This Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup is comfort food at its best. With succulent pieces of chicken breast, carrots and a combination of white and wild rice, this is more than a soup, it’s a meal. Pair it with a generous piece of crusty bread for a super satisfying dinner. Enjoy!
1 lb. Chicken Breasts, skinless, boneless, trim any fat
8 cups Chicken Broth, divided
2-3 Thyme Sprigs
Pinch of Salt
6 tbsp. Butter, divided
1 Medium Onion, diced
1-2 Garlic Cloves, minced
½ cup Flour, all-purpose
½ cup Shredded Carrots
½ cup Half & Half
About 4 cups Cooked Wild and Long Grain White Rice, recipe follows
Make the wild rice
1 tsp. Butter
½ cup Wild Rice
3 ½ cups Chicken Broth
1 cup Long-Grain White Rice
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the wild rice and cook for a 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the chicken broth (3½ cups) to the saucepan, stir. Raise the heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil. Once the broth comes to a boil, lower the heat to medium-low to low; cover and cook the wild rice simmering gently for 15 minutes. Note: Keep the liquid at a simmer, if it’s not simmering raise the heat a bit.
Add the white rice to the saucepan and give it a quick stir. Raise the heat to high, bring the broth to a simmer again, lower the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for approximately 20 minutes without stirring.
Check the rice, give it a quick stir, taste a few grains to determine if it’s done. If it’s not, lower the heat a bit and continue cooking for another 5 minutes or so. If it is done, lower the heat to low and keep warm until the soup is ready.
While the rice is cooking
Poach the chicken
Place the chicken in a medium saucepan, large enough so that they fit side by side without overlapping. Cover the chicken with chicken broth (about 2 cups). Add the thyme and a pinch of salt. Start the chicken on high heat; bring the broth to a boil. As soon as it starts boiling, lower the heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer gently for 20-25 minutes. Make sure the internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken breast is at least 165°F. Remove the chicken breast from poaching liquid and set on a cutting board to cool. Strain the cooking liquid using a fine sieve and set aside. When the chicken has cooled enough to handle, shred, slice or cut into bite-sized pieces.
Don’t discard the chicken broth after poaching the chicken, use it for the soup. That’s some concentrated chicken broth goodness you have there!
Make the creamy chicken & wild rice soup
In a large pot, heat 3 tbsp. of butter over medium heat. When the butter has melted and starts to foam, add the onions. Cook the onions gently for 3-5 minutes until they become translucent and start to soften, stirring frequently.
Add the garlic to the pot, cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add in the remaining 3 tbsp. of butter. When the butter melts, stir in the flour a little at a time, stirring constantly until well incorporated. Cook the roux (butter and flour mixture) for 2 minutes to cook the flour a bit, stirring almost constantly.
Slowly add in the remaining 6 cups of chicken broth and the reserved broth used to poach the chicken. Stir the soup constantly until the chicken broth is well incorporated. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring the soup to a gentle simmer. Lower the heat to medium-low, half-cover the pot and continue simmering for approximately 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Note: Keep the soup at a simmer; if it starts boiling too vigorously lower the heat a bit.
Process the soup
Remove the pot from the heat. Process the soup in the pot with an immersion blender until smooth. If you do not have an immersion blender, use a blender. Don’t fill the blender to the top with hot liquid, process in batches.
Return the soup to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Add the shredded carrots to the pot. Lower the heat to medium-low and half-cover the pot. Cook the soup, simmering for 5 minutes.
Take the pot off the heat, stir in the Half & Half. Then and add the reserved chicken, and the rice, stir well. Note: Use as much or as little rice as desired; we used all of it in the soup, but it’s a matter of taste.
Heat the soup on low for a few minutes until warmed through, do not allow it to come to a boil. Taste the creamy chicken & wild rice soup and add salt, only if needed.
Makes 4-6 servings