cranberry-mushroom soup

from mom, also invented by

  • ~ 1/2 lb mushrooms (champignons, not just pilzer), sliced
  • 1/2 C wild rice
  • 4 C water
  • 1 C cranberries
  • 3 t better-than-bouillon mushroom (or veg, if you can't get mushroom) base
  • 3 C water
  • 3/4 to 1 C half-and-half, or whatever a vegan substitute might be -- silken tofu? maybe just omit ...
  • salt
  • pepper
  • tarragon
  • sherry

start with wild rice. you put your 1/2 C of wild rice and 4 C water in a pot with some salt, and boil it for 30 minutes. then off the heat you let it stand for 15 minutes, or until desired consistency. drain.

meanwhile, while the wild rice is cooking, melt over medium-high heat 2 T butter and 1 T oil, about, you know, sort of, and then sauté the mushrooms until they begin to give back the fat (see mushrooms), and then you sprinkle with salt, pepper, tarragon, and a splash of sherry, and boil off the alcohol. by "a splash" i suppose i mean somewhere from 2 T to a quarter cup, depending on how heavy your hand is and how much you've imbibed.

now, this part is important for the final look of it. you remove the mushrooms from the pan but leave all the drippings, and add a tablespoon or two of flour. what you're doing is binding all the fat so it doesn't float up in bubbles later. cook the fat and flour a couple of minutes until it's well-blended.

add your 3-4 C water and your mushroom base. at that point, also add mushrooms back in, and, if your wild rice is ready, that can go in. and your half-and-half, or whatever you're using. stir; blend well.

then (you've rinsed your cranberries) put them on top, and just sprinkle over them a little sugar, just a dusting. cover the whole thing and heat on medium, until cranberries are softened, and until they start to pop. you'll hear them pop -- pop, pop, pop. and then serve.

mom's $0.02: