Wild rice adds a nutty, crunchy dimenson to this wonderful soup filled with rich, earthy flavors. Perfect in Autumn or Winter months. Ideal with a sandwich for lunch or as a starter course for a holiday meal.
- salt; as needed
- 3/4 Cup wild rice
- 1 Cup butter (2 sticks)
- 1 Cup flour
- 6 Cups chicken stock (to 8)
- 1/4 pound bacon; finely diced
- 1 onion; chopped
- 1/2 pound carrots; chopped
- 4 celery stalks; diced
- 1/2 pound mushrooms; sliced
- 2 Tablespoons diced red pimentos
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves (to 2)
- freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 Cups half-and-half
- Bring 2 Cups of salted water to boil in a saucepan. Add the rice and simmer, covered, until the rice is tender but still has some bite to it, 35 to 40 minutes. It will not absorb all the water. Drain.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a skillet over low heat. Add the flour and blend well. Cook, stirring, until light golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Be careful it doesn't brown.
- Heat 6 Cups of the chicken stock to a simmer in a large saucepan. Whisk in the flour mixture until smooth. Strain the mixture.
- Wipe the pan clean and heat over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until almost crisp, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the onion, carrots, celery and mushrooms. Cook until tender, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Stir in the pimentos, bay leaf and thyme. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add the stock mixture and wild rice to the pot. Simmer over medium-low heat, 20 to 30 minutes, adding more stock if the soup becomes dry. Stir in the half-and-half and heat to serving temperature. The soup will be thick. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste. Remove the bay leaf before serving.
Each serving: 311 calories; 366 mg sodium; 62 mg cholesterol; 24 grams fat; 14 grams saturated fat; 18 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams protein; 1.92 grams fiber.
NOTES : Recipe, originally published in the Times in 1992 is from the St. Paul Hotel in St. Paul, MN