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Wild Rice & Mushroom Soup

Serves 10

  • .45 ounces dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 7 ¼ cups water
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 7 cloves of garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 7 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound shitake mushrooms, trimmed and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 3 shallots, chopped fine
  • 1 leek (white part), chopped fine
  • ¾ tablespoon tomato paste
  • ¾ cup dry sherry
  • 5 ¾ cups vegetable stock
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 5 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • minced fresh chives for garnish
  • zest of 2 lemons
  1. Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 375˚. Grind dried shitake mushrooms in a spice grinder until finely ground.
  2. Bring the 7¼ cups water, along with thyme, bay leaves, peeled garlic cloves, salt, and baking soda to a boil in an oven safe pot with lid. Add rice and return to a boil. Cover pot, transfer to oven, and bake until tender (35-50 minutes). Strain rice through fine-mesh strainer while reserving liquid to measure 5 cups.
  3. Melt butter in a large pot. Add mushrooms, shallots, leeks, minced garlic, tomato paste, salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are browned and dark fond develops on the bottom of pot, about 15 min. Add sherry, scraping up and brown bits, and cook until reduced and pot is almost dry, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add shiitake mushrooms, reserved rice cooking liquid, vegetable stock, soy sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover and simmer until mushrooms and shallots are tender. Whisk cornstarch and 5 teaspoons of water to make a slurry. Add slurry to soup, return to simmer and cook until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove pot from heat and stir in cooked rice, cream, and lemon zest while off heat. Cover and let stand for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, garnish with minced chives before serving.

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