I am still hooked on soup, even though it was 95 degrees out today. It is comforting and simple. This mushroom and wild rice soup is creamy and hearty! I would almost classify it as a chowder, with the use of the flour roux and such.
I will definitely be making it again this winter. I chose to use two types of mushrooms for this soup – crimini and portabello. Both have a very meaty texture and I thought they’d stand up well, both in terms of texture and flavor, in this soup. I wanted to buy oyster mushrooms, but they were slightly out of my price range. Next time, maybe I’ll try to find some other varieties, possibly dried, to use in the soup.
When I went to my local grocery co op to get the mushrooms, I was so excited to see that Straus, the brand of milk, yogurt, and sour cream that I buy, also makes half and half! Straus is a local and organic dairy. I was also pleasantly surprised that the bottle of half and half was not that much more expensive (about $.20, if I remember) than the more mainstream brands. I look forward to working with it more in the future!
Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup
1 1/2 c. rice (I used a brown rice/wild rice blend)
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 c. carrots, chopped
1/2 c. celery, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 c. flour
8 c. vegetable stock (I use water and 4 bouillon cubes)
16 oz. mushrooms (any kinds you like), sliced
1 c. half and half
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 c. chopped parsley
Cook your rice in 4 1/2 c. water for 40-45 minutes, until tender and fluffy. If you are using regular white rice, or another variety other than brown or white, adjust the amount of water you need accordingly. Set aside the cooked rice.
As you’re preparing the rice, you can multi-task and start chopping!
In a dutch oven or large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, saute the onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Saute the aromatics for 3-5 minutes, until soft. Add the thyme and oregano, stirring in.
Add the flour and stir, cooking an additional 2 minutes. Add your stock and bring the mixture to a boil. While boiling, add the mushrooms, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture down to a simmer and cook for 10-12 minutes, until mushrooms are softened slightly.
Once the mushrooms are tender, add in the cooked rice and the half and half, bringing to a boil until the soup is back up to a heated temperature, about 5 minutes. Finally, stir in the parsley and serve.
While the rice was cooking, I also made a batch of ricotta biscuits to have with the soup. I they are light and fluffy without any butter and little oil! I used low-fat ricotta and non-fat plain yogurt (Straus of course!) so they are fairly healthy!