Sometimes we just need creamy hot soup to warm us up, especially in the chill of Winter. This soup, which has no actual cream but is still smooth, thick and rich-tasting, hits the spot with its umami flavors derived from the mushrooms and sauteed leeks. Now that we’ve tried this, it will be hard to go back to simple potato leek as it seems to fall short in flavor.
This recipe uses the pressure cooker, which means it can be prepared from start to finish in less than 15 minutes. Yes, really. If you don’t have a pressure cooker (why not?) it still comes together quickly just not as quickly. The speed and deep flavor make it a great weeknight dinner paired with a green salad and some crusty bread but it also makes a lovely first course for an elegant dinner party.
We use cremini mushrooms but if they are not available, you can use ordinary white button mushrooms or even some chopped portabellos. And, as with all leek dishes, be sure to wash the leeks well, splitting them down the middle and pulling back the leaves to rinse any dirt from the stems. Don’t forget to save the parts of the leeks you don’t add because they help make a very flavorful vegetable stock. I simply stash them in the freezer along with carrot and celery ends, herb stems, mushroom stems and other vegetable remnants (though not cruciferous veggies like cabbage or kale because they are too strong) and when the bag is full, use it for easy homemade stock (5 minutes in teh pressure cooker, natural release).
4-6 Russet Potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-2 inch pieces
1/2 Lb. Cremini, Baby Bella or other mushrooms, sliced
4 Cups Vegetable stock, preferably homemade
2 Tablespoons Chopped Parsley
1 Teaspoon Salt or to taste
1 Tablespoon Olive or other Vegetable Oil
HOW TO MAKE IT:
Step One: Heat oil in the pressure cooker (if using stove-top type) or in a medium size pot over medium heat. Gently saute the leeks until they are soft, about 3-5 minutes.
Step Two: Add sliced mushrooms and saute about 2 minutes more until juices release.
Step Three: Add salt and pepper and stir well.
Step Five: Cook at high pressure for 5 minutes and quick release, being sure to tilt away from you because it’s hot and steamy! If using a conventional pot, cook about 20-25 minutes until potatoes are soft.
Step Six: Using a hand-held blender, puree the mixture until soup is creamy. You may need to add more broth or water if it’s too thick. This soup does thicken up as it cools as well so more liquid is definitely an option.
Step Seven: Stir in chopped parsley once soup is pureed. This way it retains some of its fresh flavor. Garnish with additional parsley if desired
Enjoy! Serves 4-6.