Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup
- 2 oz. dried mushrooms, porcini or shiitake
- 2 ½ cups water
- 4 T. unsalted butter
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 lb. fresh mushrooms, any kind or mixture, sliced ¼-inch thick
- 1 T. tomato paste
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 c. dry sherry
- 4 c. less salt chicken broth
- 1 pkg. (6 oz.) long grain and wild rice mix
- 1 t. pepper
- 1 T. soy sauce
- 4 T. cornstarch
- ¼ c. water
- 1 c. half and half
- Salt to taste
- Garnish (optional)
- fresh chives, sliced or green onion tops, minced
Rinse dried mushrooms. In a small pan, bring water to a boil. Add dried mushrooms. Remove from heat and let stand until softened, about 20 minutes. Remove mushrooms from soaking liquid and set aside. Strain soaking liquid through fine mesh strainer. Finely chop mushrooms.
In Dutch oven or large pot, warm butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook until tender. Add fresh mushrooms and tomato paste; cook until onions and mushrooms are brown. Add garlic and cook a minute more. Add dry sherry; use wood spoon or spatula to scrape up browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Continue to cook until liquid is nearly gone.
Add chicken broth, rice mix along with contents of seasoning packet, chopped mushrooms and soaking liquid, pepper, and soy sauce. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until rice is tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Mix cornstarch and ¼ c. water in a small bowl to make a slurry. Stir slurry into soup. Bring soup to simmer and cook for about 2 minutes more. Remove from heat and stir in half and half. Cover and let sit for a few minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Garnish with chives or green onions tops as desired.
My inspiration came from a container of spinach in the fridge that needed to be used. I searched my memory bank of recipes and considered my stash. After making several adjustments in the original recipe from Cook's Illustrated, this turned out SO GOOD!