When the squirrels started doing this, I knew winter was about to get real. Real real.
And then, it began.
With leaves remaining on the trees, still confused by the trickery that was 80 degrees in October, snow has come, and I think it’s here to stay. Not a day above 30* forecasted for weeks to come.
This soup feels like Minnesota to me. I guess all things wild rice do. But it’s creamy and quick and filled with some of the only things that are colorful in this season of white ground and gray skies: cranberries and carrots. The veggies are softened in a bath of butter, before the soup is thickened with stock and flour. You add the cooked wild rice, cranberries, and milk, and you’re pretty much done…just a few simple steps, and you’ve got a steaming, winter-worthy soup. I’m a big fan of toasting some buttered sourdough slices in the oven for dunking, but then again, I’m sort of a fan of anything buttered. Make this soup, enjoy the surprising bites of cranberry, and watch it snow, watch it snow, watch it snow…
(adapted from: my friend Tova's sister's recipe)
(yields: about 5 cups)
I adapted this recipe in several ways. The main thing that I did differently was to use 1 c. of FRESH cranberries, and increase the amount of dried cranberries from a 1/2 to a full cup. The cranberry/craisin bites were our favorite, so be generous! Additionally, I doubled the amount of carrots and celery. Finally, I used a mixture of brown rice & wild rice because I had it on hand.
1 1/2 c cooked wild rice (see note below)
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1/2 c. onion, finely chopped
3 c. vegetable stock
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 c. fresh (or frozen) cranberries, chopped
1 c. dried cranberries
1 c. milk or half-n-half
salt & pepper to taste
Cook wild rice according to package directions.
*Note that you need 1 1/2 c. COOKED rice; however, if you are like me and miss this detail and end up with several extra cups of cooked rice, I recently learned that you can freeze cooked rice! Brilliant!
Melt butter over medium heat.
Add carrot, celery & onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until carrot is tender, about 8 minutes.
Whisk veggie stock and flour together until smooth; pour into the soup pot.
Add the fresh cranberries.
Increase heat to medium high and stir until soup is thickened, about 5-10 minutes.
Stir in the rice. Add the dried cranberries.
Reduce heat to low/medium. Cover & simmer, stirring occasionally, until the dried cranberries are softened and plumped and the fresh cranberries are softened, about 15 minutes.
Pour in the milk, stirring occasionally until warmed through.
Season to taste
P.S. This soup would be great with some cooked turkey or chicken thrown in. It'd be so easy to grab a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, and throw a bunch of it into this soup!