I may as well confess, gentle reader, that I usually make soups in twos. One of my many symptoms. But theres a method to this madness, allow me to explain.
When the soup craving comes knocking, the synaptic firing pattern usually signals a message along the lines of, "I'm craving a hearty soup". Theres no indication whether the craving center needs a spicy soup or a creamy soup and so I usually make both. There you have it, the inner workings of my mind. Clear as mud! Besides, eating any given flavor of soup over two consecutive days is a sure way to get bored with it ;)
So anyhoo, as a creamy counter point to the Moroccan Lentil Soup, I tried making Wild Rice Chowder. Wild rice is very interesting, its not quite rice. Ha. But this fact endears it to me. Once a dyed-in-the-wool "Bombayite", I have been tempered by the gentle ways of the midwest and who knows, I may be soaking in some Upstate New York as well. So gentle reader, this business of wild rice being neither wild nor rice struck a chord with moi, but I digress. Wild rice has a nutty taste that I quite like. Came across a recipe from Canada in World Vegetarian Classics (see picture below) for Wild Rice Chowder.
Heres what I did:
1. Sautéed about a third cup of chopped white onion and fennel with a sliver of butter.
2. Added a half teaspoon of garlic, a third cup of diced carrots, mushrooms and celery.
3. While the vegetables are sweating, cook the wild rice according to intructions. Nothing to it - wild rice is not like basmati. Wild rice is low maintenance.
4. Add cooked wild rice to sautéed vegetables. I added some milk and about a tablespoon of cream. If you'd like to add stock, now would be the time to get some stock!
5. Bring to a boil and add salt and pepper to taste.
The net result is a mild soup, creamy but with a nutty, chewy flavor thanks to the wild rice. The additon of fennel (my improvisation, not in the book, so don't blame them!) adds a hint of sweetness. My other vegetarian chowder recipe is for corn chowder. Both are reliable and of the two I think the Wild Rice Chowder is more flavorful. Of course, this is only until summer when we will fall in love with corn all over again!
This one goes to Morsels and Musings for Weekend Herb Blogging (WHB)
Wild rice info:
1. Wild rice can be grown in swampland. (This is good news if you're environmentally inclined)
2. Wild rice used to be a staple food in the diet of American Indians (This is good news for either and/or both)
3. Nutritionally, wild rice is high in protein and low in fat (Rah rah wild rice!)