This creamy soup is quite rich, perfect for a chilly evening spent calling Midwestern family and asking, “Hey, how’s the weather up there?” (It was -2F yesterday, sorry about that)
Yields: approximately 8 cups of soup
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup wild rice (If you aren’t a huge fan of the texture, reduce this to 3/4 or 1/2 cup)
- 1/2 onion diced
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 3 strips of bacon
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups half and half (Feel free to substitute milk, but it won’t be as rich)
- 2 cups cubed, cooked chicken (2 breasts with the skin removed)
- 1/2 teaspoon sage
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp celery salt (optional)
- salt* and ground black pepper to taste
- parsley if you want to take pictures
*If you use canned broth be very careful adding salt as the sodium content may already be pretty high.
This recipe requires two pots, the only reason I still give it a thumbs up is one pot is pretty much ignored the entire recipe. In the first (and smaller pot) heat the 5 cups of stock and the wild rice. Bring to a gentle simmer and proceed to pretty much ignore for the next 30 – 40 minutes. Entertain yourself for twenty minutes, then meet me back in the kitchen.
Ready to get started?
While the rice continues to simmer, cook 3 slices into small pieces and cook over medium low heat. When the bacon is done remove it from the pan, and set aside. Do not drain the grease.
Reduce the heat to low and add the 2 TBSP of butter to the pan. As soon as the butter has melted add the onion and cook until soft, then add the garlic.
Yes, I know if you are a long time reader, these steps seem quite familiar. I am capable of cooking dishes without onion and garlic, I just choose not to.
As the onions get soft, add the thyme, sage, and if you’re using it celery seeds.
There will be brown, bits on the bottom of the pan, this is actually a good thing. Those bits are packed with flavor. Add the flour and stir until it all comes together into a clumpy paste. It’s not going to be perfectly smooth due to the onions, just make sure that it has been stirred until no more white flour shows.
Check the setting of your burner, it should be on low. Very slowly stir in the half and half (or milk). The texture might look a little scary when you stir in the first few splashes. For a moment it might even look like dough. Don’t freak out, just keep slowly stirring and adding milk after the previous splash has been incorporated into your mix. I find it easiest to focus on incorporating a small part of the liquid into the roux, in a tight circle, before widening my stirring to the rest of the pot.
Once both cups of the half and half have been added your mixture should look and feel like a very thick soup.
Check your wild rice, it should be done. Slowly add the chicken broth and wild rice to your soup. Don’t add it all at once, pour some, stir some, just like when you added the half and half.
Once all of the broth has been added, turn the heat up to medium low and add the chicken, bacon crumbles, salt, and pepper.
Heath through and serve.