Creamy Mushrooms (evil) and Blue Potato Leek Soup

Soooo delicious…. would be better with fresh parsley (I only had dried)

I know, the title sounds strange, but there’s an explanation.
The creamy mushrooms recipe is Jamie Oliver’s but I made a slightly more evil version because Chris and I had a strange idea that it called for bacon (like this Nigella Lawson recipe). This was delicious. I didn’t have crusty bread to serve with it so I baked up some puff pastry from Trader Joe’s. It didn’t puff properly and didn’t taste great, so we ate the mushrooms plain and then threw some into the potato leek soup, which was delicious!

Next time I’ll serve the mushrooms with crusty bread (and no bacon). It’s a great treat. I would make this without bacon next time and serve it with a side of bright arugula salad with lemon and pecorino romano to cut the heaviness.

My recipe:
3 tbsp butter
3 slices bacon, sliced into 1/4″ pieces
1 lb mushrooms (I used oyster, shitake, cremini), trimmed and sliced
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup heavy cream
salt, pepper
parsley (fresh is better, I only had dried)

Melt butter in large pan. Add bacon, cook until soft and just starting to brown. Add onions and mushrooms.
Cook for 10-15 minutes until onions soft and translucent and mushrooms are cooked down. Add salt, pepper, cream, and cook for 10 more minutes on med-low flame to reduce cream. Add parsley too (if fresh, add at the end). Serve with crusty bread. Delicious.

Now I’m sure you want to know why the potato leek soup was blue. It was actually grayish. Not very appealing, but trust me, it wasn’t a Bridget Jones-type error, I just had blue potatoes in the kitchen. Blue potatoes blended with white potatoes and leeks and cream makes gray/bluish soup.  🙂  It’s the same potato leek soup recipe that I made before, just tweaked a little (2 c cream, 3/4 c skim milk, 6 potatoes, 4 small trimmed leeks… it’s a very flexible recipe).

Blue and white potatoes cooking with leeks
Finished soup, slightly blue, slightly gray   🙂
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Potato Leek Soup – variation

Grace and Dad bought us three huge leeks, so I made potato leek soup. Yummy!
This time I changed my usual recipe up a bit as I had no celery.

1.5 tbsp butter
3 leeks, sliced thinly
6 med-large potatoes (yukon gold), diced small
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup skim milk
1 1/2 cups water
salt and pepper

Soak sliced leeks to clean. Melt butter in soup pot and add leeks. Cook 10 minutes, stirring often, until soft.
Stir in 1 cup of the water, cover, and cook for 10 more minutes. Add the potatoes and the remaining 1/2 cup of water, stir, cover, and cook over low heat for 30 more minutes. Stir in the milk and cream, cover, and cook for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Blend with immersion blender.

Potato Leek Soup (2 variations)

A book recently donated to our library (and destined for the rubbish heap) was too interesting to resist. Marion Cunningham’s The Supper Book.
Her recipes are super simple and appealing, and a spontaneous visit to the farmer’s market on Saturday  sent me home with beautiful bouquets of fresh beets and leeks.
First recipe was delicious, even with my single diet-friendly alteration. Again, photos are not mine, but this is exactly what it looked like.

First day (Sunday) we ate it fresh and not pureed. The onion flavor was wonderful, and the combo of brothiness and creaminess was satisfying. Yum. I made little toasts with pecorino romano to dip in the soup.

Second day (Tuesday) we ate the remainder pureed (looked thicker than this photo). The flavors were harder to distinguish, not enough accent on the onion when it was blended.
The recipe made 4 big bowls at about 233 calories each.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Butter
  • 3 Leeks
  • 2 Large Stalks Celery
  • 3 medium Red Potatoes
  • 2 3/4 cups Skim Plus Milk
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions

Slice leeks thinly and wash thoroughly. Thinly slice celery, and peel and dice potatoes [small dice].
Melt the butter in a large heavy-bottomed pot. Put in the leeks and celery to cook over moderate heat for 10 minutes, stirring often to prevent sticking. Stir in 1 cup of the water, cover, and cook for 10 more minutes. Add the potatoes and the remaining 1/2 cup of water, stir, cover, and cook over low heat for 10 more minutes. Stir in the milk, cover, and cook for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. [Note: I had to cook the potatoes for another 25 minutes until they were tender, and they were a small dice!] Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve.