Thursday, January 5, 2012

Creamy Wild Rice Soup

Happy New Year!  I'm finally back from traveling.

I always forget to use wild rice.  I think this recipe came up on finding vegan and reminded me of the wild rice I brought back from Minnesota almost a year ago.  Although my soup ended up being rather underwhelming, it also taught me one really useful trick.  Cashew cream, which is so easy, made the soup instantly creamy! and in a non-creepy way; putting soymilk or vegan sour cream or something in a soup seems a little weird.  But this was just cashews soaked in water and pureed, and it made a thick, neutral-tasting cream.

In this recipe, I omitted the "chicken" seasoning and the cornstarch, used regular sodium broth, used white wine instead of sherry, and used an onion instead of a leek.  I found that 6 cups of stock was about right; I've never really liked brothy soups.  Despite the thyme and the mirepoix, however, I thought the soup was a bit bland.  I ended up using lots and lots of black pepper.  I think if you were trying to get your Midwestern grandmother to go vegan, this would be an excellent thing to serve her.

How might I make this more exciting?  More garlic?  More wine?  Mushrooms?  Sage?

Creamy Wild Rice Soup
(adapted from leafy greens and me)

1/2 c raw cashews, soaked for at least four hours, drained
1/2 c filtered water
1 c small diced carrots
1 c small diced celery
1 onion, chopped
1 TB finely minced garlic (or more)
1 TB finely minced fresh thyme
1/4 c white wine
6 c vegetable stock 
3/4 c organic wild rice
2 TB cornstarch (optional)
1/4 c minced chives
salt and black pepper

1.    Drain cashews and place in a blender along with filtered water and blend on high for about 4 minutes until creamy. 
2.    Strain mixture.  You should have about 3/4 cup of cream.  If less, add additional water.

3.    In a large dutch oven or stock pot, heat olive oil and add leeks, garlic and thyme and cook until leeks are soft, about five minutes.
4.    Add wine and reduce for a couple of minutes and then add vegetable stock.
5.    Bring broth to a boil and stir in brown rice along with celery and carrots and salt and pepper to taste.
 6.   Reduce to a simmer and cook until rice is tender about 45 minutes.
 7.   Five minutes before serving, whisk together cashew cream or soy milk with cornstarch and add to soup, stirring slowing for about 3-4 minutes until soup thickens.
 8.   Check for seasonings and add more salt and pepper to taste.  Serves 4.


janet @ the taste space said...

I am on a mustard kick lately... maybe that could help? ;)

Julia said...

yes! that sounds just right. i feel like a lot of the traditional palate i grew up with lacks the variety of other cuisines. but mustard might just do it. :)