I rarely buy food magazines (I already own so many neglected cookbooks), but a few years ago I splurged when a pecan-oatmeal pie sang to me from the cover of the Cooking Light Thanksgiving issue. That pie recipe alone was worth $4.95 (I haven't yet attempted to make it vegan or gluten-free), but the issue included other winners. This Wild Rice and Leek Soup supplanted potato leek soup in my repertoire; I make it five or six times each winter.
Over the years I've altered the recipe slightly, but not so much that I feel justified in reposting it here. Instead of cooking spray, I use a tablespoon of Earth Balance margarine. I substitute vegetable broth for chicken, use whatever potatoes I have on hand, and add a ton of black pepper. When I was vegetarian, I included the 1/4 cup of whipping cream at the end; now I just leave it out. You could substitute soy cream, but all you're adding is fat without flavor, and the soup doesn't need it.
Through this recipe I became familiar with wild rice, which isn't rice at all, but the seed of a water grass species native to the north central United States. Though it is usually combined with other grains in pre-mixed pilaf, the rich, mushroomy flavor and chewy texture of wild rice deserve showcasing on their own. Dried wild rice can be expensive, but it triples in volume when cooked, so a little goes a long way.
Now through Thanksgiving, Maine farmers harvest massive leeks, twice the size of any I've seen in grocery stores. One leek, sliced, gives me almost the three cups called for in this recipe. Earthy, understated thyme is a perfect match for wild rice and sweet, pungent leeks. Use fresh herbs if you have them, but 1 teaspoon of dried thyme works well in this soup.
This recipe for Wild Rice and Leek Soup is one of my all-time favorites; I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.