I adapted this soup from the cooks illustrated recipe and I appreciate that despite the creamy consistency, it relies on very little actual cream. The wild rice provides some starch in the broth that not only provides a wonderful earthy nuttiness, but a great creamy-like broth. A great way to start a meal on a cold night.

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Serves 6 small portions

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound mixed mushrooms (shiitake, cremini, baby bella), sliced thinly, extra for garnish
  • 1/4 cup dried shiitake mushrooms, ground into powder
  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 bayleaf
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 4-5 cups chicken broth, (vegetable broth for vegetarian)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
  • Large croutons for garnish
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste

Directions: In a small saucepan, melt butter on medium heat and brown rice, shallot. And thyme. Stir constantly until fragrant and coated with butter. Add 2 cups of broth and 2 cups of water and bayleaf and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and cover, simmer rice for about 45 minutes or until quite tender. When rice is ready, strain grains through mesh strainer, reserving liquid and discarding bayleaf. In a large Dutch oven or thick-bottom pan, melt remaining g 4 tablespoons of butter, and add onion and garlic. Stir until translucent and season with tomato paste and salt and pepper. Add mushrooms and continue to sauté for about 15 minutes on medium-high, until mushrooms release their juices and are tender. Pour sherry in pan to deglaze, scraping up all brown bits. Add dried mushrooms, processed to powder in processor and add reserved rice liquid and an additional 2-3 cups of broth. Stir and simmer covered for 10 minutes. Take cornstarch with about 1/2 cup of water and whisk to combine to create a slurry. Add to soup along with rice and cream along with fresh chives. Adjust soup consistency if need be by adding more liquid and adjust seasonings to taste. Ladle warm soup in bowls. Garnish with fresh thyme sprigs, serve hot and enjoy!