Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup

I actually made this soup a while ago, when the weather was still appropriate for a hearty soup like this. But I didn’t post it because there was one little ingredient that the original recipe (found on The Kitchn) called for that completely ruined it for me: rosemary. Now I like rosemary in certain situations. However, adding dried rosemary to a soup is something I’ll never do again. Those little pieces never soften so you end up being very aware of them, and not in a good way.

This time I omitted the rosemary and I think the soup is a real winner. It was maybe a little too hot to make it last night, but I don’t regret it. One major change I made (reflected below) was to use two boxes of Rice A Roni Long Grain Wild Rice, because I couldn’t find actual wild rice. I think that this change made the soup taste even better though. The seasoning packet helped make it even more flavorful. I also used vegetable broth the first time, and decided that chicken broth tastes better. I also cut down the amount a little. This soup takes some time, so take that into consideration when you are planning to have it for dinner. We didn’t eat until almost 8.

2 boxes Rice-a-Roni Long Grain Wild Rice
1 large onion, diced
4 celery stalks, diced
1 pound sliced mushrooms
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon oregano
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup white wine
1 bay leaf
3 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth/stock
1 cup whole milk or cream
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
Salt to taste

I dice the celery and onion pretty small so they sort of disappear into the soup, but if you want a chunkier soup, just rough chop them. You can either cut up your mushrooms or leave them in slices, which is what I would recommend. Big meaty slices of mushrooms—yum!

So, get your rice started by following the instructions on the boxes. Then get out your Dutch oven or trusty soup pot and heat up a little bit of oil over medium-high heat. Add in the diced celery and onion and cook, stirring, just about 4-5 minutes until they start to get tender and translucent. I also added in salt and pepper at this point. Turn the heat down to medium and stir in your mushrooms. You’ll want to cook the mushrooms for a good 20 minutes to get them nice and brown and caramelized. That’s where the flavor of the soup really comes from so don’t get impatient. Don’t feel like you have to constantly stir it, but you should mix it up about every 8 minutes or so to make sure nothing burns. Leaving it sit actually helps the caramelization.
Next add in your garlic and oregano. The recipe says cook until fragrant. I never know what that means but they recommend about 30 seconds. Now you want to sprinkle the flour over the vegetables, and stir it up. You want the flour to soak up the liquid and stick everything together. Once that happens, turn up the heat to medium high again and you can pour in your wine and deglaze the pot (scrape up any delectable brown bits from the bottom of the pot). Let this simmer for a little bit until it thickens up and some of the wine evaporates, about 5-8 minutes.

Put in the bay leaf. Just break it in half, but don’t crumble it. You’ll want to remove it later (people shouldn’t eat bay leaves.) And add in the broth or stock. The original recipe called for 4 cups of stock, but it always seems a bit too much to me, so I cut it down to 3 ½ cups. Bring this to a boil, then turn it down to simmer for 20 more minutes. (See, I told you this would take awhile.)

Now, add in your rice, which should be done by now, and the milk or cream. Simmer AGAIN for 15 more minutes. It’s worth it, I swear. Finally, add the vinegar and salt to taste. It makes a lot of soup, but the leftovers last and it’s definitely tasty enough to have a few nights in a row.

(click for printable recipe)

No comments:

Post a Comment