Typically made with chicken, this wild rice soup really benefits from the flavor of smoked ham. Quite frankly, it’s better than chicken. This Mushroom, Ham and Wild Rice Soup is super easy to put together and the end result is pure comfort-in-a-bowl. The flavors blend together beautifully and the texture is rich and creamy.
With Easter approaching, this soup is also an excellent way to use up leftover ham.
Wild rice is of course a central ingredient in this soup. Wild rice is indigenous to North America and some parts of China, though it isn’t commonly eaten in China. Here in North America it’s rather a delicacy. Chewy on the outside and tender on the inside, it’s makes a great addition to soups, pilafs and casseroles. High in protein, lysine and dietary fiber, wild rice is also very nutritious.
For several Native American tribes, wild rice has traditionally been a sacred component of their culture. As represented below by 19th century Native American women, they would harvest the wild rice by canoeing through the rice plants and using what are called “knockers” to bend the ripe grain heads into the canoe to gently thresh out the rice grains. The Ojibwa, for example, kept the wild rice grains in bags such as the one below made out of cedar bark and on display at the American Museum of Natural History.
Today the biggest producers of wild rice in the U.S. are California and Minnesota. Wild rice is expensive but it’s definitely worth enjoying from time to time as your budget permits. This recipe calls for one cup.
This Mushroom, Ham & Wild Rice Soup is packed full of veggies including carrots, onions, mushrooms and celery, sauteed in some butter for ultimate flavor. It’s seasoned with garlic, mustard powder, fresh thyme and bay leaf and the finishing touch is cream, wonderful cream. You’ll love the flavor and texture of this soup!
Let’s get started!
Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium-high heat and cook the onion, carrots and celery until softened, about 10 minutes.
Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetable mixture and stir to combine. Cook for another 2-3 minutes (this will eliminate the “flour flavor” from the soup).
Stir in the broth, white wine, and add the wild rice, thyme, ground mustard, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add the ham, cover and simmer for another 15 minutes or until the rice is tender.
Stir in the heavy cream and parsley and heat through.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve immediately and enjoy!
Note: Leftover soup will get thicker as the rice expands. If it’s too thick dilute it with a little broth.
Grab a chair!
- 4 tablespoons butter or oil or combination (butter tastes better!)
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, diced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 6 ounces mushrooms, brushed clean and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 6 cups chicken broth
- ½ cup dry white wine (optional)
- 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules or cube
- ½ teaspoon ground mustard powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup uncooked wild rice
- 1½ teaspoons fresh chopped thyme
- 2 cups leftover diced smoked ham (or diced cooked chicken)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Heat the butter in a soup pot over medium-high heat and cook the onion, carrot and celery until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir to combine, cooking for another 2 minutes.
- Pour in the broth and wine and stir in the rice, thyme, ground mustard, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add the ham, cover and simmer for another 15 minutes or until the rice is tender.
- Stir in the cream and parsley and heat through. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve immediately.