Wild Mushroom Chowder with Bacon and Leeks

wild mushroom chowder with bacon and leeks in a bowl with a spoon
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Earthy chanterelles are sautéed in a bath of butter with leeks, bacon, potatoes and plenty of heavy creamy for a soul-satisfying wild mushroom chowder recipe. 

A-Hunting We Will Go. 

Here in the great Pacific Northwest, we’re lucky enough to have miles upon miles of soggy, rain-drenched forest right in our backyard, teaming with wild mushrooms. Chanterelles are our very favorite, and every autumn—once enough rain has fallen—we drive out to our secret spot and hunt to our hearts content. Deliciously earthy with a slightly fruity aroma, we love adding our prized mounds of foraged chanterelles to everything from risotto to pasta to this creamy chanterelle chowder. 

Loaded with bacon, potatoes, chanterelles, and plenty of heavy cream it’s basically one big pot of everything good in life.

wild mushroom chowder in a large pot topped with fresh chives

Comfort Food, Upgraded.

Sophisticated ingredients deserve the royal treatment, and wild mushrooms fall in to that category for sure. If you foraged your own, you worked really hard for every last one of these golden mushrooms, and if you bought them at the store, you surely paid a premium. But don’t stress about it—just enjoy your spoils! And if you decide to make this soup, trust that you’re doing the very best by those precious fungi that you possibly could. Here’s everything you’ll need to make this cozy, elegant mushroom chowder: 

  • Bacon
  • Butter
  • Leeks
  • Celery
  • Chanterelles
  • Fresh thyme & a bay leaf
  • Flour 
  • White wine. (Oh, darn. You’ll have to open a bottle of wine. Better pour yourself a glass while you’re at it). 
  • Chicken or vegetable stock
  • Nutmeg & cayenne pepper.
  • Potatoes, cut in half
  • Cream
  • Honey

How to Make Wild Mushroom Soup

This chanterelle soup requires only one pot so you don’t need to wash any extra dishes. If you can’t find chanterelles at your local market, use any wild mushrooms that you can find at the store—morels or lobster mushrooms would be delicious—or regular old white button or cremini mushrooms will also work.  

  1. Pop and sizzle! Fry the bacon in a Dutch oven until crispy. 
  2. Toss in your foraged mushrooms and herbs into the same pot until they smell deliciously fragrant and are slightly darkened around the edges. 
  3. Thicken the chowder base with a dusting of flour. 
  4. Deglaze with white wine, scraping the bottom of the pot to ensure you get all the good bits. Next comes chicken broth, potatoes, and spices. 
  5. Simmer.
  6. Pour in the cream and a squeeze of honey. Cook on low until as you stir in the cream, and finish with a squeeze of lemon. 

wild mushroom soup in a large pot topped with fresh chives
wild mushroom soup in a white bowl topped with fresh chives

Other Mushroom Dishes For The Adventurous Soul: 

Meaty, earthy and just a little mysterious—we’re talking fungi here, after all!—mushrooms are one of our very favorite ingredients. Try these mushroom recipes the next time you go hunting (or just have a hankering): 

A Chanterelle Mushroom Recipe Worthy of The Fabulous Fungi. 

Dig into a bowl of chowder that warms your belly from the inside out. Snap a photo of your wild mushroom soup, and maybe even a video of the beautiful people you feed it to. Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating! 

Wild Mushroom Chowder with Bacon and Leeks

Serves 4

Ingredients

4-6 strips of thick bacon, sliced into 1/4 inch strips
2 tbsp butter
1 cup leeks, white and light green parts, thinly sliced
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
8 oz chanterelles (or other mushrooms) roughly chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp flour (optional)
3/4 cup dry white wine
4 cups chicken stock
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 lb baby yukon gold potatoes, cut in half
1 cup cream
1 tbsp raw honey
1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

Method

  1. In a large, dutch oven or soup pot, over medium heat, fry the bacon pieces until slightly crispy. Add the butter, leeks and celery. Sauté the leek mixture for 5-7 minutes until the leeks and celery begin to soften.
  2. Turn the heat to medium-high and add the chanterelles, thyme and bay leaf. Sauté for 3-5 minutes, until the mushrooms are soft.
  3. Add the flour and stir to incorporate.
  4. Slowly pouring the white wine in, scraping the bottom of the pot. Allow to simmer for 3-5 minutes until the wine reduces by half.
  5. Add the chicken stock, potatoes, salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne. Bring to a boil. As soon as the stock begins to boil, turn heat back down and simmer for 15 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
  6. Add the cream and raw honey. Heat through.
  7. Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice and serve with freshly ground pepper and fresh herbs.

    *The inspiration for this recipe came from Ashely Rodriguez of the blog Not Without Salt.