Mushroom, Kale and Lemongrass Soup

photo by Sandra Kohlmann

Adapted from recipe by Sandra Kohlmann, 10/1/2013

This is a simple, light, and quick soup.


Without water any water yet ... In a large (6 qt.) stock pot on medium-high heat add some olive oil and then a chopped bunch of celery, a large onion chopped and several cloves of garlic chopped. This gets to be a lot of stuff in the pot. After the onion is transparent and garlic turns a little gold, then add 1 leek chopped (including greens), 1/2 lb. or more mushrooms, 2-3 large carrots chopped, and a bay leaf. Add 3 quarts of water (half full). Bring to a rapid boil for a few minutes and then simmer for an hour or more. Do not add salt or soy, or potatoes or anything starchy. Strain out all the solids to your compost bin (yes, this seems tragic). Here's the Kitchn broth recipe that I used if you prefer the original.

Soup Ingredients

  • 3 quarts vegetable broth, above
  • 1 generous handful 2-inch pieces of lemongrass
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed (yes, more)
  • Green half of a leek, cut into two-inch pieces (yes, more)
  • 1 pound white or cremini mushrooms, cleaned and quartered (yes, more)
  • 1/2 pound (8-10 oz. dry) Thai rice noodles
  • 3-4 cups chopped, washed kale (yay Publix). Remove any gnarly stems.
  • 1-2 tbsp soy or tamari sauce


  • Salt and pepper
  • Wedges from 3-4 limes
  • Thai chili sauce [Sriracha is great, but it contains fish sauce, so vegans beware...]
  • Slices of fresh ginger root


  1. In a 6-quart stock pot, bring the broth to a boil.
  2. Use the back side of a chef's knife to bruise the lemongrass. Mine was too tough to bruise, so I chopped it.
  3. Add the lemongrass, garlic, and leek to the simmering broth. Continue to simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Strain the lemongrass, garlic, and leek from the broth.
  5. Add the mushrooms and dry noodles. Bring to a boil, and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the rice noodles are white and tender. (Spaghetti noodles were called for in the original recipe.)
  6. Stir in the kale, and simmer another 3-5 minutes, or until the kale is wilted.
  7. Season with tamari. 
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste. 
  9. Garnish with a squeeze of lime or ginger, and chili sauce.