ForneyLife

Minnesota Wild Rice Soup

Posted in Food, Recipes by Elizabeth on January 21, 2011

It’s that time of January when the spring still seems a long way away.  Root vegetables remain the star of farmer’s markets and restaurant menus, but you’re starting to crave spring asparagus and early blueberries.  With word of snow in DC’s forecast, a predicted 1-3 inches (which usually means a dusting accompanied by some bitter wind), I sighed and searched for another soup to soothe my cold feet and hands.  I came upon a number of Minnesota Wild Rice soup recipes and decided it was precisely the remedy for January blues.  Judging from my online research, I am guessing that if you are from Minnesota you’ve had this soup.  I’m also guessing that your mom or dad has her or his own version, which of course is the best wild rice soup you’ve ever had.  If this particular recipe violates your mother’s amazing wild rice soup, I apologize.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 leeks, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 8-10 oz mushrooms, chopped
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 2-3 chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2 cups cannellini beans
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 c flour
  • red pepper flakes (optional)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Since wild rice takes about 50 minutes to cook, this soup can take some planning ahead.  I roasted my chicken breasts at 400 degrees for about 25-30 minutes, let it rest, and chopped it into bite-sized pieces.  For the cannellini beans, I soaked overnight about a cup and cooked them the following day.  Canned beans will also work. Set the rice, chicken, and beans aside.

In a large pot, over medium-high heat, melt the butter and add the vegetables with a healthy dash of salt for about 12-15 minutes until they are softened.  I kept my vegetables chunky for a more rustic soup.  I also put a few shakes of red pepper flakes in at this stage of the process.  This is optional and great for a kick in the soup.  Add the flour and stir until it is mixed with all the vegetables.  Add the chicken stock and bring the soup to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, add the rice, chopped chicken, and beans.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Let everything get nice and warm together for another five minutes on low heat.  Serve with a piece of bread or some crackers.  I followed this soup with my favorite cranberry ginger cookies.  Wind gusts of 40mph?  Bring it on.

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