After my Minnesota holiday vacation, I arrived home in sunny Florida with a pack of Minnesota Wild Rice–thanks to my grandmother–a delicious whole grain that I was dying to cook up in a yummy casserole or soup. I found a great recipe in Veganomicon (great new Vegan cookbook I picked up a few months ago) and decided to give it a try. Now, I am used to a cream-based wild rice soup that my mother and grandmother have been making for years, and although I love this tasty version I have been on a quest for a healthier dairy-free alternative. I altered the recipe a tiny bit to use ingredients I had on hand and suit my needs, but followed it pretty closely for the most part. LOVING the cookbook and LOVE the soup!!
Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup
1/2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 lg. sweet onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs. fresh thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
3 c. sliced baby bella mushrooms (the Veganomicon recipe calls for cremini mushrooms, but I had 2 packs of baby bellas on hand to use up and had a bit of trouble finding creminis in my local grocery store. I figure a health food store might carry them so next time I make this soup I will probably try creminis,, but the baby bellas were delish!)
1 c. uncooked Wild Rice
8 c. vegetable stock
3 carrots, grated
2 Tbs. fresh parsley, chopped
1. Place porcini mushrooms in a bowl. Add 2 c. boiling water and cover with a plate. Allow to steep for about 5 minutes. ***Porcini mushrooms can usually be found in the produce section of a grocery store, nearby mushrooms or possibly herbs. They typically come in 1 oz. packages. I soaked the full oz. and added 1/2 oz. to this soup, and the other 1/2 oz. to a yummy casserole.
2. Preheat stockpot on medium heat. Add olive oil and saute onions for about 3-4 minutes or until softened. Add garlic, thyme, salt and pepper and cook for additional 10 minutes. Keep heat on medium so you don’t burn the fresh garlic.
3. Add baby bella (or whichever other variety) mushrooms to stockpot. Saute for about 5 minutes.
4. Remove the porcini mushrooms from the broth with tongs or fork. Slice mushrooms up thinly and add to stockpot along with broth. Let the mushrooms cook down for about 5-10 minutes or until softened.
**This picture is of the full oz. of porcinis. I recommend using only the 1/2 oz. for this soup because the mushroom flavor is very strong and will overpower the soup. If you want to use up all the mushrooms add only about half of the prorcini broth.
5. Add 6 c. of vegetable broth to mushrooms and stir.
6. Add about 1 c. uncooked wild rice. This is the variety I used–thanks Grandma!
7. Cover stockpot and cook for about 45 minutes. I checked on the soup every 15 minutes or so to stir. Leave covered until rice cooks up soft and tender.
8. Uncover stockpot, add additional 2 c. of vegetable broth and grated carrot. Cook uncovered for additional 20-30 minutes. Feel free to add water if the liquid is evaporating too quickly from the soup.
9. Add freshly chopped parsley and enjoy!
**After making this recipe I felt that it could be even better by adding a few things. I think chopped leeks would add some delicious flavor, along with a little spice like red pepper flake or hot sauce. Next time I might even try with a lentil or bean! yumm!