Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Creamy Chicken Soup with Wild Rice

In the week after my baby was born this past fall, we were treated so kindly by friends who brought meals to keep us going while we adjusted to this new person in our lives. Ever since this soup was brought to us, I have been obsessing over it.

My husband and I kept shoveling it into our mouths and picking out ingredients. The usual suspects were there; carrots, onion, celery, chicken. Wild rice, which was obvious, since it was chicken and wild rice soup. Then there were so many scrumptious surprises. Corn! Mushrooms! Almonds! Was that a wheat berry? Nom nom nom.

Here it is, four months later -- wait, really? Yes. Four months. And I'm still geeking out about this soup. Spring is here in the Pacific Northwest. The blossoms are out, the temperatures are warming up, and I might be the only person here still making soup. This is THAT good.

When I begged asked for their recipe, I wasn't at all surprised to find that it was from Mel's Kitchen Cafe. That woman has a gift. Her recipe calls for just wild rice, which is lovely, but the friends who brought us soup had used a blend that had regular rice, wheat berries, AND wild rice and I have to say that it made a gigantic difference to me. So I found a rice blend at the store that had all of the yummy things I was looking for. You can obviously use regular wild rice if that's what you like or have available.

Since it's still bitterly cold in some places (like, hey Texas, what's up with the snow this year?) I think you need this soup. Snuggle up and enjoy it! I swear it's worth the effort.

Creamy Chicken Soup with Wild Rice
from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

1/2 c. butter
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 c. celery, sliced
1/2 c. carrots, sliced
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced
3/4 c. flour
6 c. chicken broth
1 lb. cooked, cubed chicken
2 c. cooked wild rice blend or cooked wild rice
(we use the whole grain Royal Blend from Rice Selects)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. mustard powder
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 c. slivered or sliced almonds (I prefer slivered, but I've used sliced in a pinch and it was still great)
2 c. half & half

In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and carrot and sauté until onions are translucent. Add corn and mushrooms, and sauté for a minute or two more. Stir in flour to coat veggies, continuing to stir until the flour has absorbed the moisture in the pan and no longer smells raw. Pour in chicken broth and stir well. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and let thicken slightly. As the soup thickens, be sure to scrape up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.
When mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of your spoon, add in chicken, rice, salt, curry powder, mustard powder, parsley, pepper, and almonds. Then add the half & half and let simmer (NOT boil) for about an hour, stirring occasionally to ensure it doesn't scorch on the bottom of the pot.

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