I really think I need to incorporate more soup into my life. With the amount of flavor that can be developed with this type of food, it’s surprising it’s not all I eat. Just wait until you see the recipe and instructions for this one below. It’s awesome, to say the least.
This recipe has some hearty ingredients included. For starters, it uses a wild rice blend. The exact blend I used includes these types of rice: long grain brown, sweet brown, wild, whole grain wehani and whole grain japonica. It’s put together by Lundberg and is non-gmo verified. That’s the first time I ever saw that label. Pretty neat.
It also includes mushrooms, lots of garlic, onion and some other ingredients that really enhance the flavor. But honestly, it’s the rice I was after with this one. Laura and I have been talking and have decided that it would be good to incorporate more of a variety of foods into our diets. I’ll be writing a lot about the types of ingredients I’m referring to in later posts, but basically, the wild rices, whole grains and tons of vegetables are better for you than much of what’s currently out there. Having this blog will give me a good opportunity to discuss all of this in the future.
I’ll also be focusing more on foods and recipes with less cholesterol, salt, sugar and fat. I know this sounds like I’m taking the fun out of life, but from what I’ve been reading and experimenting with, I’ll tell you that it’s remarkable what one can do with the natural flavors of foods if they’re cooked, combined and prepared correctly. Instead of simply adding ingredients to quickly and easily make something taste good, you can brown, sear, roast, combine, blend and coax many similar flavors from what already exists. And to be honest, it’s this type of learning I was after when I first began this blog, so I think this is a welcome change.
I want you to know that I adapted this recipe from Cook’s Illustrated. I changed it up quite a bit to remove and replace some singular ingredients. For instance, I replaced heavy cream with coconut milk, wild rice with a wild rice blend, cremini mushrooms with white button and chicken stock with vegetable stock. These alterations worked well – especially the coconut milk for the cream. I love coconut milk and it added a nice flavor to the soup.
4 1/4 Cups Water
1 Sprig Fresh Thyme
1 Bay Leaf
1 Peeled Garlic Clove
4 Crushed Garlic Cloves
Ground Black Pepper
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Cup Wild Rice (or Blend)
4 Tablespoons Regular Olive Oil
1 Pound Mushrooms
1 Large Onion
1 Teaspoon Tomato Paste
2/3 Cup Dry Sherry (Dry Vermouth or Dry White Wine works as well)
4 Cups Low-Sodium Vegetable Broth
1 Tablespoon Low-Sodium Soy Sauce
1/4 Cup Cornstarch
1/2 Cup Coconut Milk
1/4 Cup Chopped Scallions
When gathering your dry sherry, don’t make the mistake of using cooking sherry. Cooking sherry is a low grade sherry with quite a bit of salt added. If you take a look at the nutritional information on the back of the bottle, you’ll find that one serving consists of only 2 tablespoons. And in those 2 tablespoons, there are 180 mgs of sodium. That’s a lot. So, if you don’t have any real sherry on hand, go ahead and use a dry white wine like Pinot Grigio. That’s my favorite.
Before I begin, I’d like to talk about something you can quickly and easily change in your diet right now. Today, you can replace your white rice with wild rice. Take a look at these health benefits:
Wild rice contains twice as much protein as brown rice. Wild rice can be eaten by diabetics, since it is actually a grass and the grains are not polished or refined. Of course, small quantities are recommended. It is very rich in antioxidants – containing up to 30 times more than white rice. (Source)
If you’re interested in reading more, please take a look at this resource. I think you’ll be surprised with how good wild rice is for you.
Go ahead and pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. Be sure to adjust one of the racks to the middle position.
In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add in the 1 sprig of thyme, the one whole garlic clove, the bay leaf and the 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda.
Once the water is boiling, add in the 1 cup of wild rice or the wild rice blend.
Bring the liquid to a boil again, then cover and place the saucepan inside the warm oven. Cook for about 35 minutes or until the rice is tender. When it’s finished in the oven, remove. It should look something like this.
Strain the saucepan ingredients with a large strainer into a 4 cup measuring cup.
Doing this yielded me 2 cups of liquid. If you have less than 3 cups too, go ahead and add additional water to the measuring cup until you have 3 cups. Also, be sure to remove the thyme sprig and the bay leaf. I left the garlic clove in there for fun. It’ll be a treat for whoever finds it.
Add the rice back to the saucepan and set both of these ingredients aside for later use.
Prepare the Soup
In a large pot or Dutch oven, add the 4 tablespoons of regular olive oil, the 1 pound of mushrooms (sliced 1/4 inch thick), the 1 large onion (chopped small), the 4 cloves of crushed garlic, the 1 teaspoon of tomato paste and the 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper.
Cook these ingredients over medium-high heat for about 15 minutes or until the mushrooms are browned. At that point, add in the 2/3 cup of dry sherry.
Continue cooking for a few minutes until the sherry all but evaporates.
After this occurs, add in the 3 cups of rice liquid that was set aside earlier, the 4 cups of low-sodium vegetable broth and the 1 tablespoon of low sodium soy sauce. Bring everything to a boil over high heat. Then, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
This is what mine looked like after cooking.
Thicken Up the Soup
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup of corn starch and 1/4 cup of cold water. You should end up with something that looks like milk.
Add this mixture into the soup and continue cooking over low heat for a few more minutes. Stir constantly and you should see the soup begin to thicken.
Next, measure out 1/2 cup of coconut milk. Remove the soup from the heat and add the milk to it. Stir that in as well. Lastly, mix in the 1/4 cup of chopped scallions and serve.
The Final Dish
If there’s one ingredient to be careful of when preparing soup, it’s salt. It’s hidden in so many different places. It’s no good for you and if the effort is taken, you can make up for the lost favor in other ways. Your heart will thank you.
This is a great dish that I’ll be adding to my list of favorites. It’s hearty, tasty and has some nice textures. It’s also a bit different than the more traditional potato soups that I’m used to. Give it a try and let me know what you think.
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