Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

It’s been shamefully long since I posted on this blog (or cooked, for that matter). But now that I’m a bit more settled in my new life, I’m getting back into good food. When I saw this recipe online, I thought “Hey, that might be nice. And wild rice is an interesting variation for soup.” What an understatement. AMAZING is a better word. Smooth, mild and creamy but still full of flavour. Whatever you do though, don’t omit or replace the cream with something lame like low-fat milk; the natural sweetness of the cream is a big part of the flavour. Seriously, don’t do it. I know there are some soups where the cream is gratuitous, but this isn’t one of them. You will need a blender – stick or regular – to get the silky smooth consistency. Croutons would be a great garnish (aren’t they always), but they aren’t essential as the bite of the wild rice gives some good texture. This is the soup you should make for someone who needs some love & attention.

Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

adapted from Cooking Classy

3/4 cup uncooked wild rice
1 onion, finely chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 tblsp butter
1 clove garlic, crushed
4.5 cups chicken stock (4x stock cubes, 4.5 cups water)
1 tblsp chopped fresh rosemary and/or sage
Salt and ground black pepper
300g chicken breasts fillets
2 tblsp butter
2 tblsp flour
400ml milk
250ml cream
1 tsp lemon zest
*serves 4/5

Cook the wild rice according to package instructions. As a rule, you’d like the rice less-rather-than-more cooked, because you don’t want it to be a squishy mess, but rather to retain its firm centre. I did 1.5 cups of water to 3/4 cup rice, with some generous salt seasoning. Bring the water the boil, then reduce the heat and cook for 10-12min. Turn off the heat and remove the lid – let it get rid of the heat and steam.

Melt 2 tblsp butter in a large pot over a medium heat and add the chopped onion and carrots. Saute, stirring few a few minutes, then add the rosemary and garlic. Stir briefly (don’t let the garlic burn!) and add the chicken stock. Bring to the boil and add the chicken breast fillets, sliced in half lengthways (so they aren’t so thick). Cover and turn down the heat – so the stock is at a gentle boil – and leave for 12min. Remove the chicken fillets and let cool on a chopping board for 5min, then shred with two forks. Use a stick blender to blend the stock/carrot/onion mixture till completely smooth, then add the rice.

Using the now empty rice pot, melt the remaining 2 tblsp butter over a low heat. When melted, whisk in the flour completely and then the milk, whisking continuously to avoid lumps. Season generously with salt and pepper and bring to the boil, still stirring. Whisk in the cream. Now it all comes together! Turn on the heat under the blended soup and stir in the cream mixture. Bring to the boil and stir through the shredded chicken and lemon zest. Serve with crusty bread, croutons or as is. You’re welcome.

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