Vidalia Onion Soup with Wild Rice and Blue Cheese Croutons

    1/2 cup wild rice
    salt and freshly ground pepper
    2 cups water
    3 tbsp chopped fresh basil
    4 Vidalia onions, julienned
    3 tbsp chopped fresh chives
    1/4 cup unsalted butter
    3 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
    6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
    3 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

    8 slices French bread
    2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
    4 oz blue cheese

To prepare the rice: Combine the rice and water in a medium saucepan and simmer, uncovered over medium-low heat for 45 to 60 minutes, or until tender.

To prepare the soup: Saute the onions with the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat for 30 to 40 minutes, or until caramelized. Add the stock and simmer for 20 minutes. Wrap the herbs in a small piece of cheesecloth and tie with kitchen string to from a sachet. Place the sachet in the onion broth and simmer for 1 minute. Remove the sachet and discard. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To prepare the croutons: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Brush both sides of the bread slices with the olive oil.

Place the bread on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until light golden brown. Spread the blue cheese over the croutons while they are still warm.

Place some of the wild rice in each bowl and ladle the onion broth into the bowls. Place 2 croutons in the center and top with freshly ground black pepper.

4 servings

Recipe compliments of the Minnesota Cultivated Wild Rice Council

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