Remove roots, outer leaves, and tops from leeks, leaving 6 inches of each leek. Cut each diagonally into thirds, then diagonally in half to form 6 triangular pieces. Rinse under cold water; drain well.
Combine beef broth, tomato paste, salt, thyme, and pepper in a bowl, and stir with a whisk.
Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add leeks and mushrooms, and sauté 6 minutes or until the vegetables are lightly browned. Add broth mixture. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until leeks are tender. Uncover, and simmer 7 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates, stirring occasionally.
I used baby portobello mushrooms which were frozen so it was very watery. Next time i'll saute the mushrooms first to cook down the liquid. My husband suggested adding 1 tsp of fennel seeds and it really made a big difference to the complexity of taste! We'll make it again as it was an interesting way to eat leeks.
Very easy to prepare and delivers a deep, rich flavor -- which is great for the mushrooms, but the delicate flavor of the leeks is lost. Other recipes I have for leeks use cream and white wine which I think is much better. But still this recipe is good and I would make again; I used a mixed of brown mushrooms and shitake mushrooms which are 'earthy', so I might try using only white button mushrooms to mellow the flavor. Served with grilled steak and CL Creamy Herb Mashed Potatoes -- although I think the leeks would be good served over pasta.
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