And Soup Week continues! It also ends with this delicious creamy rice and mushroom soup. I guess since I only post 2–3 recipes each week, theme weeks are not very epic around here, huh? Theme months would be way too much I think, but maybe I'll start doing theme fortnights in the future. (Yes, I said fortnight. I'm fancy like that.)
Creamy, Meaty Comfort Food
Having grown up in the midwest, I can tell you this: Midwesterners like their food creamy. We love cheesy casseroles, anything made with canned soup, and all kinds of concoctions made with sour cream, mayo, and/or cheese sauce (usually and, not or). Being sick last week, I was craving comfort food and to me, comfort food is creamy food. So I set out to make a vegetarian version of the classic Creamy Wild Rice and Chicken Soup. And then, because it's the New Year and I'm trying to watch what I eat, I set out to make a lighter version. Behold, Vegetarian Creamy Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup.
The biggest obstacle was figuring out what to replace the chicken with. I'm always hesitant to cook with seitan on my blog because I don't know if that's readily available everywhere. And tofu in a creamy soup? That seemed kind of icky. So I went with adding extra mushrooms. I know, a lot of you hate mushrooms. You can use something else in your soup then!
Replacing the Cream
I adapted my Vegetarian Creamy Wild Mushroom Rice Soup from this Cream of Turkey and Wild Rice soup from Eating Well. Instead of adding heavy cream or half-and-half, they used sour cream to thicken the broth. I love this method of making creamy soups—it adds creaminess without a lot of fat or calories. It also adds a little tanginess. My husband was on the fence about this, but I really like it. So be warned—if you're ambivalent about sour cream, you might want to stick with adding whole milk, half-and-half, or heavy cream instead.
This Creamy Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup was exactly what I needed when I was feeling sick. It reminded me of home, of chilly winters, of snow soaking through my boots and numb toes—okay, maybe I don't miss everything about the Midwest. But it did remind me of the food I grew up on. Total comfort food.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb white or cremini mushrooms sliced
- 1 cup celery chopped
- 1 cup carrots chopped
- 1 medium shallot chopped
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- salt and pepper to taste
- ⅓ cup white wine
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup instant or quick-cooking wild rice
- ¾ cup reduced-fat sour cream
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
- Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.
- Add mushrooms, celery, carrots, and shallot and cook, stirring often, until softened (5–7 minutes).
- Stir in flour, salt, and pepper and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add white wine and thyme; increase heat to medium-high and cook 2 minutes more.
- Add broth to Dutch oven and bring to a boil. If you're using instant rice, add it now and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until rice is tender, 5–7 minutes, then stir in sour cream and parsley.