Wednesday, March 2, 2016

That's Some Gosh Darn Good Soup, Don'tcha Know?

Welcome all!  A bit of a history lesson:  Tyler and I grew up in the same hometown about 15 minutes south of the Minnesota border.  When you're that close to a state, you tend to pick up some of the dialect, cuisine traditions, and more.  While I realize the title of today's blog is not from Minnesota (a Fargo, North Dakota phrase,) many of those who aren't from Minnesota generalize and say it with some sort of north woods dialect.

But that's beside the point of tonight's recipe  Many culinary exploits have traveled south of this great state: tater-tot hot dish, lutefisk, and jello salads.  One dish that has its roots firmly in Minnesota needs to find its way into every home and it will delightfully warm up any soul.

The Recipe:  Minnesota Wild Rice Soup
Original Recipe Found In:  Cooking Light's Lighten Up, America!
What You'll Need:
2 Leeks
1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
2 Celery Stalks, finely chopped
10 Ounces Button or Cremini Mushrooms, sliced
7 Cups fat-free, lower-sodium Chicken Broth, divided
3/4 Cup uncooked Wild Rice
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 Teaspoon dried Thyme
1/2 Teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
2.25 Ounces All-Purpose Flour (about 1/2 cup)
2 Cups Chicken Breast, cooked and chopped
1 Cup Half and Half
3 Tablespoons dry White Wine
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard

To start, prepare the leeks: remove roots, outer leaves, and tops of leeks.  Cut the leeks in half, lengthwise, then cut into 1/4 slices.  Place the chopped leeks in a colander and rinse thoroughly with cold water.  Drain thoroughly.

Meanwhile, in a large Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat.  Once the butter has melted, add the leeks, celery, and mushrooms.  Saute this mixture for 10 minutes, or until all the ingredients are tender.  Pour in six cups of the broth.  Next, add the wild rice, salt, thyme, and pepper,  Bring the ingredients to a boil, then cover the Dutch oven, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the rice has "popped".

During the last 10 minutes of cooking the soup, measure out the flour and pour into a dry measuring cup.  In a small bowl, combine the flour and one cup of broth.  Using a whisk, stir until the mixture becomes smooth.  Add the broth mixture to the soup and cook over medium heat for two minutes, or until the soup has thickened.

Bring the heat back to low and add the chicken, half and half, wine, and mustard.  Cook the final soup mixture for two minutes or just until thoroughly heat (but do not boil.)  Ladle into soup bowls and enjoy!

The End Result:

Well, I wish I could show you the end result, but this soup was so darn tasty, we gobbled it all up!  So, here's a stock photo of Minnesota Wild Rice Soup (and it actually looked pretty similar to it:)

The broth was incredible creamy, thanks to the flour/broth slurry and half and half additions.  To house wild rice, chicken, and mushrooms, you need a creamy, thick vessel, so definitely take the time to thicken the broth up when you can, because it'll turn out to be a runny mess.  For all the years I lived near Minnesota, I've never had wild rice nor wild rice soup.  But I can definitely tell you that this soup will be passed down and become a tradition.

That's all I have for you today.  Thanks for taking the time to join in on our culinary fun.  Stay tuned for further food exploits.  Until then,


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