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Culinary S.O.S.

What to Do With Wild Rice

April 10, 2002|CINDY DORN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

DEAR SOS: On my last vacation to Minnesota, I purchased several bags of wild rice. Do you have a good recipe for wild rice soup?

JUDY LITTLE

Dana Point

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DEAR JUDY: Yes, we do. This recipe was printed in 1992. It's from the St. Paul Hotel in St. Paul, Minn.

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Cream of Minnesota Wild Rice Soup

Active Work Time: 45 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 1 hour

Salt

3/4 cup wild rice

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

1 cup flour

6 to 8 cups chicken stock

1/4 pound bacon, finely diced

1 onion, chopped

1/2 pound carrots, chopped

4 stalks celery, diced

1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced

2 tablespoons diced red pimentos

1 bay leaf

1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves

Pepper

2 cups half-and-half

Bring 2 cups of salted water to boil in a saucepan. Add the rice and simmer, covered, until the rice is tender but still has some bite to it, 35 to 40 minutes. It will not absorb all the water. Drain.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a skillet over low heat. Add the flour and blend well. Cook, stirring, until light golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Be careful it doesn't brown.

Heat 6 cups of the chicken stock to a simmer in a large saucepan. Whisk in the flour mixture until smooth. Strain the mixture.

Wipe the pan clean and heat over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until almost crisp, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the onion, carrots, celery and mushrooms. Cook until tender, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Stir in the pimentos, bay leaf and thyme. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add the stock mixture and wild rice to the pot. Simmer over medium-low heat, 20 to 30 minutes, adding more stock if the soup becomes dry. Stir in the half-and-half and heat to serving temperature. The soup will be thick. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste. Remove the bay leaf before serving.

12 servings. Each serving: 311 calories; 366 mg sodium; 62 mg cholesterol; 24 grams fat; 14 grams saturated fat; 18 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams protein; 1.92 grams fiber.

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