Minnesota Mama Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup

From Sarah Merchlewitz

Serves 6-8

[Ed: According to Sarah, this soup comes from the Cafe Brenda Cookbook. “Cafe Brenda was a vegetarian restaurant in downtown Minneapolis for 23 years,” she writes. “The eponymous chef continues to be a pioneer in the Minnesota local and healthy food movements. By pure coincidence, my own mother’s name is Brenda, and she lives in Minnesota.” One note: this was thick and packed with savory shrooms as is … but was put over the top last week with a little sprinkle of the white truffle salt that one enterprising gourmand was passing around the bar. Holy $O%#$%!]

Ingredients

3/4 cup wild rice
7 cups vegetable stock**
1/3 cup long grain brown rice
rosemary — dried or fresh, a generous sprinkling
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1 pound mushrooms, sliced [I used portobello and crimini]
2 cups half-and-half
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 cup white wine
salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Wash wild rice thoroughly.

Bring stock to a boil, add wild rice, brown rice, and rosemary. Simmer covered for 1 hour or until rice is tender. While rice is cooking, chop vegetables. [Or if you’re like me, you’ll go out for a jog and worry the whole time that you’ll come back to a burned-down kitchen. It always turns out fine.]

Sauté onion, carrot, and celery in olive oil for about 10 minutes. When rice is tender, add vegetables to the rice.

Take 2 cups of the vegetable-rice mixture and purée in a blender; add purée back to soup.

Sauté mushrooms in butter or oil. Purée half of the sautéed mushrooms with the half-and-half and add to soup.

Add the rest of the sautéed mushrooms, parsley, wine, salt, and pepper. Simmer soup, uncovered, until heated through, but do not let it boil.

**I like to save the usually discarded parts of vegetables (such as carrot ends, onion skins, beet greens, etc) in a bag in my freezer. When I need to make a soup, I boil the veggie scraps with a few spices and herbs, and voilá have an easy and tasty vegetable stock.

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