Sunday, March 1, 2009

Mushroom Wild Rice Soup

This is a rich, flavorful and unique soup! And it's fairly easy to make but will require about an hour of preparation time, and another hour (minimum) to simmer. Soups are ALWAYS better the second day, so make it in advance whenever possible! Let's get our ingredients in order. 

Oh, and since the Wild Rice will take 50-70 minutes to cook, get it going first, then use the cooking time to chop, slice, dice and otherwise prepare the remaining ingredients!



2 cups Wild Rice
1 stalk Celery, finely chopped
1/2 Tbsp Butter
Salt and Pepper

2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 medium Onion, chopped
2 small stalks Celery, no leaves, sliced diagonally
3 medium Carrots, diced
1/2 cup Red Wine, to deglaze pan

12 oz. Mushrooms, sliced thickly (I prefer a mix of Crimini and White Button)
5-6 cups Beef, Vegetable or Chicken Stock
1 Tbsp Butter
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Thyme (fresh is best)
Salt and Pepper


Before chopping mushrooms and ingredients for the mirepoix, start by cooking the Wild Rice with a finely chopped Celery, a pat of Butter, and Salt and Pepper. Don't substitute other oils; better to leave out the Butter if you're watching fat content. 

While the Wild Rice is cooking, peel and mince the Garlic, peel and chop the Onion, slice the Celery, and peel and dice the Carrots. Place Butter and Olive Oil in a large stock pot and melt over medium high heat. Add Garlic, Onion, Celery and Carrots, saute for 10 minutes or until all ingredients are fairly soft.

Bring flame to medium, deglaze the pan with Red Wine. Add Thyme and Mushrooms, and a bit of Salt and freshly ground Pepper. 

Cook for 10 minutes or until Mushrooms are soft. Add Wild Rice and enough Chicken, Vegetable or Beef Stock to more than cover mixture. Simmer for at least one hour, several even better, stirring occasionally and checking liquid level. Add more stock if necessary.

If making  a day ahead, allow soup to cool completely, then refrigerate. Reheat over medium flame, checking stock level so that the Wild Rice doesn't burn on pan bottom.

Serve hot with fresh bread or croutons. Serves 6-8 large portions.

Chef's Notes: Top each bowl with grated Gruyere or Emmental for more flavor and texture.

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