Green on Pink Leads to Ugly But Tasty

September 29, 2010

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Leeks, Creminis and Swiss Chard

I won’t even put the picture of this recipe up top—it’s just that ugly.  But if you trust me, you’ll ignore the ugly, make it anyway and thank me for introducing you to something this tasty *and* so, so healthy! *smile*

You know how much I love going to the Union Square Greenmarket.  How much I love seeing the farmers and vendors….the displays of greens and tomatoes and flowers and peppers and jars of jams…..and choosing just which of the hundreds and hundreds of items on display I’m going to bring home this visit.

GrowNYC (the folks who run the greenmarket) have a booth at the market where they sometimes host “Ask a Chef” and other times have a chef making a recipe using in-season market ingredients.  I don’t always make it to the market during those times (not much recipe-tasting going on first thing in the morning….*smile*)…but recently I lucked out and nabbed a taste of a delicious Mushroom & Leek Soup by Robin Puskas of NY Kitchen Company and greenmarketcooking.blogspot.com.  Along with the taste, I also grabbed a nicely printed copy of the recipe–on a beautiful pink (my favorite color!) piece of paper  (so GREENmarket recipe on PINK paper…you see how that title came to be, now don’t you…)….and proceeded to make my way through the market, gathering the ingredients so I could make the soup myself.

Leeks and Mushrooms

Leeks and Mushrooms

Aside from the little bit of time it takes to wash and prep the vegetables, this soup comes together in no time….making it the perfect dish when you want to hit the market in the morning and have something fresh and delicious on the table for lunch.   Chock-full of so many vegetables, this soup with  just a few crackers topped with cheese or ham salad (or some other protein) alongside, is all you need.

As delicious as my ‘taste’ was…I couldn’t help but tweak the recipe a bit.  You know, for more flavor. *smile*  I used more liquid, swapped the water for Chicken Stock (and if you want to keep it veggie, keep the water), swapped her shitake mushrooms for cremini, upped the mushrooms,  chard, soy sauce and white wine amounts and added some sriracha to bring just a bit of heat to the medley.

Mushroom Leek and Swiss Chard Soup in Pot

Mushroom Leek and Swiss Chard Soup in Pot

And when it all comes together, it tastes like the marriage of a bowl of Chinese Noodle Soup (without the noodles of course, just that lovely broth) with a bowl of French Onion Soup.  And when serving it to my slightly closed-minded Pop (only when it comes to unusual flavor combinations – meaning he’s-never-tried-it-unusual *smile*), I stressed the French-Onion side of things by serving the soup over a garlic rubbed piece of toast and melting a pungent cheese over top….and my oh my was that good, too.  So keep it in mind if you have your own picky eaters you want to sell this bowl of veggies to.

In my experience a bit of melted cheese over top can sell just about anything.  *smile*

Mushroom Leek and Swiss Chard Soup

See? I told you it was ugly!

Mushroom Leek and Swiss Chard Soup
(based on a recipe by Robin Puskas)

Serves 4-6

Ingredients
1 Tbls Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic, sliced thinly
4 medium sized Leeks, washed thoroughly and cut into 1/4 inch slices
8 oz. Cremini Mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2 1/2 Tbls. Soy Sauce
1/2 cup White Wine
6 cups Chicken Stock
2 good squeezes of Sriracha Sauce
1 bunch Swiss Chard,  stems removed, sliced into 1/4 ribbons

Heat olive oil in a soup pot.  Add thinly sliced garlic and heat until fragrant.

Add leeks, sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper and saute until they begin to soften about 3-4 minutes.

Add cremini mushrooms; cook 8-10 minutes more, stirring frequently.

Add wine and allow to come to a boil.  When the wine is reduced by half, add chicken stock and soy sauce and bring to a boil.

Add chard and sriracha and simmer for 2 minutes, then remove from heat.

Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.

Note:  Robin says you can make this a heartier soup by adding an egg to it.  Here’s how:  Just before adding the swiss chard, crack a duck or hen’s egg into the soup.   Break the yolk just before serving and serve while the yolk is still soft.

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Filed Under: Diet-Friendly, Recipe, Savory, Soup, Vegetarian-Friendly

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