A creamy Mushroom and Wild Rice Bisque that’s healthy and makes a hearty meal by itself, but has just 153 calories per serving and is so decadent tasting. Vegan, gluten-free, soy-free and can be nut-free.
It’s the weekend after Thanksgiving, the elaborate feast you made for your family and friends has been polished off, and you don’t want to see a pie again as long as you live. But you do need to eat. On days like these I find myself craving something healthy and warm and satisfying, like a hearty vegan soup. This Mushroom and Wild Rice Bisque hits the spot.
It’s nutritious enough to be health food and has just 153 calories per serving, but it doesn’t taste like health food. Instead it’s creamy and fragrant with herbs, has delicious bits of wild mushrooms and wild rice, and, best of all, it warms you from the inside out.
If you don’t feel like driving yourself to the store this weekend — and who would blame you — you’re in luck, because everything you need to make this bisque is probably right in your pantry. I found myself without fresh mushrooms in my refrigerator after Thanksgiving this year, because I’d used them all up to make my Mushroom Pot Pies. But I did have some dry wild crimini mushrooms and a jar of wild rice. Some onions, garlic and celery, and I was on my way to soup heaven.
This soup also comes together with very little effort, so you don’t have to spend an hour over the stove after having spent half the week cooking. Make sure you cook your wild rice separately, before you add it to the rest of the bisque, to get the perfect texture.
Here are some tips on how you can make this mushroom and wild rice bisque your own:
-Use fresh crimini or button mushrooms, if you have those around, instead of the dry mushrooms. You don’t have to reconstitute the mushrooms, as you would the dry, so you’d be saving yourself an extra step.
-Use regular rice instead of wild rice. Or barley would work too! If you do use regular rice, I’d go with a long grain that’s less starchy, and you might need to thin out the bisque with more stock.
-Use leeks instead of onions. Or shallots.
-Vary the herbs in your bisque. I used oregano and thyme, but rosemary or sage would be wonderful too. You can use fresh or dry herbs.
-If you don’t want to use cashew cream or are nut-free, blend 1/4 block of silken tofu and add it to your bisque instead.
-Make this a cream of mushroom soup by skipping the wild rice.
Serve this delectable bisque with a crusty wholegrain bread like this one and a leafy salad. That’s all you need for a healthy, delicious and memorable meal that won’t make you feel like the weight of the world is in your stomach.
Mushroom and Wild Rice Bisque
- 1 tsp avocado oil (or olive or any other vegetable oil)
- 1/2 cup dry wild rice
- 1 medium onion (finely minced)
- 2 cloves garlic (smashed and finely minced)
- 2 stalks celery (finely chopped)
- 1 oz dry mushrooms like shiitake, chopped. (Or 8 oz fresh mushrooms like shiitake, crimini or button)
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 tsp mixed dry herbs (I used oregano and thyme)
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup raw cashews (see nut-free option in notes below)
- Place the wild rice in a saucepan with 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer, cover and cook 45 minutes. Drain.
- If using dry mushrooms, soak them in 2 cups hot or boiling water for at least 30 minutes. Drain and reserve the stock.
- Blend the cashews with 1/2 cup vegetable stock into a very smooth paste.
- Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the onions, garlic and celery. Season with salt and pepper and saute until soft and translucent.
- Add the mushrooms with the wine. Cook until the wine has evaporated, stirring frequently.
- Add the herbs and the vegetable stock and the reserved mushroom stock. Bring to a boil, cover and cook 10 minutes.
- Remove half the soup to a blender and blend until smooth. You can blend up to 3/4th if you want less texture in the soup.
- Return the blended soup to the pot with the rest, add the drained wild rice, and cook another five minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the cashew cream, warm through, and serve hot.
- For a nut-free version, blend 1/4 block of soft silken tofu (about 3 oz) with enough water to make a smooth paste.