13 August 2012

Hearty Wild Rice Soup

It's been cooler in Indiana the past few days (Saturday it only got to about 74 degrees - I love it!) and we are supposed to have high temperatures of around 80 for most of the rest of the week. Plus, today is grey and overcast. For Shana and me, that means soup. Soup is infinitely versatile and warms you from the inside out; it is absolutely one of my favorite foods. During fall and winter months, we eat soup at least two nights a week and commented during our meal planning this week that we can't wait to eat soup all the time again.

Tonight I'm making a vegan version of one of the first recipes I ever created. As a pre-teen and teenager (and good Minnesotan!), I LOVED wild rice soup. When I would meet my mom downtown for lunch, we would walk through the skyways to a soup/salad/bread place and I would always get the wild rice soup with bread. I can still remember what it tastes like. In addition, Byerly's (a grocery store) sells delicious pre-made wild rice soup, so I could easily purchase and eat that any time. Thus, when I started getting in to cooking, I decided I wanted to make wild rice soup on my own. My dad pulled down a recipe that his mom used and suggested that I start with her recipe. However, since I was new to cooking, I made a big mistake. The recipe called for 1.5-2 cups of wild rice, but it meant already cooked rice. I put in 1.5-2 cups of uncooked rice and ended up with a thick, but delicious, stew. I loved that recipe and named my creation "Wild Maggie's Rice Soup." After going vegan, I wanted to see if I could make something as delicious, but without the chicken stock, ham, bacon, and velveeta cheese from the original recipe.

This version of Wild Maggie's Rice Soup (which I now call "Hearty Wild Rice Soup") is healthier than the original, but makes a TON of thick, creamy soup.  So, you might want to have people over for dinner, plan to eat this a few days in a row, or cut the recipe in half. I also think this soup pairs nicely with a simple, crisp salad. Oh, and if you're outside Minnesota, wild rice is expensive! It's worth it in this dish, as the mildly nutty flavor and chewy texture of the wild rice are the star of the soup.


Hearty Wild Rice Soup
Ingredients
2 T. olive oil
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
3 medium to large carrots, peeled and stew cut
2 fist-sized red potatoes, washed, UNpeeled, and stew cut
8 c. veggie broth (I use Better Than Bullion's "No Chicken")
1 c. water
1 1/2 c. uncooked wild rice
5 T. all-purpose flour
1/2-3/4 c. nutritional yeast
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
1. Heat the oil in a large stock pot, add the onions and saute over medium-high heat until they start to get soft.
2. Rinse your rice under running water (it tends to be dusty).
3. Add carrots, potatoes, broth, water, and rice to pot. Reduce heat to medium low and cover, stirring occasionally, until rice is done to your liking (anywhere from 40-50 minutes).
4. Put flour in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and add a bit of cool water. Close tightly and shake to combine, making sure there are no clumps of dry flour remain, aiming for a pancake-batter consistency. Add to soup to thicken.
5. Put nutritional yeast in the same jar with a bit of water, close tightly and shake to combine, then add to soup.
6. Add salt and pepper to taste (or just leave it on the table for people to season their own bowls).

Helpful Hints
  • Here's Nutritional Yeast again! If you missed it, take a look at the Helpful Hints from my risotto post to learn about where to buy it. 
  • Wild rice takes a long time to cook when it is whole. If you can find "cracked" wild rice (it's essentially broken pieces of the whole grain), feel free to use that in this soup. It will take less time to cook, so you may want to cut your carrots and potatoes slightly smaller, though that is often not necessary. Cracked wild rice still needs to be rinsed. 
  • If you don't have one already, it is incredibly helpful to have at least one glass jar with a tight-fitting lid among your kitchen tools. I have a couple of varying sizes and use them at least once a week. They are great for blending thickeners before adding them to hot liquid (as in this recipe) or making vegan eggs with Ener-G's Egg Replacer, or for mixing up a quick salad dressing. 
  • You may need to add more water before you put your leftovers away since the rice will continue to absorb liquid. Alternatively, add some before you reheat leftovers. 
  • The broth you choose to use will affect the flavor of this dish a ton, so make sure you use one you like. The "no-chicken" broth I use is super delicious and is soy-free. 

5 comments:

  1. Mmmm! We just had this tonight (and I will eat it every day for lunch this week). We even had our first Minnesota wild rice! Thanks for the recipe!

    Also of note - I noticed that Byerly's wild rice soup has 17 grams of fat (I had to check it out while I was purchasing the goods for yours). Whew!

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    1. 17 grams!?! I'm not sure how much mine has, but it can't have that much, at least I don't think so. Anyway, I'm glad you liked it! :) Wild rice is probably my favorite food ever.

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  2. no idea what is in that nutritional yeast, but unless it is full of fat (unlikely) then the 2T of oil is scoff worthy. Seriously - seeing the fat content made me all the more excited to go home and make your soup!

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  3. I just looked it up - 3 T of nutritional yeast is about 1 gram of fat. I used 1/2 cup...which means 8T....or less than 3 grams of fat in the whole ginormous pot.

    Pretty darn healthy soup!

    Also - we took compost to your parents and chatted them up tonight. They are such good people. They took out compost and gave us broccoli (and beans, and peppers, and tomatoes, and beets, and a zucchini with the instructions to make zucchini bread and ensure that I added chocolate chips).

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    1. Yeah, I didn't think it was very fatty. But I'm glad to know my soup is relatively healthy!

      Also, so glad you stopped by to say hello. They really do love being helpful (and sharing veggies). And if my mom gave you her zucchini bread recipe, it's SO good!

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