Fennel Leek Soup with Mushrooms
Looking for a guilt-free starter? Fennel leek soup is easy to make and is gluten-free, dairy free and completely vegan! Fennel and Leek Soup with Mushrooms is the perfect light starter to a larger meal. Great for company.
Whether you’re looking for a delicious starter to a larger meal or a guilt-free vegan lunch, this creamy Fennel and Leek Soup with Mushrooms needs to be on your shortlist of picks. The whole pot of soup is ready in under an hour and makes a delicious, light first course for your next dinner party or a week’s worth of lunches at the office.
To make the soup, I actually start with the garnish… mushrooms. I used wild mushrooms, oyster and shiitake — because, they’re meaty with great texture. If you don’t have specialty ‘shrooms in the fridge, feel free to use button, crimini, or whatever you have on hand. Saute them with some olive oil and thyme, then transfer to a bowl.
Prep the vegetables — leeks are notorious for having grit and sand tucked between their layers and the only effective way to clean it out is to chop the leeks and then submerge them in a bowl of water, separating the layers and agitating the rounds with your fingers.
Do this for a few minutes to ensure that the dirt is released. The detritus will sink to the bottom of the bowl — so don’t just tip the bowl to drain the water — because the grit will wind up right back where it started — in the veg. Instead, lift the floating leeks out of the bowl with your hands or a spider and transfer to a salad spinner to dry.
Saute the vegetables until softened and slightly translucent, then add more herbs and vegetable stock.
Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes in a covered stock pot. Before transferring the soup to the blender, be sure to fish out the stems from the thyme — they’re hard and woody and don’t belong in your silky smooth puree.
Blend the soup in batches — and be careful not to overfill the blender. Each batch should only fill the blender by about halfway. Remember, it’s a HOT SOUP — you don’t want the contents ending up all over you and your kitchen.
Ladle the creamy bisque into bowls and garnish with a few hearty mushrooms andreserved fennel fronds — for the pretty-factor.
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Table of Contents
Fennel and Leek Soup with Mushrooms
- 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
- ½ pound mixed wild mushrooms I used shiitake, oyster and crimini
- 6 leeks white and pale green parts only
- 2 fennel bulbs chopped into a large dice. (RESERVE A FEW FENNEL FRONDS)
- 1 small bunch thyme tied with kitchen string
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 5-6 cups vegetable broth or low sodium chicken broth
- In a large dutch oven heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add thyme and mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms get tender and brown. Remove from heat. Transfer mushrooms to a small bowl. Reserve thyme.
- Fill a large bowl with water. Slice the leeks lengthwise, then chop them cross wise into half inch pieces. Transfer the leeks to the bowl of water. Using your hands, agitate the vegetables in the water to dislodge any trapped grit and dirt. With your hands, working in batches, scoop the leeks to a salad spinner and spin dry.
- Add 2 more tablespoons olive oil to the dutch oven and heat over medium heat. Add leeks, fennel, reserved thyme and salt stir to combine. Cover and simmer for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender and translucent. Add vegetable broth, bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Remove thyme stems (most of the leaves should have come off during this simmer and you’re really just removing the stems).
- Working in batches transfer leek mixture to blender and puree until smooth.
- Warm soup over medium heat.
- Before adding mushrooms, make sure they have drained all their liquid — you may have to use some paper towel too pat them dry. (This is so the mushroom juice doesn’t discolor the soup).
- Ladle soup into bowls, garnish with mushrooms and fennel fronds.
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Just finished making this. So delicious!
Read the comments and wondered, wow, is it gonna be that good? Well.. Perfect light and flavorful combination 🙂 Un pur régal!
Thank you Lisa for another wonderful offering. Served this today for my wife’s book club gathering as the soup offering. Rave reviews. I did change the technique and cooked down the fennel first to bring out that lovely sweet flavor from the natural anise. Gave it great depth. 1 medium potato for a bit more thickness. Yummm. I do wine parings for friends and others as a hobby and your recipes are becoming a go to for our wine tasting dinners. As Rick said to Louie at the end of Casablanca… “ I think this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship “
So glad your wife and her book club enjoyed this soup and I love to hear your tweaks to make it your own. Great idea to cook the fennel further to enhance the flavor — did you take it to a full caramelized stage?
Lovely soup. I am a terrible vegan. I used a dollop of yogurt. I used a squeeze of lime as garnish, and when I sautéed mushrooms. Super good soup. I wonder if next time I cook down the leeks ect even more. It was a bit chunky. I used my food processor.
No such thing as a terrible vegan — yogurt is delicious, as would be a drizzle of cream or sour cream! Yes, you want the leeks to be very soft before pureeing.
Awesome recipe! I’ve made this four times and love it! Thanks for posting!
I’m so glad you enjoy it Katy! Thanks for letting me know!
Really tasty soup! Fresh and full of flavour and depth. Not vegan so I used homemade free range chicken stock which I think added a real depth to this soup. The thyme makes it. As does a pinch of salt!
So glad you enjoyed it, Alice!
Made it. Loved it. Making it again a week later.
Well that’s a ringing endorsement! So glad you enjoyed it, Jordan!
ohhhhh Lisa! This soup looks to die for. I adore fennel. And I love easy, bursting with flavor soups like this, especially this time of year!
I love soup! Seriously! I could eat it every day! If my hubby liked it more, I would eat it every day. I love the fennel and leek combination of flavors and the addition of the mushrooms is fabulous!! Great recipe Lisa!
This sounds fantastic!! Full of Amazing flavors I need to try this ASAP! ! Great step by step photos I love them ?
This soup looks sooo creamy and delicious! It’s also made from my favorite ingredients, yum!
This has me thinking that I don’t cook with fennel or leeks nearly enough. Looks so good!
Wow, the pretty factor is pumped way up in this soup, I love that beautiful celedon color!
I love these soups that look and taste like they are indulgent, but actually are healthy ! Thanks for adding another one to the list !!!
After the holidays, some penance is in order. I just don’t want to feel deprived, you know?