Growing up in Minnesota allowed me to enjoy a lot of different comfort foods during the cold winter months. While I have many favorites, like Roasted Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese and the classic Chicken Noodle Soup, nothing tops the Minnesota staple, Chicken and Wild Rice Soup.
Something I truly appreciate about this recipe is that it’s not overly creamy, but it still has that hearty thickness that you’d expect from such a comfort food classic. I also used chicken breasts and thighs because breasts are healthier and thighs are more flavorful. It’s the best of both worlds.
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 also use the stalks (chopped) here, and reserve a couple of the leaves to use as garnish. I think it’s unexpected and makes this recipe even more memorable.
When it comes to the preparation, I was super excited to use my new Staub Cocotte (shown in Graphite). I love cooking with cast iron, but the only piece we had was our cast iron skillet, which isn’t deep enough for preparing a soup. My new Staub is made of heavyweight enameled cast iron, which retains heat evenly and is resistant to rust and cracking.
One new thing I learned is that the lid has several little bumps strategically placed on the interior, so when juices evaporate, they drip back down on top of the food for additional basting. I thought that was a really unique feature that none of our other cookware has. After my experience, I think every kitchen should have at least one Staub piece.
Enjoy the recipe!
What are some of your favorite fall/winter soups?
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 Up Close & Tasty cooking and shooting.
Chicken Wild Rice Soup
1.5 pounds chicken, cooked, diced and/or shredded
Note: I used breasts and thighs.
1/4 cup of butter
1 medium yellow or sweet onion, diced
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
3 celery stalks and leaves, diced
8 oz. mushrooms, finely diced
Note: Save some celery leaves for garnish.
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
Note: You can also add a little water if it gets too thick.
1 1/4 cups uncooked wild rice
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp flour
1. Cook the chicken thighs and breasts until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees F.
2. Let cool and then chop or shred the chicken.
3. Melt butter in a heavy bottom pot over medium heat.
4. Add the diced onion, carrots and celery and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes stirring occasionally.
5. Add the diced mushrooms and season with a little salt and pepper.
6. Add in the cooked, shredded chicken and chicken stock.
7. Add the parsley, thyme leaves, ground sage and garlic powder and stir.
8. In a small bowl, mix the flour and heavy cream together until smooth.
9. Pour the cream mixture into the soup and stir.
Note: I didn’t add all of it. Add until the soup starts to lighten in color slightly.
10. Add the wild rice and allow to simmer on low, covered for 1 hour to 1.5 hours, until rice is tender.
11. Season with more salt and pepper to taste.
All images ©Regan Baroni 2017.