To me, wild rice feels like the quintessential fall food. And almost as Canadian as maple syrup. We’ve got some wild rice growing right here in Saskatchewan too. A few businesses that come to mind are Rusty’s Wild Rice, Northern Lights Foods, and maybe even Prairie Infusions. You can pick up some Saskatchewan produced wild rice and all other kinds of Saskatchewan-made products at SaskMade Marketplace on 8th Street East or online at SaskMade.ca.
Not everyone is a fan of wild rice. It has quite a different texture compared to regular rice. And it’s in no way bland like white rice. I suppose part of the difference comes from the fact that wild rice isn’t actually rice.
Wild rice (also called Canada rice, Indian rice, and water oats) is four species of grasses forming the genus Zizania, and the grain which can be harvested from them.
Wild rice is not directly related to Asian rice (Oryza sativa), whose wild progenitors are O. rufipogon and O. nivara, although they are close cousins, sharing the tribe Oryzeae.
The More You Know … thanks to Wikipedia.
Once I started with the wild rice I figured I should just play up the Canadian angle a bit and why not add some whisky to the mix and heck, how about a bit of maple syrup too.
All of that in a soup? I didn’t! Oh yes, yes I did.
This soup is as Canadian as this winter weather – and perfect for it too. When I first made this recipe it was in the midst of a snow storm. I was excited to hole up for the entire weekend and cook. It was the perfect excuse to stay home and not have to do any running around on the weekend.
- ½ cup wild rice
- 2 cups water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ oz. dried mushrooms (porcini, shiitake, oyster, chanterelles)
- 1 cup boiling water
- 2 tablespoons vegan margarine
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
- 2 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cups white mushrooms, sliced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 cups celery, diced (including inner tender leafy stalks)
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- ¼ cup good quality whisky
- 1 tablespoon good quality maple syrup
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- ¼ cup unsweetened plain almond milk
- In a saucepan bring water, wild rice and first amount of salt (1/2 tsp.) to a boil. Cover and reduce heat, cover and simmer until most of the rice is split and tender, about 45 minutes. (You can do this step in advance and refrigerate the rice until you’re ready to make the soup.)
- In a small bowl pour boiling water over dried mushrooms. Let sit for 30 minutes. Drain the mushrooms, reserving liquid and discarding any sediment. Chop rehydrated mushrooms and set aside.
- In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon of the vegan margarine with the grapeseed oil over medium heat. Add white, cremini, and rehydrated mushrooms. Add second amount of salt (1/4 tsp). Saute until mushrooms start to get golden brown, about 5 minutes.
- Add final 1 tablespoon of vegan margarine. Add in garlic, onion and celery. Add dried thyme. Saute another 10 minutes until softened.
- Add whiskey and maple syrup and stir. Liquid should evaporate within a minute.
- Add vegetable broth and reserved soaking liquid from the mushrooms. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Transfer half the mixture to a blender. Puree then return to the pot. Add the cooked wild rice and unsweetened almond milk. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring often. Heat through and serve.
My Morning Jacket – One Big Holiday – It Still Moves