Creamy mushroom and wildrice soup

I am currently on a soup kick. When I’m planning meals for the week, I have to limit myself so we aren’t eating soup for every meal. I used to not think soup was a viable option for dinner – that it would be too light and I would get hungry. However, I have found that this is not the case. I’ve found some delicious and hearty soups that are warm and actually filling. Especially with a piece of crusty, buttery bread on the side.

I found this excellent recipe from Half Baked Harvest, which is a very good food blog I follow. What I love about this soup is the creaminess with only 1 cup of whole milk. The creamy texture comes from taking out a few cups of the soup, blending it, and putting it back in the soup. I’ve found that quite a few recipes do this with soups or chilis to make them creamy and it definitely works.

The recipe calls for chicken, but says that the chicken can just be omitted to make it vegetarian. However, I found that I wished I had doubled the mushrooms since I didn’t put the chicken. My recipe will reflect the doubled amount of mushrooms.

Also, in this recipe, the thyme really shines. I would definitely recommend using fresh thyme instead of ground. If you don’t grow thyme, having to buy it is a pain because it’s $2 for a small thing of it. Growing it is actually really easy. You only have to water it every few days and is easily grown in a pot.


Creamy mushroom and wildrice soup

Preptime: 15 minutes 
Cooktime: 45 minutes to an hour
Serves: 4 

2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb baby portobello or cremini mushrooms or a mix with wild mushrooms
Salt and pepper
2-3 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed from stem
6 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)
1 cup wild rice
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese plus extra for serving.

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the onion and cook for about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute. Add the mushrooms and thyme, cooking for a few minutes. Remove about half of the mixture and place in a blender with 2 cups of broth and blend until smooth. Put back in the pot with the remaining 4 cups of broth and 2 cups of water. (This seems like a lot of liquid, but the rice with absorb a lot of water). Add the rice, bring to a boil and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the rice is tender. You may need to go for longer depending on the type of rice you have. Finish by adding the milk and parmesan cheese. Serve in a bowl, top with the parmesan and eat with some crusty bread.


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