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 inÂ 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
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
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
Â½ C. dry white wine
5 C. chicken stock
Â½ C. heavy cream
Thyme or chives; for garnish
Sieve or fine mesh colander
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 sautÃ©. 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 youâ€™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 â€“ 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 crÃ¨me fraiche and clippings of chives or thyme leaves.
Craving more soup?
Check out my other soup recipes: