Monday, May 31, 2010


My mom has been making this soup for me for ages, and it is one of my favorites. It is a very light but satisfying summer soup. It is easy to make, has very simple ingredients, and can be improvised and still turn out great. If you don’t work with leeks much, they may be kind of intimidating. Here’s how I trim, wash, and cut a leek:

1. Trim the tips of the leek to remove any old, wrinkly parts, and cut the leek in half, longways.

2. Peel back each layer of leek leaf and run water in between to rinse off the dirt. See how it hides down there!
3. Thinly slice the whole leek until you reach the hairy end. You can discard that. I've seen some people throw away the whole dark green part because they say it is too tough to eat. As long as its cooked long enough, that's not true.

A note about cleaning mushrooms: I've always thought mushrooms had to be wiped down with a damp cloth or paper towel because I heard that rinsing them made them soggy. So I wiped down all the mushrooms for this soup. Afterward, I decided to Google that myth to see if it was true. Not! Mushrooms can be rinsed and patted dry to remove dirt, and they won't absorb the water. Alton Brown from the Food Network did a show on mushrooms for Myth Busters. That will save me lots of time in the future!

And now to the recipe...


1 large leek, trimmed, cleaned, and thinly sliced into half-moons (about 3 cups)
1 8 oz package white mushrooms, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
3 tbs olive oil
4 c water
2 tbs tamari, or to taste

1. In a soup pot, heat olive oil at medium-high heat and sautee mushrooms until they begin to sweat, about 3 minutes.
2. Add leeks and a pinch of salt, and sautee until leeks are translucent, about 8-10 minutes.
3. Add 4 cups of water, or just enough to cover vegetables, bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
4. Add tamari and simmer for 5 more minutes. Garnish with scallions, cilantro, or parsley

Serves 4

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