Spinach & Wild Rice Soup with Toasted Pumpkin Pesto
In this take on pesto, pumpkin seeds--which are toasted to bring out their nutlike flavor--replace the traditional pine nuts, and the sauce is dairy-free. Porcini mushrooms add a wonderful earthiness and depth of flavor, but you could use a cheaper dried mushroom instead. Most supermarkets carry mushrooms simply labeled "wild mushroom," which would do quite nicely here.
  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms, coarsely broken up and rinsed
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen chopped spinach
  • 1/4 cup hulled pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1. In Dutch oven or flameproof casserole, combine 6 cups water, wild rice, onion, carrot, dried porcini, garlic, salt, thyme, and nutmeg and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook 40 minutes. Add spinach and cook 10 minutes or until wild rice is tender and spinach is heated through.

2. In small heavy skillet, heat pumpkin seeds until they begin to pop, about 2 minutes. Transfer to food processor or blender and add basil, lemon juice, and 1/4 cup of water. Puree until smooth. Pour pesto into small bowl and set aside.

3. Spoon 1 cup of wild rice soup into processor (no need to clean bowl) and process until smooth. Stir pureed soup and pesto into soup remaining in Dutch oven.

Nutritional Information
Per serving: 286 calories, 5.4g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 1.5g monounsaturated fat, 2.5g polyunsaturated fat, 10g dietary fiber, 16g protein, 49g carbohydrate, 0mg cholesterol, 995mg sodium.
Good source of: beta-carotene, fiber, folate, iron, magnesium, potassium, riboflavin, vitamin B6, vitamin C, zinc.

Date Published: 09/19/2005 > Printer-friendly Version

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