Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Byerlys' Wild Rice Soup

If you're from Minnesota, chances are that you're familiar with Byerlys. It's a fancy upscale grocery store with carpet on the floors and everything. If you go on the weekends they have so many samples you could eat lunch for free. Many moons ago they had a restaurant attached to the grocery store. They made the best soups, namely Wild Rice and Beer Cheese. These days you can buy the stuff by the cup in the deli or in a tub in the freezer section.

Sometimes my mom will bring up one of the big frozen tubs of the delicious Wild Rice soup. Most of the time I forget to pick up some when I go up to visit her, or forget to ask her to bring some up. Well, I need to yearn in vein no longer. The Byerlys website has the recipe for their wild rice soup.

This didn't taste exactly like the original, but it was pretty close. I bet if I followed the recipe it would taste even better. I forgot to buy half and half at the grocery store, but found that I had exactly the right amount of evaporated milk left over from the last time I made a cream based soup. Half way through the recipe I thought the soup looked way too thick so I added another cup of stock. The soup wasn't too thick...I just hadn't added the milk yet. The extra stock and lack of fat in the milk resulted in a less rich tasting soup.

I also used half vegetable stock and half chicken stock because I was trying to get rid of the stuff I had in the freezer before I made another vat of chicken stock. Chicken stock is so much more flavorful than it's veggie cousin. I don't plan on using vegetable stock in anything anytime soon...unless I'm making something for a vegan friend. This soup would have been better if I used all chicken stock.
The recipe also stated that the Sherry was optional. I assumed that it was. It's not. Don't make the same mistake I did and leave it out. It's an essential element to the soup's deliciousness

Overall, this was a good first run, and a great use of half the wild rice I made in the crockpot the other day.

Byerly's Wild Rice Soup
6 tablespoons margarine or butter
1 tablespoon minced onion
1/2 cup flour
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups cooked wild rice
1/2 cup finely grated carrots
1/3 cup minced ham
3 tablespoons chopped slivered almonds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup half and half
2 tablespoons dry sherry, (optional)
snipped fresh parsley or chives

In large saucepan, melt margarine; saute onion until tender. Blend in flour; gradually add broth. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil; boil and stir 1 minute. Stir in rice, carrots, ham, almonds and salt; simmer about 5 minutes. Blend in half and half and sherry; heat to serving temperature. Garnish with snipped parsley or chives.

Amount: 6 cups.

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