Thursday, March 15, 2012

Portobello-Wild Rice Soup

I'm being a bit slow in getting up the recipes I'm trying. And depending on how quickly this second third glass of wine hits me, I may be a bit slower with this one.

(Don't judge me, we went to our first community HOA-style meeting tonight and I'm self-medicating in the aftermath.)

(Somehow I got nominated to moderate the next meeting.)

(Probably has something to do with the bitchy moment I had around the 90 minute mark, when I raised my voice over every one in the room to point out the fact that they were ignoring the meeting moderator who was trying to move the meeting along.) (And what the hell was I thinking actually training as a meeting facilitator back in college.)

(We're too new to the community to be making enemies this way.)

[Side Note to the side notes: I watched one woman (whom I know socially, though I wouldn't say we're friends (I don't know her well enough to know if I even want to be friends, though at this point I haven't seen any discernible reason not to)) come into the meeting late. Perfectly coiffed. Dressed casually, yet pulled together. And I had one of those envious moments—"She's got her sh*t together. Why can't I be more like that?" I suspect I'll become really familiar with that feeling in the South. At least I had some (minimal) make-up on, but my hair was pulled back in a pony. (Point added for the make-up; two points deducted for the hair.) (I'm so f*cked.) (Oh, and most of the women here seem to instinctively know how to be "nice" and assertive.) (Double f*cked.) (Just one more reason to continue watching/studying GCB.)]

(It's like high school all over!!!)

(Okay.) (Breathe.)

(Remember who you are.) (They either like you, or they don't.)

(And their loss if they don't.)

Okay. Back to the cooking.

In my last recipe post I was telling you about my Veganomicon cookbook, this recipe is adapted slightly from the same cookbook and we love it. It's a shame the weather is really warming up here (pushing 80° the last couple days) because this is a really yummy, satisfying soup, and pretty easy to make.

The dried mushrooms were a bit difficult to find, but our regular grocery store had them, just in a place I wouldn't expect. (It's only logical to look for dried mushrooms in the fresh produce section!) The original recipe called for dried porcini mushrooms, but Krogers seemed to have everything but dried porcinis, so I used dried portobellos instead.

The original recipe also called for chervil instead of parsley. But hell if I even know what chervil is. (It's purported to have a lemony taste.) And trying to find it in rural North Carolina? Well, I went with parsley instead.

I've had some really yummy mushroom soups in my time,
and when I remember this one has no fatty, cholesterol-load cream or butter,
and I made it myself,
well, there's absolutely no reason to try any other recipe!

Portobello-Wild Rice Soup

Prep time: ± 1 hour

    ½-oz. dried portobello mushrooms
    2 cups boiling water
    2 Tbsps extra virgin olive oil
    1 large onion, diced
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    2 Tbsps fresh thyme
    1 tsp sea salt
    freshly ground pepper, to taste
    8 oz fresh cremini mushrooms, sliced thinly
    1½ cups wild rice (preferably a blend)
    4 cups stock
         (as I've said before, I'm not vegan, so I don't really care
         what kind of stock you use)
    1 carrot, peeled and grated
    ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

  1. In a bowl, pour boiling water over dried portobellos. Cover bowl with a plate and set aside.

  2. Preheat stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and sauté the onion for about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes, until browned, stirring often.

  3. Add the sliced creminis and sauté another 3 minutes, or so.

  4. While the creminis sauté, remove the portobellos from the covered bowl (with tongs or a fork; don't discard the liquid) and thinly slice. Add them to the stockpot along with the liquid they steeped in. Let the mixture cook a few more minutes.

  5. Add the wild rice blend and the stock. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 45 minutes.

  6. When rice is tender, add the grated carrot. Turn off heat and let rest for 10 minutes. (If the soup is too thick, add broth or water until desired consistency is found.)

  7. Garnish with parsley and serve.


  1. Do you think I need fresh and dry mushrooms?

    1. I wondered the same thing, but stuck to what the recipe was telling me. I remembered reading somewhere (I think it was from America's Test Kitchen) that dried wood ear mushrooms will add a deeper earthy flavor to stock, and I think that's what the dried mushrooms are doing in this soup. They smelled wonderful while they were rehydrating.