All right, you made those cones yesterday, so it’s time for something different. Something simple. (You did make the cones, didn’t you?). Something you can just let sit on the stove and simmer until it’s ready. How about soup? Sounds good to us. We’ve had a bit of corn in the house and originally, we thought about making corn chowder. Alas, we’re out of potatoes, so, no chowder. Instead, we came up with this simple soup.
This recipe is completely ours, just made up on the spot — well, made up on the spot last weekend, but we liked it enough to make it again and record the recipe for posterity. Plus, it’s really easy, especially if you have stock already to go. We didn’t, so we took some corn cobs (we save those for stock), a bay leaf or two, mushroom stems, and maybe a bit of onion, and simmered them for 45 minutes. Strained off the broth, and we had stock.
Parmesan rinds? You’ve got to be kidding! Nope, we save the rinds from when we grate Parmesan cheese, with soup in mind. Parmesan is loaded with glutamates or flavor enhancers. It’s like the secret weapon for great soup. Same goes for the shiitake mushrooms; again, full of glutatmates to boost flavor. Leave out either or both and your soup will be blander than it could be. For the stock, use a mild, low-salt kind, preferably one you scratched out yourself.
Procedure in detail:
Cook onions. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Add onions and cook until tender and translucent, but not browned, about 5 minutes.
Add stock. Pour the stock over the onions and stir to combine. Add the dried shiitakes, if using, increase the heat, and bring to a boil.
Add rice, corn, and rinds. Once boiling, pour in the wild rice. Add the corn kernels. Add the secret weapon for great soup: Parmesan rinds. Bring everything back to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.
Simmer. Cover the soup and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the Parmesan rinds and discard. Remove the shiitakes, let cool, then dice, discarding the tough stems. Return the mushrooms to the soup.
Simmer. Continue simmering the soup until the wild rice is cooked, about 45 to 50 minutes. It takes a while for wild rice to cook, doesn’t it?
Taste and season. Taste the soup, then add salt and pepper as needed. Since our broth didn’t have salt, we used about a teaspoon, but only you will know what’s the right amount for you.
We had this for dinner after we picked up our CSA produce. We knew we’d be getting some corn, so we made the stock earlier in the day, then we just had to pop everything together and wait until it was done (we were also making pumpkin bread, fried okra, and baking a few Starry, Starry Nights, so we needed something easy). It’s not only easy, but quite tasty. We’ll use the combination of corn and wild rice again, as it’s a good four star combo.