get the bread ready: leek and roasted mushroom soup

by Chen

Did I mention that I was a big fan of Alton Brown’s Good Eats? Yes, I did here and here.

This show is actually my textbook for kitchen essentials, cooking techniques, and nutrition basics. Looks like I have learned some new stuff? Never get bored. As a mushroom-lover, I start to feel sorry for most canned cream of mushroom soups, which are saturated with sodium and a long list of “unpronounceable” ingredients. Solution? There is one and only one–homemade, though a little effort is required.

Literally, today’s take was not traditional cream of mushroom soup since there was no “cream”. In stead, I pureed the soup base and stirred in tangy buttermilk. Together with the sweet leek and meaty mushroom, all I needed was a thick slice of hearty bread.

leek and roasted mushroom soup
Makes 4 servings

1 lb fresh mushrooms of your choice, sliced
1 tbsp EVOO
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

3 medium (1 to 1 1/2 inch diameter) leeks, white and light green parts only
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1/4 cup fruity wine (No wine? Substitute for equal amount of chicken broth.)
2 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
salt and pepper to taste

Roast the mushrooms:
Preheat the oven to 400F. Combine the mushrooms, EVOO, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper together until mushrooms are well coated. Spread the mushrooms on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast in the oven until wilted and browned, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Prepare the leeks:
While the mushrooms are in the oven, prepare the leeks. Slice each lengthwise into half then cut crosswise into 1/2 inch slices. Soak them in a large pot of water to allow the sands to sink to the bottom. Transfer them from the pot to a colander, rinse under running water, and drain.

Make the soup:
Heat 1 tbsp butter in a Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium heat. Add the leeks along with a big pinch of salt to the pot and cook for about 5 minutes or just until softened. Stir in the flour and cook for another 3 minutes. Pour in the wine and chicken broth. Stir until the mixture becomes smooth. Add the roasted mushrooms (and the pan juice they’ve released) and parsley to the pot. When the mixture comes to a boil, turn the heat to low, cover, and cook for 20 minutes or until everything is tender.

Remove the pot from the heat and puree the soup in a blender or using a hand blender. Be careful! The soup is very hot!

Return the pot to the stove and heat over low heat. When it start to simmer, turn off the heat and stir in buttermilk until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.