Has anyone else felt like fall aggressively showed up this year in the Pacific Northwest? The number of rainy, gloomy days we’ve had makes me want to eat soup every night. Fall is such a tossup. One year it might be perfectly crisp and sunny, and the next year might have atmospheric rivers and crazy thunderstorms. This year seems like the latter. That means soup season is here, and it’s here to stay.

I present to you an autumn soup that is sure to warm you up on these chilly days. It is packed with so many delicious vegetables — butternut squash, mushrooms, leeks, kale and celery. The rice makes it thick and satisfying and adds the perfect texture. To be honest, I feel like the butternut squash is the star of the show. I lightly roasted them before adding to the soup, and the slight sweetness offsets the savory flavors of the mushrooms and spices.

I came up with the idea for this soup when I wanted to create a one-pot meal that was quick and easy, but delicious and memorable. Sometimes life gets away from us, and it is so easy to order takeout or delivery. But I promise you, there are so many options for delectable at-home cooking. If you feel like you’re missing out on some protein, you could add Italian sausage, shredded chicken, chorizo or kielbasa. 

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Wild rice soup

Time: 1 hour

Servings: 8 bowls

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 butternut squash, diced
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon allspice
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 large leek, cleaned and sliced thin
  • 2 ribs of celery, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound brown cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup kale, shredded
  • 1 cup heavy cream or full fat coconut milk

STEPS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, toss diced butternut squash with cooking oil, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper and ⅛ teaspoon allspice.
  3. Spread butternut squash on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and put in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes until slightly softened, tossing about halfway through.
  4. In a large soup pot, over medium heat, add butter, thyme, oregano, red pepper flakes and garlic powder. Sauté about 2 minutes, blooming spices until fragrant.
  5. Add leeks, celery, salt and pepper to the pot and sauté until leeks and celery are softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, mushrooms and wild rice. Sauté another minute.
  6. Add vegetable stock and increase heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
  7. Simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes. Add roasted butternut squash and simmer for another 5 minutes until rice is cooked completely.
  8. Add kale and heavy cream, and simmer until fully warmed through.
  9. Serve warm. Enjoy!
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