Monday, December 31, 2012

Meat Lovers Cream Of Mushroom, "Not Really Wild Rice"Soup(Paleo,Dairy/Grain Free)


As a child I grew up in the deep.....DEEP North. And when I say " Deep North", what I really mean by this is dark woods, two-seater outhouses, dog sleds, giant black bears roaming around, endless tree-covered landscapes and frigid, 40-below winter nights. Besides the fact that my mom insisted on dressing me like the abominable snowman every time I left the house (seriously, you should have seen me trying to waddle around those snow drifts!) and my not-so-fond memories of outhouse visits in 40-below weather.....life was pretty good.

One of my greatest joys during those long icy months was my Dad's creamy, wild rice and mushroom soup. There's nothing quite like walking in from the bitter cold to the warm and wonderful smell of mushrooms, garlic, onions and creamy goodness waiting for you. I loved standing at the stove with my face over the steaming soup, thawing out my icy cheeks and nose.

So since winter is in full swing (Yep we had a white Christmas in Texas this year), I decided to make a Paleo-friendly version of my Dad's delicious soup. No matter where you are or what the weather, you may very well find yourself standing over the stove, soaking in the steamy goodness all the same!


Meat Lovers Cream Of Mushroom &
"Not Really Wild Rice" Soup

Ingredients:

2-3 tablespoons ghee, coconut oil or oil of choice
4 cups chopped mushrooms (I used trimmed & scraped portabellas)
4  garlic cloves, sliced
1 cup diced shallots
2 cups chicken broth ( Sub 1/4 - 1/2 cup dry white wine for broth, it is delish)
1 cup raw cauliflower (rice) grated, about 1/2 pound (gives soup a nice 'ricey' texture)
1 cup crimini, or white button  mushrooms, sliced
2 cans coconut milk or about 3 cups homemade, use more or less, depending on the consistency you like (try guar gum free Natural Value)

About 2- 21/2 cups meat of choice* (leftovers work great). Use all chicken for chicken and mushroom, all pork or skip the meat all together! I used.....

5 strips of bacon, baked/cooked till crispy*
1 1/2 cups sausage, sliced & cooked* (about 7oz, I  Kielbasa from a local farmer)
1 cup cooked shredded chicken (I used roasted)

*Check out US Wellness or your local farmers and health food stores for nitrate/sugar free/pastured Paleo friendly meat options including bacon, sausage, chicken and more.

1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper or to taste
Salt and cracked peppercorn to taste (amount of salt will vary depending on if broth is salted or not)

Directions:

1. Remove the stems from the mushrooms, setting aside the criminis. Using a spoon, scrape out most of the brown gills, then wash, pat dry and coarsely chop them. Also remove stems from the Crimini mushrooms, wash, pat dry, slice and set aside in a separate bowl.

2. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Cook the shallots and garlic in the oil till they are soft and begin to brown some. Add the portabellas to the pan and cook until soft.

3. Add the cooked shallots, portabellas, roasted garlic and chicken broth to a food processor (or blender). Blend till well combined. There should be nice flecks of mushrooms throughout.

4. Transfer the the blended mixture to a large pot or wok. Over a medium heat, bring the mixture to a very low simmer uncovered. Add the coconut milk, sliced crimini's and raw cauliflower 'rice' and meat to the soup (Accept for the bacon, add that at the end as a garnish. It tends to get soggy and tasteless otherwise). Bring back to a simmer and Continue to simmer (uncovered)  for about 15 minutes. Soup will thicken some as the cauliflower softens and the coconut milk cooks. If it thickens too much just add more broth or coconut milk till the desired consistency is reached. Never let it boil. I like mine on the runnier side. If it is too runny, let it simmer a little longer till it's just right.

5. Season to taste with sea salt and cracked pepper. (If your broth was unsalted, start with 1/2 teaspoon and work from there)

Serve immediately with a side of Paleo Sourdough Bread and bask in the Northern glory.

Can be stored in the fridge in mason jars (no more than 3 days). Once chilled the soup will become very thick. It will thin out again as it reheats. You can add more broth as needed to achieve desired consistency.

Easily serves 4 as a main course.

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