Soup to warm your soul! What is better than enjoying a flavorful, hearty soup on a brisk day? This Creamy Wild Rice and Quail Soup is loaded with earthy, rich flavors that are sure to bring a sense of comfort to you and your home-kitchen!
For this recipe, we used quail that had been vacuum sealed with the Guide Series GS41 Chamber Vacuum Sealer, then frozen. To thaw the quail, place the vacuum sealed chamber pouch in the refrigerator overnight or on the day of, submerge the chamber pouch into a pot of cold water - changing out the water every 30 minutes or so until it is defrosted.
2 - 3 tsp. olive oil
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, (4 Tbsp = Mirepoix; 2 Tbsp. = Mushrooms)
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1 ¼ tsp. salt
2 tsp. black pepper
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 - 3 large portobello mushrooms, chopped
6 - 8 whole quail, plucked
6 slices bacon, crumbled
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup dry wild rice, washed
2 quarts low sodium chicken stock
2 cups water
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. fresh parsley, chopped for garnish
1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. In a large, ovenproof skillet (cast iron preferred), heat the olive oil over high heat on the stove top.
3. Season the quail with your desired amount of salt and black pepper and place in the skillet - breast side down.
4. Cook until the skin on the quail is golden brown in color (approximately 3 - 4 minutes), then flip it over and cook for 3 - 4 more minutes.
5. Place the skillet directly into the oven and roast for approximately 10 minutes.
6. While the quail is in the oven, melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a deep oven-proof skillet (dutch oven preferred) over medium-high heat.
7. Add the mirepoix (carrots, celery, onion), salt and pepper and stir until well combined.
8. The quail should be done, so remove the skillet from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes before pulling off the breast meat.
9. Cook the mirepoix and seasonings for 7 minutes, stirring every so often. Add the minced garlic and parsley and cook until fragrant (approximately 1 minute). Make sure the onions are becoming translucent.
10. While the mirepoix is cooking, remove the stems and spoon out the underside of the mushrooms, then chop the tops (discard the stems as they can be fibrous).
11. Place the wild rice in a bowl and cover in cold water until fully submerged. Swish the rice around with your hand until a starchy layer appears on the surface. Strain the starchy water until the water runs clear. Set the bowl of rice aside.
12. Melt the other 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat in a skillet, add the mushrooms and cook for approximately 8 - 10 minutes until they have browned up a bit.
13. Once the mirepoix is done, reduce the heat to medium, sprinkle the all-purpose flour over the vegetables, mix, and cook for 2 - 3 minutes. The flour will form a roux to thicken the soup.
14. Add the wild rice to the vegetables and roux, stirring continuously. This will toast the rice for added flavor.
15. After the rice has toasted, slowly add the chicken stock making sure to continuously stir to prevent forming lumps. Add in the water, mushrooms, bacon and quail. Cover the dutch oven and bring to a boil.
16. Once at a full boil, turn down the heat to medium low and simmer for 45 - 60 minutes.
17. When the simmer time is almost completed, add more salt, pepper, and fresh parsley to taste (optional).
18. When the time is up, remove from the heat. Pour in the heavy cream and stir until fully incorporated.
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How to store soup?
Traditionally, plastic storage bags (Ziploc, etc.) or tupperware are used to store leftover soup in, however, when using this storage method, soup can only last in the fridge for 3-4 days before it shouldn't be served. The best way to enjoy your leftover soup for longer is to vacuum seal it, since it would be able to keep in the fridge for approximately 1-2 weeks.
Can you freeze soup?
The short answer is yes, soup can be frozen. However, for soup recipes that call for heavy whipping cream (such as this one), or milk, it is recommended to exclude adding the cream until you are ready to serve it. If it is going to be eaten right away or stored in the fridge, then cream or milk may be added, but if the soup is going to be frozen, avoid adding those ingredients or the cream will separate.
Can you vacuum seal soup?
Yes, you can vacuum seal soup! When preparing the soup to be stored in the refrigerator or freezer, make sure the soup is room temperature or cooler before vacuum sealing it.
If you have a suction vacuum sealer, the soup will have to be frozen before it is vacuum sealed, so liquid doesn’t get drawn into the sealer.
Chamber vacuum sealers are ideal for vacuum sealing liquids such as soups and sauces. If you have a chamber vacuum sealer, fill your chamber pouch approximately halfway full with soup leaving about three inches of headspace above the soup. Doing so will keep the seal area dry and free of residue, so a good seal can be achieved.
What’s the best way to reheat soup?
Avid Armor vacuum sealer bags and chamber pouches are BPA free and can be used for long-term freezer storage. Not only do the bags prevent freezer burn, but having a tight vacuum seal will also keep out oxygen and moisture. Avid Armor bags and pouches are also cook safe, which means they can be simmered, boiled, microwaved, or used for sous vide.
If you want to microwave a bag of refrigerated or frozen soup, make sure to cut a venting slit into the bag first.
For simmering, boiling, and sous vide, the bag/pouch can be dropped directly into the water to be reheated. Reheating times may vary depending on which method is chosen.
Soup that has cream or milk that needs to be added to it can still be heated up in the bag/pouch. When it is almost ready to be removed from the heat to serve, pour the soup into an appropriate sized pot, add the desired amount of cream, and let it heat up a few more minutes, stirring occasionally.
What sides can be served with soup?
Although most soups are hearty enough to serve as a standalone dish, they also can be accompanied by dinner rolls or different types of breads, such as sourdough or french bread.
For more sustenance, we recommend pairing soup with a grilled cheese sandwich. There is room to get creative with grilled cheese, for instance, don’t go for the classic American cheese or cheddar, instead elevate your sandwich with havarti or even blue cheese!
Another great side dish to enjoy with soup is a small salad. For soup that has richer flavors, like the Creamy Wild Rice and Quail Soup, we recommend a simple arugula salad with light dressing, however, salads can be dressed up more if you are serving with a simpler soup, such as potato or chicken noodle.
All these side options pair very well and compliment soup without overpowering the incorporated flavors!