Hearty Wild Rice Soup

Wild rice soup is a relatively new obsession for me. It’s beyond satisfying and a great cold weather staple. Be careful with store bought versions if you are gluten free because a lot of them add flour!

But why flour? Doesn’t it make sense to thicken a rice soup with RICE? I’m pretty sure the only reason why most people add flour is because it’s more readily available than sweet rice flour. I order my sweet rice flour and my Minnesota wild rice online.

Here’s an exciting bit of news for you. You can use sweet rice flour as a one to one substitute anytime a recipe calls for a roux, which is a thickener made of equal parts flour and butter. Yes, this means you can easily make a gravy without adding weird ingredients like xantham gum!

Here’s what your rice should look like once it’s absorbed enough liquid.

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Wild Rice Soup

8 tbs butter

1 cup pancetta, small diced

1 cup yellow onion, small diced

1 cup carrots, small diced

1 tbs garlic

½ cup sweet rice flour

6 cups chicken stock, hot

5 dry shiitake mushrooms

1 1/2 cups wild rice

4 tbs slivered almonds, chopped

1 cup heavy cream

4 tbs dry sherry

Fresh chopped parsley or chives for garnish (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

Place the wild rice and 4 cups of water in a pot, season with a little salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the rice is very tender, the grain should look like it burst open, showing the tender inside. This will take about 35 minutes.

Heat your chicken stock in a sauce pot.

Melt the butter in a medium sized dutch oven or heavy bottomed sauce pot. Add the pancetta, and cook on medium heat for 8 minutes. Pancetta should be starting to get crispy at this point. Now add the onions, carrots and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onions start to become translucent, about 6 minutes.

Add the sweet rice flour and stir to combine with the ingredients in the pot. Add the hot chicken stock and dry shiitake mushrooms to the soup pot. Allow to come to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once it has boiled it will thicken. Pull the re-hydrated shiitakes out of the soup, let them cool and then slice them thinly. Add them back to the pot. Then add the rice, almonds, cream and sherry. Stir to combine, season with salt and pepper and serve.

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