I was excited to have my friend the award winning wickedly funny historian and author Kathleen Ernst guest blog to celebrate her new adult series with the publication of Old World Murder in October. I so glad she agreed to come back in the midst of writing the next in her series and help Molly and I Warm Up with Flaming Foods this month. I can't wait to see Kathleen next week at the Love is Murder conference as well. -AA
This recipe is flexible and forgiving. Use what ingredients are on hand, and substitute to suit your tastes.
1 gallon tomato puree OR 1 large jar canned tomato sauce and 1 small jar diced tomatoes OR about 6 cups chopped tomatoes
¼ c. cooked wild rice & 1 c. water, OR about ¾ c. cooked wild rice
1 c. chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T. olive oil
¼ c. red cooking wine
½ t. dried rosemary
½ t. basil
½ t. thyme
½ t. honey (optional)
1 c. milk OR 4 oz. cream cheese, cut in small pieces OR combination of the two
Cook wild rice in the water until rice splits.
Sautee onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until onion is translucent, about three minutes. You can do this right in the bottom of the soup kettle, if you wish. Add spices and sauté one more minute. Add tomatoes and/or sauce to soup kettle and heat to a simmer. Add wine and simmer for half an hour.
Check your soup at this point; if your puree seems too watery, cook for another 15 minutes and check again. Add milk and/or cream cheese and continue to cook, stirring until smooth. If you use cream cheese, this will take some time, but the soup will taste fine if there are bits of cream cheese still visible. Taste; if the soup is too acidic, stir in a little honey if desired. Stir in cooked wild rice. Serve hot. This soup is the perfect accompaniment to grilled cheese sandwiches.
Curator Chloe Ellefson has come home to Wisconsin in Old World Murder, by Kathleen Ernst (Midnight Ink, 2010). She loves to cook, and is a huge fan of local, organic ingredients.
This soup tastes best if made from garden-fresh tomatoes, if available. During the peak of harvest season Chloe washes and cores tomatoes, processes them skin-on in a food processor or blender, and freezes the tomato puree in gallon-sized bags. If you like more texture in your soup, freeze some chopped tomatoes to add as well.
Onions and garlic can also be diced and sautéed during peak harvest season, and frozen in individual baggies for later use. Chloe also cooks wild rice on hot sunny days in a solar cooker, and packs bags of pre-cooked rice into the freezer.