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Northwoods Mushroom-Wild Rice Soup

(French Canadian)

A rich and deeply flavored soup--straight out of the North American forests and with a distinctly French hand. The more wild mushrooms, the better--but it's wonderful with cultivated ones too. Serve hot as a robust first course or as lunch with a sandwich to 4-6 people.

Garnish: Finely minced green onions or parsley

Partially cook the wild rice in the water, bringing to a boil then reducing heat and simmering, covered, for 20 minutes.

Meantime, melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium high heat, add the onion, and sauté until transparent. Add the mushrooms, with a bit more butter if needed, and cook over high heat until the mushroom juices have begun to evaporate. Turn down the heat and sprinkle in the flour, stirring, while there's still some liquid. Let cook until bubbly--to cook away the pasty taste. Then, gradually stir in the stock, then the paprika. Bring to a boil, stirring, and continue to stir at a full boil for one minute. Reduce the heat to low.

When the wild rice has partially cooked, stir it into the soup with its cooking liquid; cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.

When ready to serve, whisk the mustard, Armagnac, and cream together...and then into the soup. Ladle into bowls and top each with minced green onions or parsley.