Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup

banner

Zizania aquatica, wild rice, is the only cereal that is native to North America and is one of the great glories of the Native Indian northern heartlands. The Ojibway tribe call wild rice ‘manomin’ and perform dances at pow-wow to celebrate its harvest. It’s very wholesome, and very filling. Good fodder for Fogg, then, who is halfway across America, with London in his sights.

Ingredients

  • 300g/11oz wild rice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 50g/2oz unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery, chopped (keep the leaves for a garnish)
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 110g/4oz mixed mushrooms, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1.2 litres/40fl oz chicken stock
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 3 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 225ml/8fl oz crème fraîche
  • extra virgin olive oil to taste

Method

To cook your rice, rinse it well in cold water, and put it into a pan. Cover with water — for every cup of rice you will need 4 cups of water. Add a teaspoon of salt. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer for 40—50 minutes, until the grains are tender and start to split open. Once ready, drain away any excess liquid and fluff the rice with a fork.

While the rice is cooking, melt the butter in a large pan over a medium high heat. Add the chopped onion, celery and carrots and cook for about 4—5 minutes, stirring, until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the mushrooms and cook for a couple of minutes, until they begin to release some of their liquid. Sprinkle in the flour, stir well and cook for a minute. Add the chicken stock and the thyme, then cover the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently until the vegetables are tender — roughly 15 minutes. Add the sherry and cook for 1 minute more. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Add the cooked rice to the mixture and stir.

Serve with a dollop of crème fraîche, a sprinkling of celery leaves and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

,