Spring is is acting a bit shy here in the East. We are just aching for a a peek of bright green new growth. It was just a merciless winter.
So now we are in this transition season. Most days are chilly with better quality sunshine of an extended duration. Spirits are beginning to elevate. But comfort foods are still desirable. I stirred together this Creamy Wild Rice Mushroom Soup which represents the transition from winter to spring. It’s both creamy and comforting while introducing herbs, shoots, and bright green peas of the early growing season.
The soup includes coconut milk which is a wonderful stand in for dairy milk without contributing to excess inflammation and possible weight gain. Dairy may irritate the immune system and contribute to symptoms such as fatigue, irritable bowel, and unexplained weight gain. A great percentage of the population can’t make lactase, the enzyme that breaks down the sugar lactose in dairy foods, especially as they get older.
Dairy is one of the most common food sensitivities. Casein is a protein in milk. Some people have a sensitivity to casein which causes inflammation. While casein is found in the solid (curds) part of milk, whey is found in the liquid part of milk that remains after the milk curdles – as in the process of making cheese. Whey may also cause your immune system to overreact.
If you experience bloating, gassiness, or a full out allergic reaction after eating foods or drinks containing milk or milk products you’ll need to find some substitutes for the dairy in your life. Coconut water, milk, and cream will be a good swap in many recipes.
Coconut milk offers:
- magnesium to regulate your blood pressure and relax your muscles and nerves.
- phosphorus to help strengthen your bones.
- lauric acid to protect against viral and bacterial infections.
- manganese to help regulate blood sugar.
- saturated fat – BUT – this type helps to raise HDLs, the good cholesterol, and lower overall cholesterol.
- selenium which acts as an antioxidant to help relieve the inflammation of arthritis.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 1 cup carrots, chopped
- 2 leek, cleaned and chopped
- 14 ounces coconut milk
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ⅓ cup white wine
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup instant or quick-cooking wild rice, or cook regular wild rice according to package directions and stir in with with broth
- ¾ cup frozen or fresh peas
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
- pea shoots, for garnish
- Heat oil in a Dutch oven. Add mushrooms, celery, carrots, and leeks. Cook, stirring often, until softened about 7 minutes.
- Stir in coconut milk, salt, and pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Add white wine and thyme and simmer 2 minutes more.
- Add broth to Dutch oven and bring to a boil. Add instant rice and peas. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until rice is tender, about 7 minutes, then stir in dill. Garnish with pea shoots.