I am going to try to do at least one of each of soup or salad each month, but so far January has left me thinking about soup. I found some good winter and noodle-based salads that would work, but dang, it’s been too cold for that.
This past weekend was frigid, and I couldn’t help but think about the ultimate upper Midwest meal — chicken and wild rice. Whether as soup or a casserole, or heck, just a meal, it’s the perfect time of year to spend time over the stove to keep warm.
My chicken and wild rice soup is a blasphemous take on a Minnesota classic, the wild rice soup from Lunds and Byerlys. The original is great. Everything is minced, so it almost feels like a bisque instead of a chowder. It’s got ham, and it’s quick.
I’m a sucker for chicken and wild rice in particular, so some years ago, I started meddling with the recipe until I got a chunkier version. It may mess with the original, but in my mind, this soup also is a classic.
Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter
1 small onion, diced
½ green pepper, diced
1 pound chicken, chopped
2/3 cup flour
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 ½ cups cooked wild rice (cook according to instructions; 1 cup dry yields slightly more than 2 ½ cups cooked)
1 carrot, diced
¼ cup chopped slivered almonds
1 ½ cup half and half
3 tablespoons sherry or chardonnay (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Chives or parsley, for topping (optional)
In a large pot, melt butter and saute onions and chicken until chicken is cooked through and onions are tender. Blend in flour and slowly add broth.
Cook, stirring regularly, until mixture boils. Boil for 1 minute.
Stir in cooked rice, peppers, carrots, almonds and salt and pepper. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Blend in half and half and wine and heat about another 10 minutes. Garnish with parsley or chives, if desired, and enjoy!