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Hearty and creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup made with cooked chicken, nutty wild rice, and mushrooms. A bowl of comfort any time of the year.
Wild rice is the state grain of Minnesota. It is a very nutritious grain and is naturally found in the cold rivers and lakes. You can buy this grain throughout the year in Minnesota but their usual harvest time is in August through September. That said, it is no wonder that Chicken Wild Rice Soup is so popular here. Whether it is in the cold winter or warm summer months, this soup is enjoyed everyday. It is a bowl of comfort any time of the year. It is one of my favorite creamy soups and I often go to a very popular chain of deli to get my fix.
Best From Scratch
There are many versions of this soup out there. Some recipes even call for adding a can of condensed soup for ease of preparation. I prefer to make this soup from scratch using flour to achieve that thick creamy consistency. This step is relatively easy and is not that much more work. You really can’t go wrong if you have all the ingredients on hand.
Pre-cooking the Wild Rice
Wild rice takes a while to cook and precooking it before adding it to the soup is a good idea. Boil the wild rice in water until the grains split open which takes about 45 minutes. The ratio of wild rice to water is 1:4. Once cooked, drain any remaining water from the split opened grains. Cooked wild rice have a nice nutty flavor. You can add them to salads, stuffing, and soups.
*** TIP *** To save time, you can precook the wild rice and store it in the refrigerator. Keep the cooked wild rice in a container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
There are 2 quick ways to get cooked chicken meat.
1. Poach two chicken breasts in salted water for between 5 to 10 minutes depending on their size.
2. Buy a rotisserie chicken and use the breast meat or dark meat if you prefer.
I have tried both and have achieved more or less the same results. Do what is most convenient for you.
My Version of Chicken Wild Rice Soup
The recipe below was based on the Cream of Chicken Wild Rice Soup found at Panera’s Bread, a favorite of mine. I added some freshly chopped parsley for additional flavor, color, and texture. I must say that I was very happy with the way the soup turned out. It was delicious served with crusty bread.
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- 1 cup wild rice (170g)
- ¼ cup vegetable oil (60ml)
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 2 medium carrots (peeled and chopped)
- 2 stalks celery (chopped)
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour (115g)
- 8 cups chicken stock (1.9 liters)
- 2 cups cooked chicken (cubed) (300g)
- 8 oz mushrooms (stems removed and sliced) (225g)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup half-and-half (240 ml)
- ½ cup chopped parsley (25g)
- Cook wild rice in 4 cups (960ml) of water for 45 minutes or until it fluffs up. Drain any remaining liquid left in the pot. Set aside.
- In a large pot, add vegetable oil. Sauté onions, carrots, and celery until soften, about 3 minutes. Add dried thyme and all-purpose flour. Cook and stir for another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Pour in chicken stock. Bring to a boil.
- Add cooked chicken, mushrooms, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat and allow soup to simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add cooked wild rice and pour in half-and-half. Bring soup back up to a boil and allow it to heat through, about 5 minutes.
- Turn off heat. Stir in chopped parsley.
Freezable and Reheatable Chicken Wild Rice Soup
Yes, this soup is freezable and reheatable! If you intend to make a big batch of this soup for the purpose of freezing, I suggest you
1. Leave out the half-and-half and chopped parsley.
2. Freeze small portions according to your need in covered airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags.
3. Reheat and add the half-and-half to thin to your desired consistency.
4. Re-season with salt and pepper as needed.
5. Stir in chopped parsley when done.
Do consume all frozen soup within 3 months.
Slow Cooker Version
Update (August 7th, 2014): Many have asked for a slow cooker version. I finally got round to making it. Please click on the picture below to get to the post.
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 😎