Mushroom And Rice Soup

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February 11, 2009

The genesis of this soup was a trip to Costco, our first in a long time, resulting in wide eyes and a cart full of mega packages of delicious things to be used up...somehow. Even with three adults on the eating roster, that pound and a half container of lovely Italian brown mushrooms was going to last awhile.

Then suddenly it was a rainy Sunday -- soup weather! I came up with this recipe after cobbling together ideas from several cookbooks. I am not a big fan of over thickened floury "cream" soups or those testing the arterial limits with scads of butter and cream. So for shortening I used a combination of non-hydrogenated margarine and grapeseed oil. Where traditional recipes called for thickening with cream or with a true butter based béchamel, I used a microwaved white sauce with a base of skim milk. The huge volume of flavorful mushrooms is what made this all work.

1 lb fresh Italian brown or other mushrooms, washed, stems removed, chopped medium fine
1/2 cup white or yellow onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine
4 Tbs tbs non-hydrogenated unsalted margarine (or substitute butter)
3 Tbs mild cooking oil such as grapeseed, olive oil not recommended
1 C skim milk
2 tbs white flour
4 cups chicken stock, unsalted or low salt
1 C cooked brown rice
salt and pepper

Heat 3 Tbs of margarine and 3 Tbs of oil in large heavy saucepan or stock pot
Add garlic, onions and mushrooms
Sauté for 15 minutes adjusting heat as needed to keep contents from browning
Sprinkle with 1 Tb flour, stir in, then add 4 cups of stock
Bring to boil, reduce heat, simmer for 20 minutes

Make 1 cup of thin white sauce in microwave as follows:
melt 1 Tb margarine in microwave safe bowl
Stir in 1 Tb flour and mix to a paste
Heat 30-60 seconds in microwave until the mixture looks grainy - do not let this brown!
Add 1 C skim milk and whisk until incorporated
Heat in microwave for 1-2 minutes, stopping to stir occasionally, the sauce should come to a boil as this helps cook and remove the "floury" taste
NOTE: you could skip this step and instead use cream or half and half

Add white sauce to soup pot, stir, and heat through
Stir in the cup of brown rice (optional, but adds nice body) and heat to just below simmer
Taste and add salt and pepper as needed

Serve and get ready to receive compliments!

Mushroom and Rice Soup on Foodista



Thumbbook's picture

Hi! I noticed in this recipe that you recommend using grapeseed oil. What is the difference of using grapeseed from olive oil? My friends and I are curious about the different oils in the supermarket, but we are too scared to try something we dont know more about. Great recipe!

Betsy Dorfman's picture

Really any bland vegetable oil would be fine. I happened to have grapeseed on hand. The olive oil I generally use is a pretty fruity type so I recommended against it. But using it would not ruin the recipe.

If you are going to start experimenting with oils I suggest you skip the supermarket as many of the more exotic oils may have been on the shelf for awhile. Many specialty and gourmet shops allow you to taste before you buy -- great fun and definitely takes the scary out of the process! Thanks for commenting.

Seth's picture

Check out Grapeseed oil on the main site. Ahh, Foodista.

Tracy's picture

Hmmmmm.... This sounds Delish!!! I will try this over the cold weekend!

Anonymous's picture

Okay - I'm making this on Saturday!

Thanks for the post, Betsy!

Anne grete rasmussen's picture