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Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup – this delicious soup checks all the boxes for a perfect bowl of fall comfort food. It’s creamy and hearty with a nutty bite from the wild rice and a wonderful, flavor packed broth.
This is a great weekend soup recipe that cooks up quickly. Most of the time noted on the recipe is spent doing prep work cutting up the vegetables. But my friends, this soup is worth every minute in the kitchen. It also keeps well and rewarms beautifully. I haven’t tried freezing it yet because we can’t stop eating it! See SHORTCUTS below for ways to cut a little time when making this soup.
As with any good soup, use fresh herbs whenever possible.
I keep a pot of fresh thyme on the deck in the summer and a potted plant in our kitchen window during the winter months. I find so many ways to use fresh thyme throughout the year. That being said, don’t skip the fresh thyme if possible. It has a lovely fresh flavor that blends beautifully with the wild rice, and it’s always great with chicken dishes too!
Did you know that wild rice is very nutritious and believed to have numerous health benefits? According to Healthline.com “wild rice is higher in protein than regular rice, and it contains several important nutrients and an impressive amount of antioxidants. What’s more, eating wild rice regularly may improve heart health and lower your risk of type 2 diabetes.” For more information and history about wild rice, check out this interesting article from The Whole Grains Council. Enjoy the nutritional benefits of wild rice in a big bowl of our chicken and wild rice soup!
Shortcuts for prepping your ingredients for this chicken and wild rice soup:
- Purchase a package of pre chopped carrots, celery and onions. This common trio is often available in the produce department near the ready-to-cook foods.
- While you’re at the store grab a rotisserie chicken to use in this soup. Use the breasts first, then add additional chicken if needed until you have about 2 cups chopped.
- Grab a package of pre sliced mushrooms, no prep required 🙂
- Target Stores carry their own brand of precooked packaged wild rice under the name Simply Balanced. Talk about easy! Dump it in the pot and stir!
- Pick up a clamshell package of washed baby spinach leaves. Give them a rough chop and stir into the hot soup at the end to wilt.
- If chopping your own vegetables, prep the night before or morning you plan to make the soup. Since they’re added to the soup all at the same time you can combine the onions, carrots and celery and store them together, in one container.
- I made my own wild rice ahead of time. Wild rice takes about 50-60 minutes to cook so plan accordingly. I stored the cooked wild rice in the refrigerator with the chopped chicken until I made the soup.
- I also made my own chicken by poaching breasts in chicken broth and thyme. Once cooled I chopped it up and stored it with the wild rice.
Just a few ideas to help you get this Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup on the table in record time!
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Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
- 6 slices bacon
- ½ large sweet onion chopped
- 2 medium carrots peeled and sliced thin
- 1 stalk celery sliced thin
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms sliced
- 4 medium cloves garlic minced
- 4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- ½ cup dry white wine (or water)
- 3-4 ounces baby spinach leaves rough sliced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
- 2 cups cooked wild rice
- 2 cups half-and-half
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- Heat a large Dutch oven or heavy bottom saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook the bacon until crisp and remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Chop bacon and set aside. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease from the pan.
- Add the onion, carrots and celery to the pan and sauté in the drippings for 3-4 minutes on medium-high heat. Add the thyme leaves, mushrooms, and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes or until the mushrooms release their moisture and start to brown.
- Add the chicken broth, wine (or water) and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are crisp tender. Add the salt, pepper, chicken and cooked wild rice. Stir gently.
- In a small bowl with a spout, whisk together the half-and-half with the flour until smooth. Slowly drizzle the flour mixture into the hot soup while stirring gently to combine. Allow the soup to cook for about 5 minutes or until thickened.
- Add the spinach and stir to wilt. Top with chopped bacon and serve.
- Adapted from October 2017, Cooking Light Magazine
Here are a few more recipes you might also enjoy:
One of the most popular recipes on SRFD, this earthy, hearty and seriously comforting Wild Rice & Mushroom Soup is just the ticket for our rainy fall days. Click HERE to get the recipe for Wild Rice & Mushroom Soup.
Wild Rice and Mushroom Pilaf – An easy and delicious make-ahead side dish. Loaded with a variety of mushrooms, this pilaf is deliciously filling with a nutty flavor from the wild rice blend. Click HERE to get the recipe for Wild Rice and Mushroom Pilaf.
Chicken Wild Rice Casserole with tender, flavorful chicken nestled in a bed of wild rice and mushrooms. Click HERE to get the recipe.
Thanks so much for stopping by! Tricia