I grew up in Minnesota, which means that I was able to enjoy several different comfort foods during the cold winter months. While I have many favorites, nothing can top a hearty bowl of Chicken and Wild Rice Soup.
Use Celery Leaves
My favorite part, aside from the flavor combination of wild rice and mushrooms, is the addition of celery leaves. Jacques Pépin always insists on using them because they add nutritional value and have a wonderful flavor. Once Mike and I tried them for ourselves, we felt silly for ever throwing them away. I add them as garnish on the soup.
Easy on the Cream
A lot of chicken wild rice soup recipes use a lot of heavy cream, which doesn’t work well with some of my dairy intolerances. This recipe is not overly creamy, but still has that hearty thickness that you’d expect.
Use Chicken Breasts and Thighs
I used a combination of chicken breasts and thighs because breasts are healthier and thighs are more flavorful. It’s the best of both worlds.
Cooking with Cast Iron: Staub
I prepared the soup in my new Staub Cocotte (shown in Graphite). I love cooking with cast iron, but we only had a cast iron skillet before Staub, which isn’t very deep. The Cocotte is made of heavyweight enameled cast iron and is definitely deep enough to make a big batch of soup. Soup for days!
A Unique Lid
Another unique fun fact about this product is that the lid has several little bumps strategically placed on the interior. These bumps catch any juices that evaporate and helps them drip back down on top of the food for additional basting rather than just sticking to the top of the lid. Pretty cool, right? I think every kitchen should have at least one Staub product.
What are some of your favorite winter soups?
CHICKEN AND WILD RICE SOUP
- 1.5 pounds chicken breasts or thighs, cooked, diced and/or shredded
- 1/4 cup of butter
- 1 medium yellow or sweet onion, diced
- 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 3 celery stalks, diced and leaves, torn
- 8 ounces mushrooms, finely diced
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, sprigs removed
- 1/2 teaspoon ground sage
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 4 cups chicken stock, plus more to make it more soupy if it becomes too thick
- 1 1/4 cups uncooked wild rice
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tbsp flour
- Cook the chicken thighs and breasts until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees F.
- Let cool and then chop or shred the chicken.
- Melt butter in a heavy bottom pot over medium heat.
- Add the diced onion, carrots and celery and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Add the diced mushrooms and season with a little salt and pepper.
- Add in the cooked, shredded chicken and chicken stock.
- Add the parsley, thyme leaves, ground sage and garlic powder and stir.
- In a small bowl, mix the flour and heavy cream together until smooth.
- Pour the cream mixture into the soup and stir. I didn’t add all of it. Add until the soup starts to lighten in color slightly.
- Add the wild rice and allow to simmer on low, covered for 1 hour to 1.5 hours, until rice is tender.
- Season with more salt and pepper to taste.
All images ©Regan Baroni 2017.
Disclosure: This post was in collaboration with Staub who provided me the product(s) for this shoot and post. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you to my readers for supporting the brands that keep me cooking, styling and shooting.