Wild Rice Mushroom Soup
This Wild Rice Mushroom Soup is sensationally flavored, rich and creamy, rustic comfort in a bowl. It’s loaded with boldly complex, caramelized umami mushrooms and chewy, nutty wild rice in a luxurious velvety broth infused with the herbaceous lightness of dill, thyme and oregano. Best of all, this Mushroom Soup all cooks in one pot – even the rice - without any “cream of” soups! While this recipe takes longer to cook than some, thanks to the wild rice, most of the prep is hand’s off simmering – and you’ll be rewarded with one of the best recipes to ever come out of your Dutch oven. You’ll also love that this Creamy Mushroom Soup reheats beautifully for make ahead dinner, lunch or entertaining.
Servings 6 servings
- 4 tablespoons Danish Creamery butter, divided
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 lb. thinly sliced wild mushrooms (I use a mix of king oyster, shiitakes and portabella - remove stems from shiitakes) Do NOT use white mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup diced celery
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp EACH paprika, dried thyme, dried oregano, rubbed sage, dried dill
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 cup uncooked wild-brown rice blend (I like Lundberg Farms)
- 2 tablespoons beef base or granulated beef bouillon, or bouillon cubes
- 6 cups water (may 6 cups low sodium beef broth and omit beef base)
- 2 cups half and half (may sub 2 cups evaporated milk whisked with 1/2 TBS cornstarch)
- 1 tablespoon balsamic
- 1 -2 tablespoons lemon juice
Melt 2 tablespoons butter with 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and stir to coat then push into an even layer (not all mushrooms will be touching the bottom). Cook undisturbed until they turn deeply golden brown on the bottom, about 10 minutes. Add Worcestershire and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until the mushrooms are dark (but not burnt) and very dry, about 8 more minutes. Transfer to a bowl; don’t wipe out pot. Reduce heat to medium and melt 2 tablespoons butter with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add onions, carrots and celery and sauté until the onions are tender, 6-8 minutes. Add garlic, and all seasonings and cook one additional minute. Add flour and cook one addition minute, while stirring (it will be thick).
Add the mushrooms back to the pot followed by the wild rice blend and beef base. Add the water while stirring to scrape up the bits from the bottom of the pan.
Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to LOW. Simmer, covered, until rice is tender, 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally and replacing the lid. Stir more often after 30 minutes so the bottom doesn’t stick and burn as the soup reduces/thickens quite a bit.
Stir in half and half and balsamic vinegar followed by lemon juice to taste. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Dig in!
Expert Tips and Tricks
- Use quality mushrooms: The better the mushrooms and the more varieties you use, the deeper, richer, more complexity of flavor. Cremini, portobello, shitakes and king oyster mushrooms are all excellent. Please do NOT use white button mushrooms, they are not flavorful enough and won’t deliver rich, savory goodness.
- Don’t wash the mushrooms: You should never rinse your mushrooms or they will absorb water like a sponge and become waterlogged and not caramelize. Instead, clean your mushrooms with a damp paper towel.
- How to slice mushrooms: Slice the mushrooms 1/8-inch thick. Portobello mushrooms are larger than other mushroom varieties, so slice them into quarters then thinly slice each quarter. The stem of shitakes is inedible, so only slice the cap. The stem of king oyster mushrooms is edible and can be sliced into thin rounds, just like the caps, and use in the soup.
- Beef base/bouillon: You are welcome to use beef broth and salt to taste or I use water plus beef base to make my own economical beef broth. If using beef base, use 2 tablespoons beef concentrate, bouillon cubes (6 cubes) or granulated bouillon. Do not dissolve the bouillon in liquid before adding to the soup. If using cubes, crush them before adding to the soup. I use my favorite Zoup! Beef Bone Broth Culinary Concentrate and the flavor is outstanding.
- Make it dairy free: Use olive oil or vegan butter in place of the butter and your favorite dairy free substitute such as Oatly Barista edition or coconut milk in place of the half and half.
- Make it vegan: Use vegetable broth instead of beef base/water and salt to taste, olive oil or vegan butter in place of the butter and your favorite dairy free substitute such as Oatly Barista edition or coconut milk in place of the half and half. You can include cashew cream as well for a richer vegan mushroom soup.
- Make it gluten free: Use gluten free flour and gluten free Worcestershire sauce – the rest of the ingredients are gluten free.
Wild rice is the best rice in terms of both flavor and texture for this recipe, however, you can use whatever rice you have on hand but expect varying results.
- Brown rice: Substitute the wild rice with brown rice and cook for about the same amount of time.
- White rice: Start with only 5 1/2 cups of water and 5 teaspoons beef base (or 5 cups of beef broth). Simmer the soup for 20 minutes then add white rice. The white rice will take about 10-12 minutes to cook. White rice is easy to overcook, so make sure you check it for doneness often and cook just until al dente.
- Leftover rice: You'll need less broth because the liquid isn’t soaked up by the cooking rice or evaporated when simmering. Start with only 4 cups water and 4 teaspoons beef base (or 4 cups beef broth) and add more as needed. Simmer the soup for 20 minutes, then add the leftover cooked rice directly into the soup after adding the half and half and warm through.
HOW TO STORE AND REHEAT
This Creamy Mushroom Soup makes fantastic leftovers!
- To store: Let the soup cool to room temperature, cover and store in your Dutch oven or transfer to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 4 days.
- To freeze: Cook the soup according to recipe directions but either omit the half and half and add when reheating the soup or swap it for evaporated milk mixed with ½ tablespoon cornstarch. Once the soup has completely cooled, transfer it to an airtight freezer safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
- To reheat on the stove: Reheat on the stove over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until warmed through, adding additional broth or milk as needed.
- To reheat in the microwave: Transfer soup to a microwave-safe dish, cover with a microwave-safe lid or paper towel. Microwave for 90 seconds, stir, then continue to microwave for 30-second intervals, if needed.