My husband hails from the land of ice and snow, there are some who refer to his home as Minnesota. I have other names that apply from October to early May and they may not always be complimentary in nature. I come from weaker stock that requires sunshine year round, but while I was plotting our return to the South I did discover the joy that is Minnesota Wild Rice Soup. Today I bring you the Minnesotan classic, with a Southern twist.
This creamy soup is quite rich, perfect for a chilly evening spent calling our 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
*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 of bacon over medium low heat. When the bacon is done remove it from the pan, crumble it, and set aside.
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.
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 whisk 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 stirring and adding milk after the previous splash has been incorporated into your mix.
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, sage, thyme, celery salt (optional), salt, and pepper.
Heath through and serve.