Growing up in Northern Minnesota, wild rice is a part of our culture. It is used in many soup, stew and casserole dishes.
“Wild rice (Zizania aquatica or Zizania palustris), called manoomin in the Ojibwe language, has been a staple food for Minnesota’s Indians for centuries. It was adopted as the official state grain in 1977. It is an aquatic grass not related to common rice. Early in the summer, the plants bloom with tiny maroon and gold flowers, and by late summer, their seeds mature into dark brown kernels. Domestic cultivation and combine harvesting of wild rice are relatively recent developments; wild rice is commercially produced as a field crop on about 20,000 acres in Minnesota. For many years, basically all of the wild rice produced in the world came from Minnesota, and most still does. Wild rice often is harvested from lakes in a traditional way, from canoes; people interested in harvesting wild rice in Minnesota must purchase a wild ricing license, similar to a fishing or hunting license. Wild rice grows naturally in the shallow waters of lakes in central and northern Minnesota”.(https://www.sos.state.mn.us/about-minnesota/state-symbols/state-grain-wild-rice/)
Harvesting the authentic wild rice is a time consuming but rewarding experience. I’d love to see how it is done in person someday.
Wild rice can be purchased at most supermarkets or online. Use pure, authentic wild rice, not a rice and wild rice blend. In my parent’s house we always had a few pounds of rice in the pantry. My Mother didn’t make this soup but she made a wonderful wild rice casserole which we always had for the holidays and other occasions. I’ll post that later.
Wild Rice Corn Chowder is full of vegetables and has a nice blend of spices and rich cheesy flavor. It’s another warm hug for a cool fall day. It can be made with or without chicken. I’ll give both the chicken and vegetarian versions below. Both are equally good! Soup’s On!
2-32 ounce containers chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup Wild Rice
12 ounces frozen Corn
12 ounces frozen mixed vegetables
1 onion chopped
2 carrots chopped
6 tablespoons garlic powder or 2-3 cloves minced
4 tablespoons Montreal seasoning
◦ (I use this frequently, it contains -Coarse Salt, Spices Including Black Pepper and Red Pepper, Garlic, Onion, Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavor and Extractives of Paprika so substitute more of these if you don’t have it)
12 turns of salt grinder or 2-3 tsp salt (to taste)
Water to fill pot
2-3 boneless chicken breasts
◦ leave out for vegetarian version)
1-can Evaporated skim milk
◦ (you can use a cup of heavy cream or whole milk instead if desired)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Insta Pot Instructions:
Place all ingredients into the pot except the milk and cheese. Close the vent and use the Soup setting. (2:45). Allow it to come to pressure and release naturally. Before serving, warm the milk or cream in a saucepan and add the cheese to melt as it just comes to a boil. Add to soup. If you used the chicken, remove and shred it using two forks. Add chicken back to the soup or save it to use in another recipe.
Place all ingredients into the pot except the milk and cheese. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. Before serving, warm the milk or cream in a saucepan and add the cheese to melt as it just comes to a boil. Add to soup. If you used the chicken, remove and shred it using two forks. Add chicken back to the soup or save it to use in another recipe.
Use a large stockpot or Dutch Oven pot. Place all ingredients into the pot except the milk. Bring to a boil and then turn it to a low simmer. Simmer on the stovetop for 2 hours or so, checking to make sure the water level is still high. Before serving, warm the milk or cream in a saucepan and add the cheese to melt as it just comes to a boil. Add to soup. If you used the chicken, remove and shred it using two forks. Add chicken back to the soup or save it to use in another recipe.
As mentioned, you can use vegetable stock and leave out the chicken for a vegetarian version. Add additional vegetables and a couple of chopped potatoes for a thicker chowder. You can add a slurry by mixing a tablespoon of arrowroot powder (my preference) or cornstarch mixed with a little water to thicken it up when boiled. Enjoy!