Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

I should have titled this “Cheater’s Chicken and Wild Rice Soup” but I didn’t want to scare off any of my foodie friends.  You probably know by now I’m (mostly) all about cooking real food from scratch, and I generally steer away from “convenience” foods – not because I think there’s a single thing in the world wrong with them, I just enjoy the process of cooking from scratch.  Usually.  But I knew cold and rainy weather was on the way, and that got me dreaming of one of my favorite recipes from my motherland:  Minnesota Wild Rice Soup.

I’ve made it from scratch before, using real wild rice – but my kids can’t stand it (“this tastes like sticks are we eating bird seed it’s too hard and chewy what is this stuff?!  blah, blah, blah).  Whatever with them.  When I get an idea stuck in my head, I’ve gotta run with it.  I wanted this soup, I was going to find a way to have it, and hopefully get them to eat it too.

So, here we have a cheaters version of Chicken & Wild Rice, a soup that reminds me of growing up in Minnesooooooota.  It’s thick and creamy and rich and the perfect thing for a cold and rainy night.  Even No Thank You Boy liked it, although he remained true to type by making his famous barf-me-out-the-door facial expression and poking at it with his spoon.

After the theatrics, he licked his bowl clean and went back for seconds.

The whole FamDam pronounced this soup to be “blogworthy”, which around here is the highest compliment that can be bestowed upon a recipe.  My work here is done.  :-)

Sale ingredients are in GREEN for your shopping enjoyment!!
Serves:  6 – 8

4 c. chicken broth (plus extra to thin; I bought a 48 oz. box)
2 c. water
1 (4.5 oz.) package long grain and wild rice, seasoning packet reserved (Uncle Ben’s Long Grain & Wild Rice are on sale this week, 11/9/11 – 11/15/11)

5 T. butter
4 oz. sliced mushrooms (optional) (Sliced white mushrooms are on sale this week, 11/9/11 – 11/15/11)
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced (Pascal celery is on sale this week, 11/9/11 – 11/15/11)
2 medium carrots, medium dice
1/4 c. plus 1 T. flour
1/2 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. ground black pepper

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (Sendik’s Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts are on sale this week, 11/9/11 – 11/15/11)

2 c. half & half (CF Burger Half and Half are on sale this week, 11/9/11 – 11/15/11)

Combine chicken broth and water in a medium saucepan over medium high heat.  When broth begins to boil, add rice (not packet)and stir.  Cover pan, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is tender.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Meanwhile, place butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.  Melt butter; when foaming subsides, add mushrooms, celery, and carrot and saute until tender, about six minutes.  Sprinkle flour, reserved seasoning packet, and salt and pepper over vegetables, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring for three minutes.  Do not brown flour.  Gradually add in half and half, whisking to blend.  Cook mixture, stirring occasionally, for five minutes or until mixture thickens.  Gradually whisk broth and rice mixture into the larger pot, stirring to combine.  Stir in shredded chicken, cook over medium heat until heated through, 10 to 15 minutes.   Add additional broth if soup gets to thick (which is definitely will if you make it ahead of time!)  Serve.

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous | November 9th, 2011