Creamy Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup

Looks like I’ve been craving all sorts of comfort food lately, and when it comes to comfort foods, cream of mushroom would without a doubt come pretty high on my list of most comforting foods. However, who says cream of something usually says “high in fat” and “calorie dense”, so if I was going to indulge, I had to think of way to make a lighter version of this delicious soup. However, I was not ready to sacrifice the taste or comfort factor, not even a little.

Since I had never made a cream of mushroom from scratch before, that added to the challenge quite a bit, but I decided it was well worth taking a shot at. I had to play this one by ear, but was entirely satisfied with the results. More than satisfied, in fact: I was thrilled. I didn’t use one ounce of butter or cream, not even whole milk, yet the soup was rich, thick, and creamy. The wild rice was a superb addition and I really enjoyed chewing on actual big chunks of mushroom.  Maybe next time, if I have some in the fridge, I will add a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream as a garnish… and I get the feeling I will be making this one again sooner than later.

Ingredients
(serves 2)

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery rib, finely chopped
  • 1 medium potato, in small cubes
  • 227g button mushrooms, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 150g button mushrooms, sliced
  • 50g oyster mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 medium portebellini mushroom, sliced
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cups 1% milk
  • 1 cup soy milk (or use 2 cups 1% milk)
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 4 tbsp water
  • ½ cup cooked wild rice (cook ahead of time, wild rice takes a long time to cook!)

Instructions

  • In a medium saucepan, cook the onion and celery over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until tender. Add salt, pepper potato and chopped mushrooms. Stir and cook for an extra 5 minutes. Add water, cover partially and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, coat a skillet with cooking spray and cook the sliced mushrooms over medium high heat. You want your mushrooms to take a nice golden colour, so make sure they do not touch, else, they will start boiling instead of browning. You might have to cook them in several batches. Set aside.
  • When the potatoes are cooked (the water will have almost evaporated), reserve about ½ a cup of the mixture and puree the rest in a food processor or with a hand blender. Return to the pot, add reserved potato mixture, sliced mushrooms, cooked rice and milk.
  • Mix the cornstarch and water together to make a slurry. Add this to the soup then simmer for about 5 minutes to cook the cornstarch.
  • Serve immediately with a good slice of warm whole grain bread.

 

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