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When I was born we lived in a trailer park called Cadillac Estates that is mostly burned down now.  Today I am a vegetarian living in Los Angeles learning how to love vegetables.  

  • Writer's picture CJ

Wild Rice Mushroom Soup

Updated: Mar 19, 2019

Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup

Oh Mushrooms! I heart you so much! I first decided to become a vegetarian at 21, this will be my 20 year vegiversary ! Wow! My partner at the time was a staunch vegan and taught me about factory farming treated animals poorly and it was an easy decision for me.

Growing up my mom told me it was pretty hard to get me to eat meat. I just never really liked it. I never wanted to eat bacon, what kid doesn't like bacon? Anyway, I didn't really enjoy many vegetables either. I was a very picky eater.

It wasn't until I went to live with my partner's family in college that I started having an appreciation for different kinds of foods from different ethnic backgrounds. I'm so grateful that in their family it just wasn't acceptable to not even try something new. If it wasn't for my time with them I don't think I would be as well rounded of a human as I am let alone as adventurous of an eater that I am today. Thank you Staples family!

The first vegetable that I fell in love with was Mushrooms. I call it my gateway veg. My partner's dad would make mushroom and rice dishes for me and leave them in the microwave for me with a note saying that my dinner was ready for me when I would come home late from school. Man I miss those dinners. He eventually started sneaking other veggies like broccoli and green beans into the dishes. If it wasn't for him I would have continued down the path of being a junk food junkie on those late college nights.

When I first saw this soup on the Cook's Illustrated Instagram I just HAD to make it and try it for myself and it did not disappoint. It doesn't get cold very often here in Los Angeles, but this soup recipe is perfect for these rainy days that we are having the past few weeks! Enjoy!


1/4 ounce dried shitake mushrooms, rinsed

4 1/4 cups water

1 sprig fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

1 garlic clove, peeled, plus 4 cloves, minced

salt and pepper

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup wild rice

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 lb cremini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced 1/4 inch thick

1 onion, chopped fine

1 teaspoon tomato paste

2/3 cup dry sherry

4 cups low-sodium veggie broth/stock (i used mushroom broth)

1 tablespoon soy sauce (i used tamari)

1/4 cup corn starch

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup minced fresh chives

1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

White mushrooms can be substituted for the cremini mushrooms. We use a spice grinder to process the dried shitake mushrooms, but a blender also works.  


1.  Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees.  Grind shitake mushrooms in spice grinder until finely ground ( you should have about 3 tablespoons)

2.  Bring 4 cups water, thyme, bay leaf, garlic glove 3/4 teaspoon 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 to 50 minutes.  Strain rice through fine-mesh strainer set in 4-cup liquid measuring cup; discard thyme, bay leaf, and garlic.  Add enough water to reserved cooking liquid to measure 3 cups. 

3.  Melt butter in Dutch oven over high heat.  Add cremini mushrooms, onion, minced garlic, tomato paste, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper.  Cook stirring occasionally until vegetables are browned and dark fond develops on bottom of pot, 15 minutes.  Add Sherry, scraping up any browned bits, and cook until reduced and pot is almost dry, about 2 minutes.  Add ground shitaki mushrooms, reserved rice cooking liquid, broth, and soy sauce and bring to boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until onion and mushrooms are tender, about 20 minutes. 

4.  Whisk cornstarch and remaining 1/4 cup of water in small bowl.  Stir cornstarch slurry into soup, return to simmer, and cook until thickened, about 2 minutes.  Remove pot from heat and stir in cooked rice, cream, chives, and lemon zest.  Cover and let stand for 20 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

#WildRice #Mushroom #Soup

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