Friday, September 30, 2022

(Very Mock Turtle) Creamy Rice Soup with Olives for Cook the Books August/September Pick: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Sneaking in at the last possible minute with a dish for Cook the Book August/September pick, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, hosted by Debra of Eliot's Eats. As usual, I am running late to the party so I will just keep this post quick.

I cannot tell you how long ago it was when I read this book, decades! So it was fun to get back into. I grabbed a pretty pink edition from Barnes & Noble and settled in for a wild ride. It's a short read at just over 100 pages and so I read Through the Looking Glass too-something I didn't do as a child. The whimsy and humor of Carroll's writing made more of an impression on me as an adult, I am sure there was much of it that went completely over my had as a child. It's both weird and wonderful, making it a fun afternoon escape. Thank you to Debra for appealing to our inner children with this round!

I covet host Debra's Dali-illustrated edition, but it was equally satisfying to look at the classic John Tenniel drawings in my copy. 

There is so much food inspiration in Wonderland, tarts and tea, marmalade and mushrooms, lobster and soup just to name a few. I originally was going to make some tea sandwiches but got to thinking about soup, beautiful soup and then  mock turtle soup--which seems to have been made of chopped or ground beef parts and sometimes eggs to offset the more expensive turtle meat in the real thing. 

Beautiful Soup so rich So green,
Waiting in a hot tureen
Who for such dainties would not stoop.

Soup of the evening
Beautiful Soup,
Soup of the evening,
Beautiful Soup

Beautiful Sou-oop
Beautiful Sou-oop
Soup of the evening Beautiful Sou-oop
Beautiful, Beautiful Soup.

Beautiful Soup, Who cares for fish,
Game or any other dish?
Who would not give all else for two
Pennyworth only of Beautiful Soup?

Pennyworth only of Beautiful Soup,
Beautiful Sou-oop
Beautiful Sou-oop
Soup of the evening Beautiful Sou-oop
Beautiful, Beautiful Soup.

I wanted a meat-free version of mock turtle soup and I was craving a creamy wild rice soup. I decided to add some green olive, sliced lengthwise to the mix thinking they looked like the back and shell of little turtles. The olives and a boil of their juice, brighten up the soup and give it a tangy vibe. It was great served with some dill pickle potato chips too.  

(Very Mock Turtle) Creamy Wild Rice Soup with Green Olives
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Yields 4-6 Servings
2 Tbsp butter
1 medium onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
2 medium celery stalks, diced
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp dried time
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp dried tarragon
4 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
1 cup wild rice
2 Tbsp cornstarch + 2 Tbsp cold water
1 cups coconut milk or half-and-half
I cup pitted green olives, sliced lengthwise 
1-2 Tbsp of the olive brine (optional)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
chopped fresh dill for garnish 

In a large heavy-bottomed soup pot, melt the butter. Add the celery, carrots, onion, garlic, thyme, celery salt and tarragon and cook over moderate medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables just start to soften, about 8-10 minutes. 
Add the stock and wild rice to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables and rice are tender, about 35 minutes. Make a slurry with the cornstarch and cold water and stir it into the soup. Add the coconut milk and stir in the olives and olive brine to taste then simmer, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve, garnished with chopped fresh dill and enjoy.

Today (9/30/22) is the deadline for this round of Cook the Books and Debra will be compiling all the entries on the Cook the Book site. If you missed this round and like food and books and foodie books, join us for October/November when Simona (briciole) hosts the novel Cooking with Fernet Branca by James Hamilton-Paterson. 



  1. I had also considered the soup but opted to go with mushrooms. That's a very good recipe and think cocnut milk would be the way to go (for me anyway). Loving the selections for CtB this year!

  2. I'm glad we had some savory dishes this round. I love the olives! I want to make this (and serve with chips)!

  3. I love that you made little turtles for your soup.

  4. After the several intriguing versions of Mock Turtle Soup, I am now wanting to give it a go. Yours sounds pretty yummy.

  5. I love soup and this one is very unusual with the green olives. Deb, I am definitely going to give this a try.

  6. I am intrigued by the combination of ingredients in your soup, Deb. In particular, I don't think I've ever had olives in a soup: great idea!


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