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Winter is soup weather. If you’re a soup fan, you’re going to want to check this one out. It is unique to every other wild rice soup I’ve ever had. Most wild rice soups are thick and hearty. I love ’em. My creamy chicken and rice soup is thick like this. Yum! But this soup is not like that.
For some reason, decades ago, when my mom got the recipe for this wild rice soup, she didn’t thicken it as much as called for. What that leaves you with is a silky, creamy broth. It’s totally unique. And wonderful!
We have this soup every Christmas as an appetizer. I have this soup every Christmas as an appetizer and side dish to my dinner and as leftovers the next day.
True Wild Rice
If you’ve never had true wild rice, you might be surprised. When my husband came to his first family Christmas at my parents, my mom asked if he wanted a bowl of wild rice soup. Rice? Greg thought, I like rice. After seeing the soup, he leaned over and whispered to me, “Why did your mom just give me a bowl of bugs?” Always the jokester, he then said, “Seriously, this is not rice.”
And he was right! Wild rice has a distinct texture and taste. I’ve learned that it’s not even rice, nor is it wild (anymore). It is a cultivated grass, actually. It looks sort of like a piece of brown rice with a jacket on. When cooked properly, the jacket opens up a bit and the rice curls slightly. It has a toothsome, chewy texture much like other whole grains. The flavor could be described as slightly nutty or toasty.
Most wild rice “blends” that you find in grocery stores have exactly 10 grains of wild rice and the rest is brown and white rice. If your grocery doesn’t sell bags of wild rice, you can order it online.
Aside from the wild rice, the rest of the ingredients to this soup are pretty standard. Carrots, onion, chicken broth/stock, cream and almonds plus seasonings. (The almonds add a delightful crunch!) Mostly stuff you probably have in your pantry.
Wild rice is fantastic in other recipes as well. It makes a hearty casserole with chicken and some cream soup. And mix chilled cooked rice with other fresh ingredients and a vinaigrette for one of my favorite salads. I also have a recipe for wild rice cornbread stuffing that I’ve made for Thanksgiving frequently that’s a hit, too. Yeah, I’ll have to share those with you. Stick with me and we’ll get there eventually!
Growing up in Minnesota, wild rice was nothing out of the ordinary. When I lived in Georgia, I couldn’t find it anywhere and no one had heard of it. I think that’s kind of cool about regional cuisine. That’s why I love making gumbo and jambalaya, traditional Louisiana dishes, for our Minnesota friends.
Have you had wild rice before?
I’d love to know what you think if you try my mom’s soup!
Here’s the recipe, my mom doubles it for our Christmas dinner:
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