Chase The Winter Chill Away Soup
Mushroom Leek Gruyère Soup with Puff Pastry Top
Soup and Salad
As soon as the calendar said it was winter, Tom started begging me to make soup. Mushroom Leek Gruyère Soup is a recipe I haven’t made in some time, but it is a yummy, hardy, delicious, chase the winter chill away soup. Plus, it is just as good with or without the puff pastry top.
I found this recipe in a 2001 Holiday Cooking magazine, and I pretty much make the recipe as indicated.
The recipe does not specify which type of mushroom to use, but we like Cremini mushrooms which are brown and have a slightly nutty flavor. Buy your mushrooms whole, with tightly closed caps rather than pre-sliced, as they tend to lose their flavor quickly after they are sliced.
Using a good quality Gruyère will add a buttery, nutty flavor and greatly enhance the flavor of your soup.
As you have probably noticed, many of my recipes call for herbs de Provence. That is my go-to seasoning. Whenever we are in Paris, we swing by Hediard’s to pick up as many jars as will fit in my suitcase. Unfortunately, the last time we were there the store was closed for remodeling, so I was unable to stock up.
But good news! Both Trader Joe’s and Penzeys Spices have good versions (Penzeys’ blend is a combination of rosemary, fennel, thyme, basil, tarragon, dill, oregano, lavender, chervil and marjoram). I purchase this by the bagful from Penzeys which is much cheaper than going to Paris! If you don’t have herbs de Provence, use Italian seasonings.
The recipe also calls for fresh herbs — Italian Big Leaf parsley (not the curly type, which I despise) and thyme. Sometimes I use tarragon in place of the thyme. Use whichever you prefer.
Be sure to measure the rim of your bowl to see how large of a pastry cut-out to make. The pastry should extend slightly over the sides of the bowl. Bake on a rimmed sheet pan in case of spillage.
I promise your puff pastry top will look much better than mine. We recently purchased a “smart” range, which apparently is too smart for me. After pre-heating and setting the timer, I turned away without noticing the oven had a question for me. When I returned ten minutes later, the question was still waiting and the oven had not started baking, which caused the pastry tops to sag into the soup and when they were finally baked they were misshapen. Oh well, still tasted great.
Welcome winter soups!
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups leeks, sliced (about six medium, cleaned, white and light green parts only)
4 oz. brown or Cremini mushrooms (cleaned and sliced)
1 tablespoon Herbs de Provence or Italian seasonings
½ teaspoon white pepper
¼ cup all-purpose flour
6 oz. good quality Gruyère cheese, freshly grated
1 tablespoon Italian Big Leaf parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon thyme or tarragon, stems removed and minced
½ cup half-and-half, light cream or milk (I used 2% milk)
1 (17 ¼ oz.) package frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed according to package directions
1 egg, beaten
Kosher salt to taste
6 – 8 oz. oven proof soup bowls or ramekins
Combine 2 ½ cups of broth, with the leeks, mushrooms, herbs de Provence and pepper in a large Dutch oven.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the leeks are very tender. Off heat blend with an immersion blender until smooth. In a small bowl, whisk the flour and remaining ½ cup of broth until smooth. Stir into the soup mixture along with the shredded cheese, parsley and any additional herbs you’d like to add.
Return the soup to medium heat and cook until slightly thickened and the cheese is melted. Cook one additional minute. Stir in half-and-half, light cream or milk. Keep soup warm over low heat while preparing the pastry. (The soup can be made ahead and then reheated to add the puff pastry tops.)
Puff Pastry Tops:
Preheat oven to 400°F. Roll each sheet of thawed puff pastry on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch square. Cut three rounds large enough to cover your soup bowls or ramekins from each sheet. If you have a cookie cutter handy, cut designs from the pastry trimmings and brush with the beaten egg.
Divide the soup among six, 8-ounce ovenproof ramekins or soup bowls. Brush the rims with some of the beaten egg. Place a pastry round over each bowl, allowing it to extend slightly over the edge. Press firm against the rim and side to seal. Do not prick the pastry. Brush the entire surface of the pastry with some of the egg and top with your cut-outs.
Makes 6 servings.