Soupy nights: Autumn mushroom and wild rice soup

While dark chilly rainy days can wear on the soul, I love the potential it brings–potential for soup, tea, red wine, an afghan and a book (or a movie or some knitting or all three all at once for people like me who cannot sit still, even when sitting). It is a delicious, cuddly time of year.

This soup is super earthy and grounding. The rich broth and meaty mushrooms pull you right back down to your plate. With each hearty bite, you can taste Fall and the harvest. And it is an easy way to go meatless–the mushrooms and wild rice are super filling.
Allow about an hour to prep and cook the soup. You can use any combination of mushrooms you like–I used shitake, baby bellas, white buttons and baby petites (which I left whole). My girls helped by washing the mushrooms with a damp paper towel.
If you don’t have vegetable broth, but do have chicken broth, feel free to substitute. You will find dried porcini mushrooms in or near the produce department. If you can’t find porcinis, try any other dried mushroom.

Soupy stuff:
1/2 ounce dried porcinis
kosher salt/pepper
1/2 cup wild rice
EVOO, a few tablespoons
10 cups assorted mushrooms (My combo: 5 oz shitake, sliced; 8 oz, baby bellas, sliced, 6 oz baby petites, left whole; 8 white button, sliced)
3 leeks, white and pale-green parts (save the tops for broth!), quartered length wise and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup chianti
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1. In a sealed ziploc bag, crush up the dried procini mushrooms, until they are a coarse powder.
2. In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup water to boil, then add a pinch of kosher salt and wild rice. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low. Cook under tender, 45-50 minutes. Drain and set aside.
3. In a large pot, heat about 1 tablespoon of EVOO over medium-high heat. Begin cooking the mushrooms in batches (1/3 at a time) with salt and pepper until browned and tender, about 7 minutes, per batches. Add more EVOO before adding a new batch of mushrooms. Set cooked mushrooms aside.
4. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Melt butter, added sliced leeks. Cook, stirring often, until soft and translucent about 5 minutes. Stir in porcini mushroom powder, cook 1 minute. Add chianti and soy sauce, cook 1 minute more.
5. Add vegetable broth to pot; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, reduce heat to medium and cook 20 minutes. Stir in wild rice, heavy cream and parsley. Serve with crusty bread
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