Wild Rice and Cranberry Soup

I love Cream of Wild Rice Soup.  My favorite/usual recipe isn’t low-cal or low-fat at all and I have been looking for an equally delicious, but healthier version.  I adapted this recipe from one found in the vegetarian cookbook “A Beautiful Bowl of Soup” by Paulette Mitchell (which hasn’t produced any favorite soup recipes so far – everything has just been so-so).  The soup was very pretty, but honestly, I didn’t like the burst of sweetness the cranberries provided in the soup.  Even when the cranberries were removed, the sweetness remained in the soup.  The soup would be much better without them.  So, I’ll continue my search for a healthier version of Cream of Wild Rice Soup.  I’ll probably just try to revamp my old recipe to make it lower in calories and fat.

Wild Rice and Cranberry Soup

4 tablespoons butter
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups cooked wild rice (see note)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the carrot, celery and onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrot is tender.

Add the flour and stir until smooth. Gradually add the vegetable stock, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Increase the heat to medium-high and stir until the soup is thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the rice and cranberries. Reduce the heat; cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries are softened and plumped, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the milk and season with salt and pepper. Stir occasionally until warmed through.

This soup will keep for up to 3 days in a covered container in the refrigerator. When reheating, stir in milk to thin as desired.  This soup does not freeze well.

Note: To cook the wild rice, first rinse it in the strainer under cold running water or in a bowl of water; drain. Bring 2 cups water, 1/2 cup rice and 1/2 teaspoon salt to boil in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat; cover and simmer until the rice kernels are opened and slightly chewy rather than mushy, 45 to 55 minutes; drain well. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

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