Fresh and dried mushrooms add to the rich depth of flavor in this savory soup.
Baking soda is added to the cooking water of the wild rice, as the bubbles created from the baking soda serve to get under the tough husk of the rice allowing the water to penetrate better, thereby speeding up the cooking time.
Use a spice grinder to finely grind up the dried mushrooms, then set aside.
Saute the mushrooms and onions until browned.
Once the veggies are browned, about 15 minutes, pour in some white wine to deglaze the pan whisking until the fond is dissolved. This ‘fond’ adds an amazing depth of flavor to the soup, which is why you want to always use a heavy bottomed pan like a Dutch oven (thinner pots will burn the fond).
Just before serving, stir in the cream (or use canned coconut milk for dairy free) along with the lemon zest. Adding the zest at the end keeps its flavor bright and fresh with a light acidity, which is a nice balance against the richness of the soup.
Wild Rice & Mushroom Soup
- 4 cups water
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 garlic cloves divided
- 1 ½ tsp salt divided
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ½ cup wild rice
- ¼ cup butter or margarine
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 lb cremini mushrooms ¼” sliced
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 tsp tomato paste
- 2/3 cup sherry or white wine
- ¼ oz dried mushrooms finely ground using a spice grinder (6 Tbsp)
- 4 cups chicken broth or vegetable
- 1 Tbsp GF soy sauce
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ½ cup cream or canned coconut milk
- ¼ cup fresh chives finely chopped
- ¼ tsp lemon zest
- Add the first 5 ingredients (1 whole garlic, ¾ tsp salt) into a Dutch oven and bring to a boil. Add in baking soda and rice and return to a boil. Cover and place in oven at 375°F for 40 minutes, or until rice is tender. Set a strainer over a 4 cup measuring cup and pour rice mixture through strainer. Add more water to bring the level up to 3 cups, and set aside along with the rice (discarding the bay leaf and garlic).
- Add the butter to the pot and melt over medium high heat, along with the pepper, chopped mushrooms and onions. After 5 minutes, reduce heat to medium and add the tomato paste and remaining ¾ tsp salt and 2 minced cloves of garlic. Continue cooking for another 10 minutes until veggies are browned and a dark fond develops on bottom of pot (this is why you want to use a heavy bottomed pot like a Dutch oven – the fond will build up on the bottom but will not burn).
- Deglaze the pot by whisking in the sherry, stirring to scrape up all the bits stuck to the bottom of the pot, until the sherry is nearly evaporated. Stir in dried mushrooms, broth, soy sauce, along with reserved liquid from cooking rice and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer, cooking for another 20 minutes.
- In a small dish whisk together cornstarch with ¼ cup of cold water, then add to soup, stirring until soup thickens. Turn heat off and stir in cream, chives, lemon zest and reserved wild rice. Cover an set aside 10 minutes to allow rice to reheat in soup.