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Beef & Wild Rice Soup with Winter Vegetables

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Serves 8

  • To learn more, read:
    Wild Rice
  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 60

After cooking and eating your way through the holidays, there's nothing better than settling in with a warming bowl of hearty soup. Thanks in part to its wild rice, this dish has a wonderful nutty, earthy fragrance. It simmers on the stove for up to an hour and serves eight, making it the perfect easy dinner for the family—and your weekend guests. 

  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter or bacon fat
  • 1 lb. boneless beef chuck, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1/3-inch dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup full-bodied red wine
  • 8 cups homemade or low-salt canned chicken broth
  • 2 cups 1/2-inch diced butternut squash (from a small squash, about 1-1/2 pounds)
  • 1 cup 1/2-inch diced medium purple turnip
  • 1 cup wild rice, rinsed
  • 2 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

In a Dutch oven or heavy soup pot, melt the butter or bacon fat over medium-high heat. Season the beef generously with salt and pepper. Put the beef in the pan in a single layer; don’t stir for about 1-1/2 minutes. Then stir occasionally until the meat is well browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a plate.

Reduce the heat to medium low, add the onion and garlic to the pot, and cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot occasionally with a wooden spoon, until they’re softened, about 5 minutes. Add the wine, bring to a boil, and cook until the wine is reduced by about half, about 5 minutes. Add the broth, squash, turnip, wild rice, tomato paste, thyme, and bay leaf and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the beef and any accumulated juices, reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and simmer until the wild rice is soft and most of the grains have popped open and are tender, 40 to 60 minutes. (Check occasionally to be sure the soup isn't simmering too quickly or too slowly; it should be a moderate simmer.) Discard the bay leaf. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste and serve garnished with the parsley.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with crusty bread or Caramelized Onion Biscuits.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 320; Fat (g): fat g 15; Fat Calories (kcal): 130; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 6; Protein (g): protein g 16; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 6; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 26; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 610; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 50; Fiber (g): fiber g 4;

Photo: Scott Phillips

I have been making this soup since I found it last year and it is a winner. Everyone loves it and I am making it again tonight. It is great with a salad and either fresh French bread or a good Ciabatta (sp.) bread. I also add more meat to the recipe. Another hint is to get the butternut squash already cut up at Costco. Makes it a lot easier!

Awesome fall/winter soup! This was very easy to make. As said in a previous review-who knew I liked turnips? They give this dish a wonderful flavor! This will become a regular at our house.

This soup was simple and hearty and very tasty. I didn't think I liked turnips! Who knew? The turnips and squash gave a nice, earthy flavor without being too heavy. Thanks to the absence of potatoes, it did not taste like a standard beef stew. I'll definitely make this one again.

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