This satisfying, earthy soup is so warm and comforting. The wild rice is filling, while the
finely minced and chopped vegetables give the soup a more consistent flavor
throughout. What’s more, some its “creaminess” comes from pureed cannellini beans,
rather than a larger amount of high-fat dairy products.
Rinse the wild rice under cold running water until water runs clear. Let drain and transfer to a 5 or 6-quart slow cooker crock.
Add onion, celery, carrots, and garlic to a food processor and pulse until very finely minced and transfer to slow cooker crock.
Add 8 oz. mushrooms to food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Thinly slice remaining mushrooms and add to slow cooker pot, along with the finely chopped mushrooms.
Puree cannellini beans until smooth and pour into slow cooker crock with other ingredients. Add bay leaf, garlic powder, and 6 cups of vegetable stock. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Stir to thoroughly combine all ingredients.
Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8. Actual cooking time will varying by individual slow cooker, so check for doneness after 2½ hours (or 5½ hours for low) and adjust cooking time accordingly. (The rice should be tender, but not mushy, when finished).
When cooking time is complete, remove bay leaf and discard. Add tempered half and half, chopped parsley, and additional vegetable stock, if necessary, to achieve the desired consistency. Stir to combine thoroughly.
Season with additional salt and black pepper, to taste, and serve immediately.
For best results, use a multi-color wild rice blend. Black rice will turn purple when the cream is added.
For less salt, rinse and drain the beans before pureeing them with a little water.
To prevent curdling, avoid stirring cold dairy products directly into the hot soup.
To temper the half and half, add a couple spoonfuls of the hot soup to it before stirring into the slow cooker crock.