Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fall Leek, Swiss Chard & Mushroom Soup with Pasta

A Perfect Fall Leek Soup
In truth, this is one of those "no measurement recipes", but I’ll try…

Printable Recipe

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes or so

Serves 2-4

1 tbsp olive oil
1-2 tbsp butter
3 large leeks, white & pale green parts only, well rinsed*, and thinly sliced
2 cups cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
Swiss Chard, I used ½ bunch, separate stalks from leaves
4 cups roasted vegetable broth you have to scroll down the post for the recipe, or buy some really good vegetable broth.
1 sprig fresh thyme
Salt & pepper to taste
½ -1 cup orecchiette or other small pasta
Shaving of Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese

1. Prepare the vegetables. Small dice the Swiss chard stalks, coarsely chop the leaves and keep them in separate piles as you’ll be cooking the stalks with the mushrooms and the leaves only when you add the broth.

*To prepare the leeks, I like Jamie Oliver’s method: slice lengthwise down the leek, but leave attached at the root. Rinse with the root side at the top so that all the sand drains out and doesn’t get caught. Then cut off the roots and pat dry. Thinly slice the two halves stopping where the leeks start to get dark and coarse.
2. In a medium sized pot over medium high heat, pour the oil into the cold pot and once the pan is warm, add the butter. This is a great trick to keep the butter from burning. Sauté the leeks until they are softened but not browned (about 3-4 minutes), stirring to coat with the butter/oil. Once the leeks are softened, add the chopped Swiss chard stalks and sliced mushrooms. Continue to sauté until the mushrooms are golden (another 2-3 minutes).

3. Add the vegetable broth and allow to come to a boil. Add the orecchiette and reduce to a simmer and add the Swiss chard leaves, thyme sprig and some salt & pepper to taste. The soup is done once the pasta is al dente ( 5 minutes or so – you are using little pasta, so it doesn’t take long)

4. Ladle into bowls and shave some cheese over top. Serve with crusty bread and you’ll be in heaven.

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