Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Chicken and wild rice soup is a big deal in North Dakota. I'm serious. Many of the local restaurants have chicken and wild rice soup on their menu daily. I have patients every week tell me it is the favorite soup next to knoephla soup. Other favorites around here: kuchen, Ranch dressing, dough (yes, people tell me they like to eat "dough"), potatoes, noodles (not pasta- noodles!) and probably anything breaded or fried. The people of North Dakota are tough and hearty. They survive intense cold and months of winter weather. They like food and they want comfort foods after braving the cold winds or trekking through the small mountains of snow. These foods are delicious but also are part of the reason I have a busy job here!

Chicken and wild rice soup is a thick creamy soup that is a winter comfort food. Although traditionaly it has a high cream and thus fat content it also does have some redeeming qualities. It has wild rice which is a whole grain, high in fiber and full of potassium, phosphorus, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin. I added some vegetables to my recipe which is always a good thing and soup is perfect for these cold, wintry days. I also decreased the cream content which didn't make a difference. It was still rich, warm and comforting. With the negative 10 degree weather here this week, this soup was perfect for dinner and lunch. I used this recipe to make whole wheat French bread to have with the soup.  Enjoy!

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
Adapted from -Home Ec 101
Serves 4

4 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
3/4 cup wild rice
1/2 onion diced
1 large or 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1-2 celery stalks, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 strips of  uncured bacon
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup half and half
1 1/2 cups milk
2 chicken breasts with skins removed, diced
1/2 teaspoon sage
1/2 tsp thyme
salt and ground black pepper to taste

1. Combine water, stock, and rice in a pot. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for about 40 minutes.
2. Cook chicken in a non-stick skillet. Remove from pan.
3. Cook bacon in same pan until crisp. Remove from  pan and drain on paper towels. Crumble when cooled.
4. In a large pot on medium heat, add butter and allow to melt. Add onion, celery, and carrots and cook for several minutes until starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1-2 more minutes.
5. Add flour and stir to combine. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
6. Slowly add the milk and cream and continue to stir until combined. Once rice is soft, add rice and broth mixture to the soup. Continue to stir.
7. Add chicken, bacon, and spices. Stir to combine. Allow to cook, stirring frequently until bubbling and heated through. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for several minutes.
8. Ladle into bowls and serve with a warm slice of crusty bread and a green salad.

1 comment:

  1. Laura! I just discovered your blog, this is wonderful. I am definitely going to make this soup, we are in the soup making mood around here these days. Great blog, I love reading food blogs/books/articles etc. I hope you guys are well, kevin enjoyed catching up with Aaron the other night.

    christin pounds


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