Monday, June 18, 2012
Favorite Recipe – Wild Rice Soup
At this time of the year, I have a couple of salad recipes that I enjoy making. One is tabbouleh which has bulgur mixed with fresh ingredients from the garden (like tomatoes, cucumbers, green onions, parsley, and mint), and a dressing. I could eat this for every meal.
Even though this is a favorite recipe during the summer, there is one that I have been making for at least 20 years and throughout the year (not just during the summer): wild rice soup.
Minnesota’s state grain is wild rice, so it is something that is easily obtained in grocery stores and most specialty shops within the state.
The recipe below is from a local grocery store called Byerly’s. When I was growing up, it wasn’t the grocery store where we would regularly shop. The prices were a bit out of my parents’ budget since they were living on a single income.
Nonetheless, periodically we would go to Byerly’s when they were having sample days. There was a particular day of the week when there were lots of samples given out. This was quite the adventure and eye-opener each time we went.
Byerly’s had carpet, first of all. None of the grocery stores we shopped in had carpet.
And – to top it off – in the center aisle was a huge chandelier. I can guarantee you that Red Owl, Super Valu, and other bargain stores did not have chandeliers. Florescent lighting…yes. Chandeliers…not even close.
So, when the recipe for Byerly’s wild rice soup was published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, I copied it down on a recipe card. It is the recipe that I have made the most throughout the years. Here it is:
Byerly's Wild Rice Soup
6 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon minced onion
½ cup flour
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups cooked wild rice
1/3 cup minced ham
½ cup finely grated carrots
3 tablespoons slivered almonds
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup half and half
2 tablespoons dry sherry (optional)
Minced parsley or chives
Melt butter in saucepan. Saute onion until tender. Blend in flour; gradually add broth. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Boil 1 minute.
Stir in rice, ham, carrots, almonds, and salt. Simmer about 5 minutes. Blend in half and half, and sherry. Heat to serving temperature. Garnish with minced parsley or chives. Makes 6 cups.
Note: the ingredients and quantities are quite flexible:
- If you prefer vegetable broth, use that.
- Can’t have dairy? It’s fine to substitute dairy-free butter and rice milk for the butter, and half and half.
- Don’t want to monkey around with grating those carrots? Not a problem…just slice them.
- Prefer another type of meat or none at all? Skip it or use chicken.