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Wild Mushroom and Wild Rice Bisque

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Extreme elegance meets stick-to-the-ribs heartiness in this robust soup. It calls for a combination of dried wild mushrooms and fresh exotic ones. Most of the fresh mushrooms sold as “wild” in your supermarket are actually cultivated mushrooms, similar to the common white button mushroom, but because they have more flavor, a meatier texture, and are generally darker in color, we use them like the foraged wild mushrooms they resemble. Wild rice is a prime candidate for slow cooking. Its tough hull helps it remain appealingly chewy, even after hours of cooking.

NotesWhat else?

• Like most soups, this one improves with age; for the best flavor, prepare a day or two ahead, or cook overnight and refrigerate until dinner. As the soup sits, the rice will absorb more of the broth, so you may need to add a bit more broth when you reheat the soup.

• To make the soup vegetarian, substitute mushroom or vegetable broth for the beef broth.

Precook: 10 minutes

Slow Cook: 4 hours on high, or 6 to 8 hours on low, in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker

At the End: 10 minutes

6 servings

Cooking Methodslow cooking

CostModerate

Easy

Total Timehalf-day

Make Ahead RecipeYes

OccasionFamily Get-together

Recipe Courseappetizer, main course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Equipmentcrock pot

Mealdinner

Taste and Textureherby, meaty, savory, umami

Type of Dishbisque, hot soup, soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
  • 1 large celery rib, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
  • 1 pound cremini (baby portobello) mushrooms, cut into slices
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • ½ cup wild rice, rinsed
  • ½ ounce dried wild mushrooms, any type, minced
  • 6 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons instant mashed potato flakes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and cremini mushrooms and sauté until the vegetables brown lightly, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, and rosemary and cook for another minute. Transfer to a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker.

  2. Add the wild rice, dried wild mushrooms, beef broth, tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Cover the cooker and cook on high for 4 hours, or on low for 6 to 8 hours, until the wild rice is tender.

  3. Stir in the potato flakes and parsley and cook on high for 10 minutes

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Quite tasty! This has become a house favorite. To those who are considering making this soup: we prefer the soup without the potato flakes. The recipe works quite well without them.

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