Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

We had a pot luck at work this week, and I was daring and made a huge batch of this soup which I had never made before.  I very rarely make something to bring somewhere without it being a tried and true recipe—or, at a minimum, it’s something I’ve made at least once before.

Believe it or not, I’d never had creamy chicken and wild rice soup until I was an adult.  Since it’s not an Italian soup, it wasn’t anything my mother ever made–I doubt that she had ever had it herself.  Once I tried it, I thoroughly enjoyed it; but, since I’m lactose intolerant, it was an infrequent treat.  I generally avoid milk products, so I was slow to make this at home.  Then I recently came across this recipe, and the reviews were so glowing that I decided to try it.

I’m happy to say that this soup was a home run even by my picky standards.  It was so delicious that it was worthy of my taking Lactaid!  It is indeed creamy per the title.  It is also rich, flavorful, and hearty—definitely falls into the comfort food category.  I took reviewers’ comments into consideration and added onions, celery, carrots and garlic which weren’t included in the original recipe.  I also cut down on the flour and butter without any loss of thickness or rich flavor.

I’m a bit backed up with recipes I’ve made and had originally planned to post this in the next couple of weeks—but two of my friends at work liked the soup so much that they want to make it for Thanksgiving, so here it is.  Can’t get better feedback than that!

One year ago:  Baby Cupcakes

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

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Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium or large onion, chopped
  • 2 to 3 carrots, diced
  • 2 to 3 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water (if you cook rice separately, omit this)
  • 1/2 rotisserie chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 (6-oz.) package of Uncle Ben’s quick cooking long grain and wild rice with seasoning packet
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 6 tbl. butter
  • 2 cups half & half
  • Salt to taste (depending on chicken broth you use, additional salt may not be necessary)

Directions

1.  Cover the bottom of a large stockpot with olive oil and heat to a shimmer.  Sauté the onion, carrots, and celery for 8 to 10 minutes until vegetables are softened.  Add garlic and sauté for another couple of minutes.  Add chicken broth—and, if you are not cooking the rice separately, add the water as well and bring just to a boil.  Then stir in the rice, reserving the seasoning packet.  Cover and remove from heat.

2.  In a small bowl, combine the pepper and flour.  (Wait until the end to add the salt.  Depending on the chicken broth you use, you may not need any at all.)  In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter.  Stir in contents of seasoning packet until mixture is bubbly.  Reduce heat to low; then stir in flour mixture by tablespoons, to form a roux.  Whisk in half & half, a little at a time, until fully incorporated and smooth.  Cook until thickened, about 5 minutes.

3.  Stir cream mixture into broth and rice.  Add chicken.  Cook over medium heat until heated through, 10 to 15 minutes.  Add salt if necessary for your taste preference.

Fran’s Notes

Because I’m not a fan of quick-cooking rice, I decided to use Uncle Ben’s original long grain and wild rice instead.  I cooked it separately according to the package directions minus the seasoning packet.  If you decide to cook the rice separately, be sure to eliminate the 2 cups of water called for in Step 1.  Then, of course, you will need to add the cooked rice at the end along with the chicken in Step 3.

If you have leftovers, you can expect the soup to thicken up.  Just add a little water to get it to your desired consistency before you heat it up.

I doubled the recipe for our pot luck, so my photo above depicts the doubled recipe in an 8-quart stockpot.

Source:   Adapted from an allrecipes.com recipe

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