I love soups during the cooler months, actually I can eat soup all year round, even on the hottest days, but they are especially good when there is a chill in the air. I like to try different soups also, something other than the old standbys, so this "Creamy Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup" is one I enjoyed coming up with. I love the taste of a variety of mushrooms in a recipe. Mushrooms might seem all the same, once cooked, but actually the different varieties do have different flavors. When you pair mushrooms, cream and wild rice, with the just the right seasonings....the results are so delicious! Here is what you will need for this soup:
6 slices bacon, diced in 1 inch pieces
3 Tbs. butter
1 medium sweet onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 Tbs. garlic, minced
2 cups white mushrooms, sliced
2 cups shitake, chanterelle, or porcini mushrooms, sliced (whatever you can find works)
3 Tbs. flour
4 cups water
2 Knorr chicken bullion cubes (if you use regular bullion cubes, use 4)
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. curry powder (optional)
1 Tbs. soy sauce
1 (6 oz.) box of chicken and wild rice mix ( I used Uncle Ben's)
1 1/2 cups half and half cream
In a Dutch oven or soup pot, fry the diced bacon until crisp. Remove to a plate to use for garnish when the soup is served.
Turn the heat down to medium and add the butter to the bacon drippings. Add the diced onion, celery, and garlic to the pan and saute just until they start to get soft.
Add the mushrooms. Saute just until the mushrooms start to render their liquid. Add the flour to the mixture and cook just about 1 minute, then add the water, bullion cubes, and the seasoning packet from the rice. Bring this up to a boil, then add the rice. When it boils for a minute, lower the heat to low. Stir this from the bottom, because the flour can cause it to stick. Add the seasoned salt, pepper, curry powder, and soy sauce! The curry powder is optional, because I know so many don't care for it, but I think it really makes this soup and it gives it a nice color also. Cover and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes. Add the half and half cream to the soup and just heat on low until the cream is warmed and the soup is creamy and smooth. If it's a little thick, add just a little more half and half.
Sprinkle each serving with some of the bacon and I like a little green onion on top!