Wild rice and mixed mushroom soup is hearty, comforting, and sure to become a fall and winter staple.
It’s that time of year—SOUP season. The temperatures in Alabama have been shifting from the 50’s to the 80’s on an almost-daily basis, but it’s been one of the most beautiful fall seasons I’ve ever seen—deep crimson leaves falling by the buckets and crisp morning air.
It’s the kind of weather that makes you want to cozy up to a mug of hot chocolate or bowl of warming soup without the need to wear 7 layers and double up on socks every time you walk out the door. For being vegetarian, this soup is extremely hearty. The mixed variety of mushrooms add meaty texture and deep, savory flavor. If you’d like to add some meat, try some shredded rotisserie chicken or turkey, diced pieces of leftover ham, or even a few strips of crumbled bacon.
With its chewy texture and nutty flavor, wild rice is a sophisticated upgrade to white rice. Like brown rice, its outer bran layer is preserved, making it more nutritious (and flavorful) than white rice. It’s absolutely delicious in stuffings and pilafs, and it gives extra heft to soups and stews. Like most soups, the longer it sits the better it gets. I always prefer making it a day ahead to really let the flavors marry. Since the rice is pretty durable, it stands up well to freezing and reheating.
Serve with a green salad and crusty bread to sop up any bits left in the bowl and you will be winning weeknights this week. This soup is hearty, healthy, and warm-you-from-the-inside-out good.
- 1 cup wild rice
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 cup diced onions
- ¾ cup finely chopped carrots
- ½ cup finely chopped celery
- 1½ tsp. kosher salt, divided
- ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 lb. mixed mushrooms (I used 8 oz. baby bella, 5 oz. shiitake, and 3 oz. oyster mushrooms)
- 6 thyme sprigs
- 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white wine
- 4 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 cup whole milk
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)
- Bring a pot of water to a boil over medium-high. Add rice, and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook 40 to 50 minutes, until the rice has burst open and is tender. Drain, and set aside.
- Heat oil in a Dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, celery, and ½ tsp. of the salt; cook 8 to 10 minutes, until softened. Add garlic, mushrooms, thyme sprigs, black pepper, and remaining 1 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have released all their liquid and turn golden-brown, about 15 minutes.
- Add flour and stir until the vegetables become sticky and there is no more visible dry flour. Increase heat to medium-high and add wine. Stir and scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Continue simmering until the wine has reduced by about half.
- Add vegetable broth, bring mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
- Add milk and cooked wild rice; stir to combine. Simmer for another 10 minutes. Remove leftover thyme sprigs. Garnish with cheese, if desired.