Prized Black Rice Soup

Readers tell me that Birthmarked makes them hungry.  They read about dark, crusty bread right out of the oven and their tastebuds swoon.  Unlike Harris’s Chocolat, that richly seductive book that makes me crave sweetness, (not to mention the even more troublesome movie version with Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche, (whose name, once you’ve become dessert-minded, invokes “ganache”)), my books tend towards the hardy and wholesome food groups: breads, soups, blueberries, and an orange.  An exception is the mycoprotein, provided as sustenance to people living outside the wall.  It exists now in real life as Quorn, but I’ve never tried it.  In Prized, one of my favorite chapters is called “Cinnamon,” for a scene where the absence of cinnamon in Sylum has caused a longing for it.

In real life, I’m an adequate cook.  I’m good at boiling food.  This means food poisoning is rare, but then, so is flavor.  Beyond the basics, though, I do have a couple of dishes I like to make, and one of them is a wild rice soup recipe I’ve adapted over the years to make my own.  It’s exactly the soup I imagine in Prized, only I use Minnesota wild rice for the fictional black rice.  It goes well, you won’t be surprised to hear, with fresh bread.

Prized Black Rice Soup

Prized Black Rice Soup

1 cup black rice

2 Tbsp butter

½ cup minced sweet onion

1 stalk sliced celery

2 Tbsp flour

4 cups chicken broth

2 shredded carrots

1 cup cooked chicken

1/3 cup slivered almonds

2 Tbsp sherry

1 cup cream

½ tsp black pepper

Rinse the rice.  Boil it gently for an hour.  In a separate pan, melt butter and sauté onions and celery.  Add flour and cook 4 minutes.  Add broth gradually, stirring.  Add carrots, chicken, almonds, rice, sherry, cream, and pepper.  Simmer until tasty.

3 Responses to Prized Black Rice Soup

  • Looks tasty! I’m a vegetarian so I’d have to substitute, both the chicken and chicken broth, but i’ll definitely give this a try! When I was reading Tortured my mouth starting watering when Leon was eating the barley soup with bread, so yes your books make me hungry! Besides nothing beats soup on these cold wintery nights!
    Thanks for the recipe!

  • Good morning Caragh. I’m having guests for a late lunch tomorrow and this recipe seems highly gluten intolerant and would appreciate a sub for the flour. Your help would be greatly appreciated.
    Anne Marie V

  • Anne Marie ~
    The flour helps the soup thicken a little. You can leave it out entirely, and I suspect the soup will just be thinner but still taste hardy. Good luck!

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