Anything cooked low and slow always produces a wonderful flavor, and that’s the name of the game here, with my chicken and wild rice soup recipe.
Seventeen years ago, back in my pre-child life, I worked in Manhattan on 5th Avenue. Just down from my office was my favorite lunch spot that had THE BEST chicken and wild rice soup. It was usually offered on Thursdays and each week, without fail, I would order a large and bring it back and join my coworkers in the design area for lunch. Although I’m hard pressed to find a soup I didn’t like, chicken and wild rice is one of my favorites, and on Thursdays, I was in heaven.
A few weeks ago, I received a message from a dear friend of mine from high school, asking me if I would like for her to send me a bag of Minnesota’s authentic wild rice. Well, yeah, of course! Such a kind gesture, right?! She sent the wild rice with a sweet note and a few other happys in the box.
As I do with most recipes, I sat down and started researching, pouring over my cookbook collection and online. I was surprised to find so many recipes using the wild rice from the box with the flavoring packet included. These recipes looked good, and I’m sure had good flavor, but they didn’t use authentic wild rice picked and bagged straight from the field. I certainly had a game plan for my own recipe, but I was hunting for flavorings that stood out. Most were all the same. So, I got to work in my test kitchen, being very careful to think things through because I had a limited amount of wild rice, and nothing could go to waste.
Most soups start with the classic mireproix of chopped onions, carrots and celery. Add some garlic in there, sweat everything down, add the broth and ingredients and simmer low and slow. I followed this core rule of thumb, letting the wild rice take its time cooking in the broth, adding sliced cremini mushrooms mid-simmer, then punching up the game in the end with the addition of cream and sherry. The end result is a knee-slapping delicious Chicken and Wild Rice Soup recipe that is even better than the soup I used to enjoy from the place down the block.
Sweet Jo, thank you for the wild rice. This recipe is for you.
Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
- Dutch oven
- 4 tbsp butter unsalted
- 3 ribs celery chopped
- 2 carrots peeled and chopped
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme
- salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1 cup wild rice
- 4 cups chicken diced (I use a precooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store)
- 8 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms
- 2 quarts chicken stock or broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp sherry
- In a Dutch oven, melt the butter.
- Add the celery, carrots, onion, garlic, thyme and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until the vegetables start to soften, about 8 minutes.
- Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring until evenly coated and lightly browned, about 3 minutes.
- Add the wild rice to the Dutch oven and gradually stir in the stock and water. Bring to a boil, then simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.
- Add the chicken and mushrooms and simmer another 10-15 minutes until the rice is tender. Keep stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the cream and sherry. Check for seasoning, and add a pinch of salt if needed. Simmer 2-3 minutes longer.
- Ladle into soup bowls and serve.
- Can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.
Here is another delicious soup recipe for you to add to your repertoire.