Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Hearty Asparagus and Wild Mushroom Soup

I love this time of year. The sun is out longer, and the temperatures are starting to creep up. It makes you feel good when you walk outside and realize that you can shed a layer or two. I also love the food during this season. Everyone is starting to transition from the heavy, warming comfort foods of winter to lighter and more fresh tasting dishes.

This soup is a great spring soup, not too heavy, yet perfectly light tasting. The fresh lemon zest is the perfect finish to the fresh asparagus and mushrooms, and the rice helps to make it a nice substantial meal. I'm not a huge fan of cream-based soups, so I wanted to find a way to replicate the creaminess without the heaviness.

This is a perfect soup to enjoy on these longer spring days.

Hearty Asparagus and Wild Mushroom Soup

Hearty Asparagus and Wild Mushroom Soup
1 (6 oz) box of long grain and wild rice blend, prepared
1/2 c dried mushrooms
1 cup water
1 tbsp olive oil
1 c chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb asparagus, cut into 1/2" pieces
4 cups vegetable broth
salt/pepper to taste
3/4 tsp dried thyme leaves, crumbled
1 can evaporated milk (fat-free or 2% work well)
2 tbsp cornstarch
Zest of 1 lemon

Prepare rice according to directions. Set aside. Place dried mushrooms in 1 cup of boiling water. (I used a combination of porcini, straw, and shiitake mushrooms) Allow to soak for 20 minutes. Strain, reserving the water, and chop mushrooms. Set aside, along with soaking water. In large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic, and saute for 2 minutes. Add asparagus and saute an additional 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, rice, and thyme, and stir well. Add reserved mushroom water and broth, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat. In small bowl, whisk cornstarch into evaporated milk, and pour into pan. Bring back to a boil and boil for 3-5 minutes, until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest. Serve and enjoy!

6 comments:

Chris said...

This looks great. While I bench soup recipes for the time-being while it gets warm here, this is one for next winter! Thanks!

Lina said...

Seriously. I hate mushrooms. And I love this soup. The smooth flavors and light texture made this easy to love.

Rachael said...

Mmmm, wow this looks wonderful. I just made a light creamy soup myself, except no cream in it (all cauliflower), for the same reasons you listed. I am so excited that you used evaporated milk - I've been itching to try it as a substitute for creamy things. I always manage to curdle (my usually skim) milk based soups, and wondered if the evaporated would get the thickness without the curdle danger. I can't wait to try this!

Anonymous said...

I am thinking this would be good without the rice mixture- as a more vegetable based soup, better for spring. It looks good though!

Heidrun Peters said...

Hi Fiber, I have "springtipped" your post! We have a "Think Spring" meme going, if you want to have a look:
My post about your recipe is here:
RoseWoman Blog
Instructions how to participate in the "Think Spring" meme are here:
Think Spring!
Greetings from Germany, and thank you for your great blog, it is always an inspiration!!
Heidrun

mrbunsrocks said...

This looks so yummy! Great recipe!