I have a weak spot for wild rice. (A Minnesotan childhood will do that to a person.) This soup is inspired by one I used to eat at The St. Paul Hotel when my grandmother took me to dinner. I've lightened up the amount of cream I'm sure they used, and upped the total amount of mushrooms. But the overall rich, hearty, bitter wind-fighting properties are all there. Perfect with crusty bread and something bright like Parsley & Preserved Lemon Salad.
Note: This soup is flexible. Feel free to add chopped sausage, bacon, or pancetta with the onions (or carrots and/or celery for more vegetables). Leftover shredded chicken can be stirred in at the end for an even heartier soup.
Don't like mushrooms? Try this Cream of Wild Rice Soup instead!
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
- 1 cup wild rice
- 1 ounce porcini or other dried mushrooms
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 1 pound mushrooms, stems finely chopped and caps thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt plus more to taste
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- 1/3 cup dry white wine, fino sherry, or brandy
- 4 cups chicken, vegetable, or mushroom broth
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Boil or steam the wild rice (see how here). Set the cooked wild rice aside.
- Meanwhile, put the dried mushrooms in a small bowl, pour 1 1/2 cups boiling water over them, and let them sit at least 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter over medium-high heat in a large heavy pot. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until they're soft, about 3 minutes. Increase the heat to high, add the mushrooms and salt, and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms have released all of their liquid and that liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, scoop out the dried mushrooms (be sure to reserve their soaking liquid), squeezing out as much liquid from them as possible. Chop them and add them to the pot.
- Sprinkle the vegetables with flour. Cook, stirring, until the raw flour smell disappears, about 3 minutes.
- Add the wine, sherry, or brandy. Stir and scrape up any browned bits clinging to the pot until the liquid is mostly evaporated, about 3 minutes.
- Add the broth and the reserved mushroom-soaking liquid. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the flavors blend, about 15 minutes. Add the wild rice and cook until hot. At this point you can puree a cup or two of the soup if you like for a finer overall texture.
- Add the cream. Simmer a few minutes to blend the flavors further. Serve the soup garnished with freshly ground black pepper.
Makes 4 to 6 servings Wild Rice & Mushroom Soup.