I will warn you up front that the measurements of the spices is only general as I blended these by smell not by measurement. I was looking for a spicing that would help bring out the piquancy of the leeks and support the savoriness of the mushrooms. Also, this recipe can be made up with more or less cooking broth, depending on if you want something like a soup or something more like a side dish.
Mushrooms and Leeks
1 lb crimini mushrooms (portabellos will work too)
1 lb leeks
1 tablespoon (more or less) ginger powder
1/2 tablespoon (more or less) garlic powder
1 teaspoon (more or less) cinnamon powder
1/2 teaspoon (more or less) coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon (more or less) nutmeg powder
1/4 teaspoon (more or less) mace powder
1/4 teaspoon (more or less) cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon (more or less) black pepper
1 teaspoon (more or less) salt
1-2 cups (more or less) chicken broth
Thinly slice the leeks across the grain into coins, between 1/16 and 1/8 of an inch thick. Hint: Slice the leeks then clean them to get the most grit/sand out of them. As you reach the dark green of the outer leaves, remove them and continue slicing the lighter/brighter green of the inner leaves.
Thickly slice the mushrooms, between 1/8 and 1/4 of an inch.
Place leeks and mushrooms in a pan with spices and add broth. If the dish is a side dish, fill with broth to about 2/3 the height of the mushrooms and leeks (you will bet more fluid from the mushrooms as they cook); if the dish will be a soup, make sure the mushrooms and leeks are completely covered with fluid.
Simmer until the mushrooms and leeks are cooked. You want them to cook for the same length of time to allow the flavors to marry and for the mushrooms to become the dominant flavor in the broth.
I liked how the ginger and the garlic helped enhance the sharpness of the leeks and brightened the dish. The cinnamon, cumin, coriander, mace, and nutmeg balanced the sharpness and supported the meatiness of the mushrooms.
This dish is a wonderful low-fat dish. If you used vegetable broth (preferably not tomato-based) to make a vegetarian version, few carnivores would miss the lack of meat. I made three quarts of this for potluck of 150 people and it was gone by the time 3/4 of the people had gotten through the line!
Serve with bread for a satisfying soup.