When writing this recipe, I kept thinking "I should save this for spring - with the peas and carrots and mushrooms, it'd be perfect for March". But you know what? I made it the other day, and loved it, and didn't want to wait to share it!
It's a perfectly hearty soup for late fall and a welcomed veggie-filled dinner during the upcoming holiday season. Plus, you can make it ahead and it reheats beautifully.
Mushroom & Wild Rice Soup
2 Tbs. olive oil, divided
1 pound assorted mushrooms, chopped (I used 50/50 cremini and shiitake)
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
2 medium carrots, finely diced
2 celery ribs, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable broth
1-2 cups filtered water
2/3 cup wild rice
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. fine sea salt
2/3 cup frozen peas (optional)
1 Tbs. sherry vinegar
freshly ground black pepper
Heat a large stockpot or Dutch oven to medium-high. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and chopped mushrooms. Sauté 5-7 minutes until golden brown and caramelized (you want little bits sticking to the bottom of the pan). Add remaining tablespoon of oil and stir in onion, carrots, and celery. Season with a pinch of salt and cook another 5-7 minutes until onion is translucent and vegetables start to soften. Add the garlic and cook for 60 seconds more.
Next, pour in the vegetable broth + water and stir in the bay leaf, thyme, wild rice, and salt. Bring soup to a boil and then reduce to a medium simmer. Loosely cover and let cook for 50-60 minutes, stirring occasionally. The soup is cooked when the rice has split open, but is still a bit chewy. 5 minutes before serving taste for seasoning and add the peas, if using.
When ready to serve, stir in the sherry vinegar and several grinds of fresh black pepper.
If you don't have sherry vinegar, try adding a splash of low-sodium soy sauce or balsamic vinegar place in it's place.
Soup can be stored for several days, but the rice will swell and absorb most of the broth. When reheating, simply add enough water to bring it back to desired consistency.
If I make this ahead as meal prep, I'll leave the peas out and only add when reheating to prevent them from overcooking.