Dairy Good Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

I love cooking. There’s something so satisfying about combining ingredients together to create tasty and nutritional meals and snacks. I strive to cook with local and Canadian products as much as I can, thereby paying forward the support of our own Canadian dairy consumers. Yesterday, as I prepared this soup that combines several different recipes into my own version, I finally wrote down the ingredients and method that I use, and as I did so, I realized that this soup is a perfect soup for a dairy farming family: it includes plenty of dairy ingredients! And so, I decided to share the recipe. I hope you enjoy!

It’s easy to find Canadian ingredients for the following recipe – both the dairy and chicken are sourced from Canadian farms, the wine can be sourced from Canadian vineyards, and the vegetables and even the wild rice are grown in Canada. This soup is one of our favourites, often requested by the Farmer and our farm kids alike. As November draws to a close and the days are cold and dark and dreary, it’s understandable to crave comfort food. This creamy chicken and wild rice soup is certain to fill you with comforting warmth on these darkest days of the year. Don’t be intimidated by the long ingredient list, because, best of all, this soup can be cooked in a crock pot! I like to throw it all together after morning milking, and when we get in from evening milking it’s just about ready to eat with only a few additions necessary before it’s table-ready. There’s nothing better than coming in from the barn to the meaty aroma of chicken soup.

You’ll need a large crockpot because this recipe makes about 4 L of soup! Not that it matters – the leftovers taste even better the next day 😉 If you prefer and you have the time, it’s also simple to cook on the stove. It’s totally up to you!

Crock pot method:

In the morning, begin by cooking the wild rice: 3 cups of water and 1 cup of rice simmered together for about 45 minutes or until most of the grains of rice burst. Drain and cool. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Prepare the roux:

1 ½ c no salt added chicken broth (homemade broth is best, I think!)

½ tsp curry powder

¼ tsp sage

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp thyme leaves

¼ tsp herbes de provence

1/8 tsp ground marjoram

½ tsp onion powder

¼ tsp garlic powder

sprinkle paprika

1 cup milk

½ cup flour.

Bring first 10 ingredients to a simmer on the stove top. Mix together flour and milk and add gradually to simmering broth, stirring constantly. Continue stirring until bubbles break the surface. Stir for one minute or until mixture is smooth and thickened. Allow the roux to cool and thicken further while adding the following ingredients to the crockpot. (You can eliminate the roux by using 2 cans of condensed low sodium cream of chicken soup. I prefer the taste of the above ingredients, but using the prepared soup does save time.)

Add to the crockpot:

3 boneless skinless chicken thighs

1 boneless skinless chicken breast

6 cups of chicken broth

½ cup dry white wine

2 medium chopped onions

2-3 peeled and chopped carrots

1 cup chopped celery root

1 cup chopped celery stalks

1 cup sliced or chopped mushrooms

Cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 5-6 hours, stirring only very occasionally.

Before serving, transfer soup to a large pot. Remove the chicken and chop coarsely.

Return chopped chicken to the soup and add:

2 cups half-and-half cream

3 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Heat on the stovetop until just bubbling.

Serve with warm crusty buttered bread.

 

Stovetop method:

Begin by cooking chicken, either by roasting or simmering. I use bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces simmered for 3 hours and use the resulting broth in this recipe.

Prepare the roux. Cool until use. Cook the wild rice.

Add the wine and vegetables to the broth and simmer until vegetables are tender, about half an hour.

Add the roux. Bring to a slow boil, whisk until roux is uniformly mixed through soup and lumps have dissolved.

Add the cooked chopped chicken and cooked wild rice.

Finally, add the cream and shredded cheese and heat through. Serve with warm crusty buttered bread.

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