ReLocavore: Redefining "local"

A locavore moves from Wisconsin to New Hampshire and rediscovers what "local" means.

Mushroom Week Day 1. Wild Rice Mushroom Soup

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The mushrooms for this week's recipes. 2.5 lbs crimini. 2.0 lbs portobello. 0.5lbs dried porcini. and 0.1 oz dried shiitake.

The mushrooms for this week’s recipes. 2.5 lbs crimini. 2.0 lbs portobello. 0.5lbs dried porcini. and 0.1 oz dried shiitake.

This has (somehow) become mushroom week. In the most recent (January/February 2013) Cooks Illustrated, there was a recipe for Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup. It looked good, so I thought to make it for dinner one day this week. Somehow, this spiraled into an entire weeks’ worth of mushroom recipes.

I also want to learn a little more about mushrooms. I eat them occasionally, but not regularly. There is much to explore.

The first recipe of the week is for Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup. If you would like a copy of the recipe, please email me. I’m hesitant to post it to my site because it’s copyright from Cooks Illustrated. I wouldn’t want to get into trouble.

The recipe has two interesting twists. First, the wild rice is cooked with baking soda to keep the grains intact. Didn’t make much of a difference, as far as I could see. Our grains fell apart. However, I am a cheapskate, so I didn’t buy the $25.99/lb “whole” wild rice, but the $6.99/lb “broken” wild rice. Might have something to do with it. Second, they use powdered shiitake mushrooms and cornstarch to give the broth some thickness and body. The broth did have thickness and body. Success!

Wild rice and mushroom soup. I had to work really hard to make it look tasty. Mushrooms and wild rice tend to sink.

Wild rice and mushroom soup. I had to work really hard to make it look tasty. Mushrooms and wild rice tend to sink.

We made one main modification – I don’t eat a lot of dairy, and the recipe called for adding 1/2 c heavy cream at the end of cooking. This would be way too much cream for me – so we substituted coconut based nondairy creamer. It’s not sweet and the soup didn’t come out tasting like coconut.

I keep saying “we” like I had anything to do with the cooking. Sam did all of it. All of the prep, all of the stirring. Everything. I was in my office stuffing Holiday cards into envelopes through the whole thing. I did stop by the kitchen to refill my glass of wine and observe the progress.  Tomorrow will be different. We’re making one of my favorite recipes… More then.

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