As a Minnesotan in the diaspora there are certain things that will always be close to my heart: food served on a stick, walleye steaks, hot dish, lefse, Hüsker Dü, and Prince. During the years that I've spent away from the northern shores of my beloved Mississippi, no matter where in the world I've lived I always looked forward to the Christmas package sent to me by family that included a little piece of home - wild rice.
"Wild rice" isn't actually a rice at all - it's a whole grain that comes from a semi-aquatic grass that historically has grown in the shallow fresh waters of lakes, tidal rivers and bays. Wild rice originated in the area of the upper Great Lakes in what is now both the U.S. and Canada, and that's why it's a staple in many Minnesota kitchen pantries.
Wild rice is high in protein, lysine, dietary fiber, and low in fat. It's also an incredible source of minerals and B vitamins. One cup of cooked wild rice provides 5% or more of the daily value of thiamin, riboflavin, iron, and potassium; 10% or more of the daily value of niacin, b6, folate, magnesium, phosphorus; 15% of zinc; and over 20% of manganese. Needless to say, it's a true super food.
Each year there are regular competitions in the Twin Cities for the best wild rice soup recipe - I've scoured my cookbooks for one that I could share which didn't contain heavy cream and 3 pounds of butter. This is a pretty light recipe that's nutrient dense, flavorful, and appropriate for any time of year. Is it absolutely delicious? Ubetcha.
- 2 quarts bone broth (chicken will give it a lighter flavor; beef will give it more weight)
- 1.5 cups leftover roast chicken meat
- 5 chopped celery stalks
- 3 chopped and peeled carrots
- 1 chopped yellow onion
- 2 TBS Ghee
- 3 TBS dried parsley
- 1 TSP dried thyme
- 1 cup wild rice
- 1 TBS balsamic vinegar
- Salt & pepper to taste
HOW TO COOK
- Soak the wild rice for at least 8 hours in warm water mixed with balsamic vinegar
- Chop or shred the chicken meat.
- Heat the ghee in pan; once hot, add the vegetables.
- Continue to cook the vegetables in ghee until the onions become translucent.
- Add the chicken and herbs.
- Continue cooking the mixture for a minute or two.
- Add the bone broth.
- Drain and rinse the wild rice.
- Add the rice to the soup.
- Continue cooking until the rice is tender.
- Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.