Chicken and Wild Rice Soup is absolutely, 100% the best non-dessert recipe in my cookbook. If it weren’t for the calories, I would live off of this. Seriously. And if I’m too lazy to heat it up, it tastes good cold. (Yes, I am that lazy on occasion). Every single time I have made it for company or for an event (5 times so far and counting), I have been asked for the recipe. If I’m making a recipe to impress a guest, this is the one I make.
The downside to the recipe is that it is time intensive. Sorry to say so, but I’ll be honest up-front. It is completely worth it, though! I have step-by-step pictures of the sauce portion of making it below.
I suggest just cooking a couple of chicken breasts and using those. But I occaisonally use the leftover chicken from either “Classic Roast Chicken with Wild Rice & Mushrooms” or when I make a chicken using the brining and method in “Apple Cider-Brined Turkey with Herb Butter“. I use some of the chicken for this soup and some of it for “Chicken Pot Pie.” Note if using leftover chicken, it will affect the taste of the soup. This is a subtle soup…so don’t use a cajun flavored chicken in here!
Step-by-Step of Sauce:
Complete ingredient list below in the “printable” section. Prep all ingredients in advance (mise en place: this should always be done with all recipes). Verify chicken is already cooked and shredded. Yes, I have gotten to the last step and said, “D***! No chicken!”.
Here is the time-intensive (and hot!) part of the cooking process: making the sauce.
Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
- Mise en place. Verify chicken is already cooked and shredded.
- In a medium pot, bring the following ingredients to a boil: 30 oz. chicken broth, water, green onion, and wild rice (including seasoning pack). Reduce heat and simmer until rice is tender, usually 25 to 30 minutes.
- While that is simmering, cook bacon. Allow to cool and then crumble.
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, salt, poultry seasoning, and pepper.
- In a large pot, melt butter over medium-low heat. Sprinkle flour and spice mixture over melted butter. Mix together until completely blended (it will be very thick).
- Slowly add half-and-half in intervals (1/4-1/3 cup at a time), whisking or stirring constantly. After first addition, the mixture will thicken up even more.
- Continue adding in small intervals, stirring well after each addition. It will thin as you add more liquid.
- Continue to cook on medium-low and whisk until it begins to thicken again. You’ll want it at the consistency between “soft peak” and “firm peak” (if you were whipping frosting).
- After sauce is thickened, stir in rice mixture. Turn up to medium and bring to a very low simmer. Cook until soup is done to desired thickness (usually an extra 5 minutes or so).
- Fold in bacon and chicken. Heat through. Serve.
• Cooked chicken- I usually just cook a couple of chicken breasts and use, but you can also use leftover from roast chicken. Make sure the seasoning isn't too strong, though.
• I usually make a double-batch. This is really good soup.
Note: if you find the soup is too thick to your liking- it really is more of a stew, consistency wise, than a soup- simply whisk in extra chicken broth.
As it cools, it thickens a lot. When reheating in the microwave, mix in a little chicken broth (you can substitute water if you need to) to de-thicken it a bit.