Pic of Mushroom and leek spelt

Mushroom and leek spelt

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Vegetarian mains

Mushroom and leek spelt

Main Serves 2 30 min
Similar to a risotto but made in two separate parts to speed things up. The spelt can be mostly left to cook and plump in the stock, unlike risotto rice. Dried mushrooms boost the flavour and the liquid used to rehydrate them becomes a dark, flavourful stock. They tend to hold a little grit; you'll see it sink to the bottom of the mug. Pour the stock out gently, leaving the last few drops to trap the grit


  • 150g pearled spelt
  • 1 tsp bouillon powder
  • 10g dried mushrooms
  • 2 leeks
  • oil for frying e.g. sunflower or light olive
  • salt and pepper
  • 200g fresh mushrooms
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 15g thyme
  • 75ml white wine
  • 250g crème fraîche
  • 25g Italian style hard cheese, grated
  • 1 lemon
Image of Mushroom and leek spelt


Prep time: 5 min
Cooking time: 25 min
  • Step 1

    Put a kettle on to boil. Rinse the spelt in a sieve. Add the spelt to a large saucepan with 500ml boiling water and the bouillon powder. Stir well and leave to simmer gently for 25 mins. It should absorb the liquid as it cooks, but add a dash more water if it looks like drying out.
  • Step 2

    While the spelt cooks, place the dried mushrooms in a mug and cover with boiling water. Leave them to steep.
  • Step 3

    Trim, finely slice and wash the leeks. Warm 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan. Gently cook the leeks with a pinch of salt for 10 mins, until soft but not colouring.
  • Step 4

    While the leeks cook, slice the fresh mushrooms, not too thinly. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Strip enough thyme leaves away from the stalks to give you about 1 tsp worth.
  • Step 5

    Remove the leeks from the frying pan and keep to one side. Give the pan a wipe clean. Return it to the heat with 1 tbsp oil. When hot, add the mushrooms and fry on a high heat for 3-4 mins, until starting to darken.
  • Step 6

    While they cook, remove the rehydrated dried mushrooms from the mug and roughly chop (save the liquid).
  • Step 7

    Add the garlic, thyme and chopped mushrooms to the frying pan. Cook for another 30 secs. Tip in the wine and let it bubble away until it has almost disappeared.
  • Step 8

    Tip in the mushroom liquid from the mug, leaving the last little bit with any grit in the bottom. Add the cooked leeks. Let the whole lot bubble away for a few mins to reduce the mushroom stock by about half.
  • Step 9

    Drain the cooked spelt and mix it into the mushrooms and leeks. Fold through the crème fraîche. Season to taste with salt, pepper.
  • Step 10

    Serve with cheese sprinkled on top and lemon wedges on the side for squeezing.

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