Matt has always been a fan of Seinfeld, and one of his favorite characters on the show is the Soup Nazi. On occasion, I’ve made a soup so good that it gets a Soup Nazi nod. This is one of those soups.
It requires an ‘exotic’ ingredient, by Columbia, Tennessee standards — an ounce of dried mushrooms. As luck would have it, we live slightly closer to Spring Hill, and they have a nice Kroger, which is where I do the majority of my shopping. They many times carry those sorts of more ‘exotic’ ingredients that the Kroger in Columbia doesn’t. That was until recently. On my last visit I went to get the dried mushrooms only to discover they no longer carry them. Apparently I was the only customer purchasing said item.
Panic. The dried mushrooms are the reason why this soup is so delicious. They pack so much flavor, and there really isn’t a suitable substitute for them. I went to another Kroger on the north side of Spring Hill, and they only had one, half ounce package of dried shiitake mushrooms left. A half ounce is better than none, so I purchased them. My next option was to drive up to Franklin, which I didn’t want to have to do with Gray in tow. His patience for these sorts of things is quite low.
Score. It was just as delicious with only half — and I saved myself $5. I think I failed to mention that they are $5-7 a half ounce, depending on what kind you buy. BUT don’t leave them out!
Creamy Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup from Everyday with Rachael Ray
- 1 ounce dried mushrooms, any variety (a half ounce is just as delicious)
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 carrots, coarsely chopped
- 1 onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage (I use 1 tablespoon dried when I don’t have fresh)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 6 ounce box long-grain and wild rice mix
- 3/4 pound white mushrooms, sliced
- 1 skinless, boneless chicken breast (I use 2)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Soak the dried mushrooms in 1 cup chicken broth for 10 minutes, then coarsely chop. Reserve both the mushrooms and broth.
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, onion, and sage and cook until crisp-tender, roughly 5 minutes. Add the rehydrated mushrooms and broth. Cook roughly 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the remaining 5 cups broth, the rice mix, and sliced mushrooms and bring to a boil. Add the chicken breasts, lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender and the chicken breasts are cooked through, about 25 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and shred; return to the pot. Stir in the heavy cream; season with salt and pepper and simmer for about 5 minutes.