Wild Rice Chowder With Greens

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 oz seitan, diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 small carrots, diced (4 oz)
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1/2 cup uncooked wild rice
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 Tblsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups soymilk, divided (see note)
  • 1 oz shredded Gruyere cheese (see note)
  • 1 oz shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • A few twists of freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chopped fresh kale (about 2 large leaves, stems removed)

Instructions:

  • In a large pot, heat the olive oil over high heat for one minute.
  • Once the oil is hot, add the next four ingredients (seitan through garlic).  Sauté until the onion is browned (about 5 minutes).
  • Add the wild rice, and sauté for 2 minutes.
  • Add the broth and water, stir once or twice, then cover and simmer until the rice is done (about 40 minutes).
  • (Take a slight break while the rice cooks.)
  • When the rice is almost done, in a small bowl combine the flour with 1 cup of the soymilk, and whisk well.  Once combined, add the flour/milk mixture to the rice pot, along with the second cup of soymilk.
  • Turn the heat up to medium-low, and cook the soup until slightly thickened (about 15 minutes), stirring occasionally.  (At this point the soup will still be a little runny, but don’t worry – once the cheese hits it, the broth will tighten up quickly.)
  • Add the cheeses, salt, and pepper, and cook 5 more minutes.
  • Finally, add the kale, and cook another 5 minutes.  Once the kale is wilted a bit, serve and eat.

Makes 4-6 servings:

  • 4 servings = 1.25 cups each
  • 5 servings = 1 cup each
  • 6 servings = 3/4 cup each

Nutritional information per serving for 4 servings (approximates): 270 calories, 8 g fat, 30.5 g carbohydrate, 5.5 g fiber, 3.5 g sugar, 18.5 g protein.

Nutritional information per serving for 6 servings (approximates): 180 calories, 5 g fat, 20 g carbohydrate, 3.5 g fiber, 2.5 g sugar, 12 g protein.

The finished soup.

The first serving.

What the soup looks like post-refrigeration. Don't worry, it returns to picture #2 once re-heated. :)

My notes:

  • You can use whole milk in place of the soy milk if you’d like; however, if you make that substitution, note that the nutritional values provided will change.
  • If you can’t find Gruyere cheese, Swiss cheese can work instead.
  • Once refrigerated, this soup becomes super thick; but it thins out again as it is re-heated.

The ratings:
Mental Cost (ingredient availability): Low.
Financial Cost (ingredient cost): Low.
Emotional Cost (cooking skill level): Medium-low.
Time Cost (recipe preparation): High.
Life Cost (clean up time/effort): Medium.
Worth It? (rate from 1-5): 3.79

The Bottom Line: Will I make this recipe again?

I don’t eat a lot of soup, but every now and again the thought enters my mind, “You know, some thick, hearty soup would be nice.”  Cream-based chicken wild rice soup is a crowd favorite among many people who live in this city, and I will admit that when I see others eating a bowl, it does look kind of good.  So… can I make a healthier, vegetarian version?

As I was creating this dish, it continued to smell better and better with each ingredient that was added.  The wild rice released a nutty fragrance, and the cheese yielded an ‘indulgent’ aroma.  As I ladled the first serving into my bowl, my eyes were pleased as well; the dish looked earthy, hearty, and lovely.

On my first tasting, both the earthiness and the cheesiness came through; I liked that the dish was thick and rich, but not overly so of either one.  I also liked the toothiness the soup had; I got to chew the kale and the rice, while also enjoying the drinkability of the milk-based broth.

Each portion also yielded a very nice serving size, but: only 90 minutes after eating a big bowl of the chowder, I was hungry again.

So… I think this recipe would make a very nice starter course for a fall meal; but it didn’t quite do it for me as a stand-alone lunch or dinner.

Stef

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About Stef

A "serious" gal who is trying to remember to lighten up and smile.
This entry was posted in "chicken", carrots, cheese, kale, picture step-by-step, postaweek2011, rice, seitan, soup, vegetables, vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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