Minnesota Wild Rice Soup

So the cold arrived to the South Hemisphere and so warm and rich soups! And this soup is very special to me. Let me tell you why…

Some years ago, I began to work in a US company and my boss was in Minneapolis, MN. A couple of weeks later, I was invited to go there and meet the headquarters and, of course, my boss and colleagues.

And then I fell in love for the city… It is so incredible, calm, organized, with nice people and a lot of natural beauty. I had the opportunity to go back a few times and always was trying to know new places, find new restaurants, walk around the parks, discover cute stores, sit by a lake, get jealous of the pretty neighborhoods…

But my favorite thing to do there was visiting my favorite supermarkets, Whole Foods e Trader Joe’s, by organic food and cook some delicious food in my hotel (yes! I found a hotel with a small cook in the bedroom!!! – Amazing!).

It was in Minneapolis that I experienced my first (and only) Thanksgiving in family, walked with snow above my knees, tried dog sledding, ate one of the best pizzas of my life, bought more than I should, had a (savory) apple salad that I need to recreate and post here… Ah… so many (good) memories! Only one regret: I didn’t know one of my favorite brands is from Minnesota: Nordic Ware. So sad I never visited the factory store!!!! Shame on me!

And, besides all this, I tried this delicious soup, made with local wild rice. Luckily, I can easily find it in Santiago or Sao Paulo, so I can easily bring Minnesota flavors to my table.

And, before the recipe, I want to dedicate this post to a very special person, which left the company this week but will always be my great friend! Thank for everything, LBL!

Sopa de Arroz Salvaje

Minnesota Wild Rice Soup

Serves 4

Soup:

10 ounces leeks (only the white part)

1 tbsp butter

2 celery stalks

10 ounces Button, Cremini or Portobello mushrooms

7 cups chicken stock

3/4 cup wild rice (uncooked)

1 tsp salt

5 springs of thyme

2 bay leaves

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 cup flour

1 cup half-and-half

1/2 cup white wine

1 tbsp Dijon mustard (optional)

Parsley and spring onions to garnish

Chicken:

1 chicken breast

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 tbsp dried thyme

1/2 cup white wine

Begin with chicken: pre-heat the oven at 370 degrees. Put the chicken on a pan and all ingredients: salt, pepper, thyme and wine. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning the chicken in the middle of the time, so it can be golden on both sides. Turn off the oven and let the chicken rest in there.

To the soup: chop the white part of the leeks and the celery and slice the mushrooms. In a Dutch pan, melt the butter, in medium heat, add the leeks and celery. Fry for about 2 minutes then add the mushrooms. Sautee for 10 minutes or until mushrooms are tender.

Add in 6 cups of chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the rice, thyme, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and let cook for about 45 minutes (until rice is cooked).

Mix the flour with the remaining cup of stock and add to the soup, mixing well with a whisk, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Put the cream, the wine and the mustard, cook for a few minutes more. Adjust salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve very hot, with chicken slices. Garnish with parsley and spring onions.

Enjoy with a glass of white wine and feel like in Minnesota! 😉

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