Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup
Comforting and satisfying, with the earthy flavors of mushrooms and rice, this Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup is perfect for fall and winter.
- 1/4 oz. Dried Shiitake Mushrooms, rinsed (you can use any dried mushrooms you have/like)
- 4.25 cups Water
- 1 Sprig Fresh Thyme
- 1-2 Bay Leaf
- 1 Garlic Clove, peeled, plus 4 cloves, minced
- Kosher Salt and Black Pepper
- 1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
- 1 cup Wild Rice, or a mix of wild, brown and red rice
- 4 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
- 1 lb. Mushrooms, trimmed and sliced 1/4 inch thick (use Cremini, Button, or a mix like oyster, trumpet, cremini, porcini, portobello...)
- 1 Onion, chopped fine
- 1 tsp. Tomato Paste
- 2/3 cup Dry Sherry
- 4 cups Low-Sodium Chicken, Vegetable or Mushroom Chicken broth
- 1 tbsp. Soy Sauce
- 1/4 cup Cornstarch
- 1/4 cup Minced Fresh Chives, or the green parts of a scallion, plus more as garnish
- Zest of One Lemon
- Dollops of Sour Cream for each serving, if desired
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. In a medium saucepan, bring water to boil with one glove of garlic, two bay leaves, thyme sprigs, baking soda and 1 teaspoon kosher salt.
Once boiling, add the rice and bring back to a boil. Cover the saucepan and transfer to the oven. bake the rice for about 25-45 minutes, until tender. The amount of time will vary greatly on what type of rice you use.
When the rice is tender, strain the rice through a fine mesh sieve, reserving the cooking liquid in a large measuring cup or bowl. Discard the garlic clove, bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Add more water to the reserved cooking liquid to equal 3 cups of liquid. Set the rice and the liquid aside.
Grind the dried mushrooms in a spice grinder or blender until finely ground to a powder.
In a large Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion, mushrooms, garlic, tomato paste, about one teaspoon kosher salt and another teaspoon of black pepper.
Cook, stirring occasionally until the pot is mostly dry with a dark fond developing on the bottom, and the vegetables have good browning. About 15 minutes.
Then add the dry sherry to deglaze the pot. Stir up the fond from the bottom of the pot into the mixture. Stir occasionally and cook until the sherry is absorbed and cooked off and the pot is nearly dry again.
Then, sprinkle the ground dried shiitake mushrooms over the mixture and stir to combine. Then add the broth, the reserved rice cooking liquid and the soy sauce to the pot. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and let the Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup simmer for about 20 minutes.
After its 20 minute simmer, the mushrooms should be tender. Taste for seasoning and add more kosher salt if needed. Whisk together 1/4 cup water and the cornstarch to make a slurry. Stir the slurry into the soup. Return the soup and simmer and cook until the soup has thickened, about 2 more minutes. Then remove the soup from heat.
Off heat, stir in the cooked rice, sliced green onion and lemon zest. Cover the pot and let the soup sit for about 20 minutes. Taste the soup again before serving. Add more kosher salt and pepper if needed.
For serving, ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with a scattering of fresh cut green onion or chives. Top servings with a dollop of sour cream, if desired.