Chef’s Block

Chef’s Block

No, not a cutting board; I know you’ve all probably heard the term “writer’s block” before, but this week following my binge on Mexican food I experienced a total Chef’s Block.   I just could not for the life of me figure out what to make for dinner.  I blame this squarely on two things: neglecting my blog and foodie community in favor of my job that actually pays the bills and my evening workouts that cause me to become so famished that simple carbs and proteins are all that appeals to me. Hello Almond Butter and Toast.

Yeah, I know, boring!

So after wasting an entire lunch hour (and then some) scouring websites and blogs looking for inspiration to no avail, I finally sent an email to Tess for ideas.

Tess is my favorite person to discuss food with, we both love it; we both love to eat it.  We don’t always eat the same way, but we always drool over the other’s concoctions.  Anyway Tess sent me an email with one word that got the creativity flowing back: Soup.

For some reason that triggered a craving for mushrooms, and from there I thought, cream of mushroom? No, I need it lighter, but still warm and savoury.  From there, the recipe just came to be…

Visions of mushrooms and leeks began dancing in my head

Now, I don’t often make soup, especially on weeknights  Homemade soup for me is always interpreted as layer upon layer of subtle flavors coming together over a slowly simmering pot, aka a process that takes a few hours.  This one changed that game for me as it took 20 minutes to make. Seriously, I began chopping at 7:30 and by 7:50 I was slurping up some soup-y goodness.

So with that, I give you:

Mushroom and Leek Soup with Thyme

You will need:

1 Tbsp Olive oil

1 Tbsp butter (I used vegan margarine)

1 lb of mushrooms, sliced (I used mini bellas and white, but cremini’s would be an excellent addition)

1 medium leek thinly sliced

2 cloves of garlic minced

3 c. vegetable broth

A few sprigs of thyme

Salt and pepper to taste


Heat oil and butter in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat.  Toss in your leeks and sauté until softened and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes, then add in your garlic and stir for another 30 seconds.

Add in your mushrooms and let them cook for a good 5 minutes until softened and reduced in size.  You still want some of their liquid to be in the pan as this will simply add more flavor.

This smelled sooooo good!


After the mushrooms have reduced in size by half, add in your stock and thyme and bring a simmer.  Reduce heat, taste, and season with a salt and pepper.


I enjoyed mine with a few slices of this delicious sunflower seed bread topped with roasted onion hummus. Which, by the way, you need try out asap if you haven’t already!

How could you say no to that?!


So happy my Chef’s block quickly disappeared with the help from my friend 🙂

Question: Do you ever find yourself lacking inspiration or in a cooking rut? What do you do to get re-inspired?


About Jess @ MTL Veggie

Jess, the face behind The MTL Veggie is a vegetarian, athlete, marketer and Torontonian turned Montrealer. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, photography, running, yoga, skiing, and of course blogging. The MTL Veggie recaps her recipes, restaurant reviews, and what it's like to be a Leafs fan living in Montreal (hint: scary at times).
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3 Responses to Chef’s Block

  1. Tess says:

    Omg, I ALWAYS crave nuts after a workout! I have no idea why though…. the body needs protein and simple carbs after a workout, and nuts are clearly high in fat…. weird.

    I’m your favourite person to discuss food with? 😀 Aww Jess. The reverse is also true 🙂

    And you’re right – that bread looked amazing!

    • Tess says:

      PS. Healthy tip: for anybody who wants a creamy texture to their soup but thinks they have to use tons of cream/milk/butter to attain it, think again! Just add your finished broth-based soup to a blender and mix ’til smooth. You seriously won’t know the difference!

  2. ALWAYS on the hunt for great soup recipes. Thanks for sharing!!

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