the igloo house, I was getting excited about making the soup. This would be my first attempt at leek and mushroom soup, so I had to plan my attack just right. I made sure all my buffs were up. Intellect. Check. Mage Armor. Check. Do I have enough mana strudel, mana gems, and elixirs in my bag? Check, check, and check. It’s go time.

Er. Oops. Wrong attack plan. Excuse me, one second. [shuffles some paper around without any real logic behind it]

Ah. Here we are. The Soup File. I had mistakenly taken out The Woot File #worldofwarcraft. This is what happens when you have one too many cups of hog. Er, nog.

I chopped, I fried, I stirred. I tasted. Stirred. Tasted again. In the end, it was more than what I could have asked for. Gorgeously silky with a deep earthy feel, and just the right amount of cream to bring it all together. I ate this soup in  a bowl, but I reckon you could even put it in a mug and drink it. It’s So. So. Good.

Photo Shoot #3

Leek & Shittake Mushroom Soup

Print the Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Servings: 2-3

Difficulty: Easy



1 large leek

2 bay leaves

4 sprigs fresh thyme

2 thick-cut bacon slices

1 T. unsalted butter

Salt and pepper

10-12 shittake mushrooms; stems removed and discarded; wiped clean with damp washcloth, then chopped roughly

½ C. dry white wine

5 C. chicken stock

½ C. heavy cream

Crème fraiche

Thyme or chives; for garnish

Special Equipment:


Kitchen twine

Immersion blender or standard blender

Sieve or fine mesh colander

Cooking Instructions:


Clean the leek by removing the upper green portions and discarding. Then, cut the leek in half lengthwise exposing the multiple layers inside. Remove the sandy grit from the inside of the leek by running it under cool water. Cut the leek crosswise into thin slices. Set aside.

Tie the bay leaves and thyme sprigs together with kitchen twine (this is called a bouquet garni) and set aside. Tying these herbs together makes it easier to fish them out of the soup later.

Put a large soup pot on the stove over medium-high heat. Chop the bacon into small bite-size pieces, and then throw them into the warm pot to render and get crisp.

Once the bacon is golden brown and crunchy, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside, leaving the bacon fat in the pot. Add the butter, then toss in the chopped leeks and mushroom pieces to sauté. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables are soft; about 5 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil, scraping up the bacon bits with a wooden spoon. Add the chicken broth, bouquet garni, and salt and pepper; stir. Lower the heat. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes.

Remove the bouquet garni and puree the soup using the immersion blender or a standard blender (working in batches, if you’re using the latter). When the soup has been completely pureed, run it through a sieve to remove any leftover pieces of vegetable. Freeze and store leftover vegetable pieces – you can use it in the future for soups and stews.

Place the soup back into the original pot and stir in the heavy cream. Season to taste.

Serve soup in bowls or mugs. Add a few pieces of bacon to each bowl, then top with a dollop of crème fraiche and clippings of chives or thyme leaves.




Craving more soup?

Check out my other soup recipes:

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Apple Cider Cream

Corn Soup

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  • RitaDecember 29, 2010 - 9:31 am

    This is fantastic! I love both freek-a-leek and mushrooms!! Mmmm… the New Year’s Eve menu is already settled, but for Sunday lunch, maybe… unfortunately, my dad doens’t eat soups (he doesn’t eat veggies at all…). Oh, well, he’ll have something else! 😛ReplyCancel

    • StephDecember 29, 2010 - 10:19 am

      He doesn’t eat soups? Not even a good, hearty lentil and sausage soup? I’m thinking of making that soon. Love it! What is your menu? I’m curious!!ReplyCancel

  • Chef DennisDecember 29, 2010 - 2:48 pm

    hi Steph
    any soup that has bacon in it has my name on it!! The leeks are such a wonderful addition to those lovely shittakes! It is perfect weather for soup around here, and what better than a bowl of your delicious creation!

    • StephDecember 29, 2010 - 6:13 pm

      I couldn’t resist getting the mushrooms…they looked awesome at the market!ReplyCancel

  • fooddreamerDecember 29, 2010 - 6:13 pm

    This. Looks. Awesome. Bookmarking right now to make the freak-a-leek soup!ReplyCancel

    • StephDecember 29, 2010 - 8:03 pm

      Yay!! This soup will have you dancing, too! LOLReplyCancel

  • Island VittlesDecember 30, 2010 - 12:31 pm

    That soup just looks smooth…like Erik Estrada smooth…actually, considering that no one under the age of 35 even knows who the heck that is….let’s just talk about the soup.

    Which is totally yum. theresaReplyCancel

  • Island VittlesDecember 30, 2010 - 12:32 pm

    “I tickled her woodied face.” You’re too funny, StephReplyCancel

  • doggybloggyJanuary 1, 2011 - 11:46 pm

    great soup and I love the “provocative” nature of thisReplyCancel

    • StephJanuary 2, 2011 - 2:08 pm

      Yes. I’m all about provocative-ness. :p Food should be sexy.ReplyCancel

  • Magic of SpiceJanuary 4, 2011 - 9:30 pm

    Love this recipe and love your presentation…wonderful 🙂ReplyCancel

  • RitaJanuary 5, 2011 - 4:55 am

    Sorry I’m late with a reply! I’ve been a bit tired lately… 😛
    Well, no, my dad doesn’t eat anything vegetable (apart from a simple salad and potatoes… how boring… :(). Hubby Mario eats everything he finds in the table, in return, so I’m lucky.
    The New Year’s Eve dinner menu was called “the pig menu” because it was all based on pork. Here it is:
    – dates with bacon; small tarts with brie and apricot jam; ham mousse; salami; cheese with pomegranate jelly;
    – risotto with cotechino, white onion and thyme (Jamie Oliver’s recipe);
    – honey-glazed ham;
    – fennel gratin; cauliflowers; lentils;
    – mince pies; apple pie; chocolate chip cookies.
    Is that enough? 😉 Ok, desserts didn’t contain pork, I know…ReplyCancel

    • StephJanuary 5, 2011 - 8:58 am

      Wow! That sounds like some menu! Piggies. Gotta love them!ReplyCancel

  • KellyJanuary 7, 2011 - 4:06 pm

    Oooh, I made this on Weds. SO DELICIOUS! I was lazy and left the soup chunky (no immersion blender or straining for me). I also just threw all the herbs in loose and fished them out later. I will say, my market let me down. All the wonderful shitake mushrooms, which were there on Saturday, were GONE on Tuesday. Humph. So I had to use dried mushrooms. STILL AWESOME TASTING!ReplyCancel

    • StephJanuary 7, 2011 - 4:36 pm


      Great! I’m so happy it turned out delicious for yah. I don’t blame you, I get the lazies quite often. Most of the time I can’t even be bothered to open a can or chop some veggies. I usually end up using scissors. :-pReplyCancel

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