Sunday, February 9, 2014

Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup

I know a lot of you out there have had a long cold winter already. Luckily here on the west coast it has been pretty nice, other than the rain, rain and more rain. It is still better than -50 with a wind chill.

If you need something to warm you up this soup is for you!
It is creamy but not too rich and I love the crunch of the wild rice.

It seems a little fancy but it comes together really easily, and it tastes amazing.

What you need,

1 tbsp. olive oil
6 slices of bacon, sliced thinly crosswise
1 lb. button mushrooms, sliced
1 yellow onion, diced
3 ribs celery, diced
1 large carrot, diced
½ cup raw wild rice
6 cups low sodium chicken broth, homemade if you have it
15 sprigs fresh thyme
10 sprigs fresh flat leaf parsley
6 sprigs fresh sage
1 bay leaf
(Tie all the herbs together in a bundle with kitchen twine)
5 tbsp. butter
½ cup all-purpose flour
Salt and Pepper
1½ cups heavy cream
For Garnish,
½ cup slivered almonds, toasted
½ cup chopped fresh chives

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp, it should take about 5-6 minutes.

Add the mushrooms to the pan and stir to coat well in the bacon fat. Let the mushrooms cook for 4-6 minutes on one side without stirring until they are well browned. Stir in the celery, carrot and onion; let them cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the rice, stirring to coat, and then add the broth and the herb bundle. Bring the soup to boil and reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Cook the soup uncovered until the rice is tender but still it still has a little crunch, 30-40 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Add the flour and whisk constantly until the mixture darkens to a caramel color, 3-4 minutes. Watch it carefully you don’t want it to burn. Set aside off heat.

Once the rice is cooked, pick out the herb bundle and throw it away. Whisk the butter/flour mixture into the soup a little at a time, it will thicken very quickly. The soup may seem a little thick at this point but the cream will thin it out. If it is very thick you can add a splash more stock.

Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper.
Then add the cream and stir well to combine.

Ladle some of the soup into bowls, and then sprinkle on some of the toasted almonds and the chives. Serve right away.

This soup was truly amazing. It would be great as a starter for a dinner party. You can make the soup to the point just before you add the cream and stash it in the fridge. Then just reheat the soup over medium heat until hot, and then stir in the cream just before serving.

Such a great meal to warm you up on a COLD winter day!


Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking

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