Have some wild Indians to feed?

13 Oct

My wild Indians went a little…well, wild over the chocolate chip cookies yesterday. I, on the other hand, am wishing they were not sitting right here in my house calling my name!

To keep my mind off the cookies, I decided to whip up a small pot of one of my favorite soups. It’s really quick to put together and then you let it simmer on the stove for an hour, practically unattended.

The story behind this soup recipe is from Logan’s preschool days. In the Fall of 2007, his preschool teacher spent a few weeks teaching them about traditional Native American songs, skits, their lifestyle and their food. At the end of the segment, she invited all the parents to come to school for a Harvest Party. We made crafts together, they sang some of the songs they had learned, and they served us this fantastic soup and cornbread. The soup was so delicious that I asked for a copy of the recipe and I’ve made this soup many, many times.

It has a rich taste and thick, almost creamy, broth. The recipe calls for wild rice, but I used a rice blend today that I had on hand. The blend had two kinds of brown rice, Weihani rice and wild rice. The rice is the last thing you add to the soup before simmering. An hour seems like a long time to cook it, but you want the wild rice to simmer so long that it “explodes” and you can see the white part in the middle. The recipe also calls for wild mushrooms of your choice. Today I used shiitake because I had some in my fridge. Use whatever kind you like. I’ve used regular white mushrooms before and it’s still tasty. My little Indians like it!

Wild Rice Soup
makes 4 cups

1/2 cup vegan butter (Earth Balance)
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green or red bell pepper
1 teaspoon minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
1/2 cup sliced wild mushrooms
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup flour
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup water
1/2 cup uncooked wild rice
salt and freshly-ground black pepper (to taste)

In a medium stock pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, celery, green or red peppers and garlic. Saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and carrots and saute another 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Slowly stir in the broth and water. Add the rice and stir. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 60 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the rice is well cooked. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

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