Wild Rice Mushroom Soup with Maple Syrup

This was served last month at TIBS Family Dinners. Two If By Sea Cafe (TIBS) opened its doors over 2 years ago in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. The young dynamic duo of Zane Kelsall, master barista and Tara MacDonald, baker extraordinaire paired up to share the love of their products and voilà a unique cafe was born.  TIBS serves a variety of coffees and teas along with freshly baked treats such as their enormous croissants, muffins, and cookies. TIBS is only open until 6pm and it was about 18 months ago (I think) they teamed up with Renée Lavallée (Feisty Chef) to create a monthly meal series highlighting all things local.  TIBS Family Dinners is a jovial and informative relaxed dining atmosphere which my husband and I have had the pleasure of attending on several occasions.  It’s a wonderful way to educate locals about their food community. 

This soup, according to Saveur magazine, has its origins in Quebec’s second-largest maple syrup-producing region, Bas-St-Laurent.  Did you know wild rice is not actually rice, but rather a long-grain marsh grass seed. Many products marketed as “wild rice” are really mixtures of brown or white rice with wild rice. These mixtures will not be as nutritious as pure wild rice.  I used Gourmet Valley brown and wild rice.  Wild rice is rich in protein, minerals, B vitamins, folic acid, and carbohydrates. Wild rice, though high in carbohydrates at 17.5 grams, has only 83 calories for 1/2 cup cooked.  Click here to read more on wild rice.

Serves 4 to 6 (will vary according to bowl used)
adapted from Feisty Chef

1 pound mushrooms, thinly sliced (I used shiitake)
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup wild rice
4 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)
salt and pepper
4 bay leaves
2 tablespoons dark maple syrup (add more to taste)
1/2 cup cream

If you are using wild rice make sure to wash it first. In a heavy bottomed pot, melt the butter. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook until all the liquid has evaporated. Add the rice, stock, bay leaves, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Cook for about an hour; until the rice is very cooked. Purée half of the soup, and add back to the pot. Add the cream and more seasoning if needed. Also, thin out with more stock if the soup is too thick for you. This soup is better the next day, and for many days after that too.

The Culinary Chase’s Note: This soup was heavenly! I love the nutty, earthy flavor of wild rice. I puréed the soup with a hand blender leaving it a bit coarse and chunky but you decide.  The addition of maple syrup made this soup irresistible!  I had some pancetta left over and decided to pan-fry and add as a topping…de-lish!


  1. Delicious Shots on April 7, 2012 at 14:41

    This soup sounds and looks fantastic!

  2. The Culinary Chase on April 7, 2012 at 20:11

    Thanks for stopping by. It’s easy to make and so delicious! Cheers!