Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup
- 4 Cups Water
- 1 Sprig fresh thyme
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1 Garlic clove, peeled
- 3/4 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 Cup Wild Rice Blend (Lundberg)
- 4 Tbsp Butter (unsalted)
- 1 lb Cremini mushrooms (mini bellas), sliced
- 1 Onion (Minced)
- 4 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 1 tsp Tomato Paste
- 1/4 oz Dried Shiitake Mushrooms (3-4 medium caps)
- 2/3 Cup Beef Broth
- 4 Cups Chicken broth
- 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1/4 Cup Cornstarch
- 1 Can Straw Mushrooms
- 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
- 1/4 Cup Chives, minced
- 1/4 tsp Lemon zest, finely grated
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375*.
Bring 4 cups of water, thyme, bay leaf, garlic, salt and baking soda to boil in medium saucepan over high heat. Add rice and return to boil. Cover saucepan transfer to oven, and bake until rice is tender 35-50 minutes. Strain rice through fine mesh strainer over medium bowl. Reserve cooking liquid. Discard thyme, bay leave and garlic clove. Add enough water to rice cooking liquid to measure 3 cups.
Melt butter in Dutch oven over high heat. Add crimini mushrooms, onions, minced garlic, tomato paste, 3/4 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are browned and dark fond appears on bottom of pan, 15 minutes.
Grind dried Shiitake mushrooms in spice grinder (or coffee grinder) until finely ground. You should have about 3 tablespoons. Set aside.
Add beef broth to mushroom/onion mixture, scraping up brown bits, and cook until reduced and pot is almost dry, 5 minutes. Add ground Shiitake mushrooms, rice cooking liquid, chicken broth, and soy sauce; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes.
Whisk cornstarch with 1/4 cup of water in small bowl. Stir into soup, return to simmer and cook until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove pot from heat; stir in cooked rice, straw mushrooms, cream, chives and lemon zest. Cover and let stand for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.