Although the days of making batches and batches of soup each day to deliver around town are long behind me, my love for those hot bowls of comfort will never end. Although the quantities have largely diminished, I still find myself making a batch of soup each Sunday– usually pumpkin or spiced carrot – to keep me happy and full on chilly week-nights. However, after weeks and weeks of walking past the daunting and beautiful wild mushroom section in the market near my university, I decided to just go for it and grabber over a kilo of a whole bunch of different mushrooms I had never even thought of cooking with before- two hours later, I was hooked.
That week I consumed mushrooms at an impressively fast speed, with risottos, sautées and pastas being made on repeat. When Sunday rolled around, I realised I still had quite a hefty amount of mushrooms left, and instead of making my usual butternut squash soup, I decided to try something new. By tossing together chanterelle, cremini, porcini and oyster mushrooms along with potatoes, brown rice, leeks, fresh rosemary and vegetable stock, I was presented with the most velvety, deep, and flavourful soup I’ve tasted in as long as I can remember.
As well as never having cooked with different types of mushrooms before, I was also bizarrely not aware of just how crazily healthy they are, like, healingly healthy. Different varieties of mushrooms have different health properties, but on a whole most mushrooms contain selenium, are a good source of iron, are incredibly high in protein and are the only fruit or vegetable to source vitamin D, as well as being high in antioxidants and vitamin B. Some mushrooms have less or more of these properties, but don’t worry too much about which you buy- see what mix you can find, and I can assure you, you’re doing your body good!
It might seem strange to put rice in a creamed soup, but it really does give it that extra creaminess and depth. No matter how much soup I eat, I do notice that I sometimes struggle with staying full for the afternoon/evening when I eat it, so I thought I would try adding a little extra unrefined-carb, and it really did the trick. If you would rather leave it out though, perhaps add a couple extra potatoes or maybe swap the ½ cup of brown for 1 cup of butter beans.
Wild Mushroom and Brown Rice Soup:
Makes 6 bowls:
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 leek, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
3 sprigs rosemary
500 grams wild mushrooms (oyster, porcini, chanterelle, cremini, portobello etc.), patted clean and sliced
4 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and chopped
½ cup uncooked brown rice
7 cups water
1 tbsp vegetable bouillon
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Heat oil in a large saucepan, and add in the chopped garlic and leeks for 2-3 minutes. Then add in the sprigs of rosemary and the sliced mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes. Then add the chopped potatoes and uncooked rice, stir for about a minute to coat with the leek, herb, mushroom fragrance, then add in the water, bouillon, and some salt. Cover the saucepan with a lid and leave to simmer for about 30 minutes. When cooked, remove the soup from heat, and blend until completely smooth. Taste for salt and pepper, and then serve with a drizzle of olive oil and some fresh rosemary.
©2016 Bowl of Comfort