Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Mouthwatering good Chicken and Wild Rice Soup is made with browned chicken, onions, celery, carrots, and long grain wild rice in a creamy broth with fresh thyme and rosemary. This one-pot soup is packed with flavor and easy enough for the novice cook. Enjoy this tasty soup with a fresh garden salad or homemade rolls.

First, heat a little vegetable oil or olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pot or dutch oven. While that is heating sprinkle the cut chicken with kosher salt. fresh ground black pepper, and a little bit of smoked paprika. Add the chicken to the hot pot and brown on both sides until cooked through. Plate the chicken and cover it to keep it warm.

Melt the butter in the pot over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, and carrots. Cook until the onions and celery are soft stirring several times. Then reduce the heat to low and add the garlic cooking for about 30 seconds while stirring constantly. Stir in the flour and continue cooking for a couple of minutes while stirring.

Stir in the wild rice, chicken broth, and bay leaves. Bring the mixture to a low boil then cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 40 minutes or until the rice is tender (see notes below). Add the cooked chicken back to the pot and simmer for a few minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the cream, thyme, and rosemary. Ladle into bowls and garnish with more fresh thyme, rosemary, or parsley.

A little smoked paprika adds a hint of smoky sweet taste and a little dash of color. If you want your soup pearl white simply omit the paprika.
The wild rice adds texture and a pleasant nutty flavor. Wild rice is done when some of the kernels have opened. It will be tender with a slightly chewy texture. That is one of the characteristics I like most about it.
Boneless skinless chicken thighs can be substituted for the chicken breasts.
1 teaspoon of dried thyme and 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary can be substituted for fresh herbs. Just stir them into the pot with the garlic.
Other veggies to add include mushrooms (sauté first), frozen peas, or fresh spinach.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave at reduced power or on the stovetop on low.
To freeze first, completely cool. Then ladle into marked freezer zipper bags and freeze for up 3 months. See more about freezing soup below.
Start by cooling the soup. For a quick and immediate (especially for soups with rice or pasta) cool down, place the pot in an ice bath and stir to cool. Do not submerge it or allow any of the ice water into the soup pot.
Ladle the cooled soup into quart or gallon-sized heavy-duty freezer zipper bags. Mark the bags with the date and the soup name. Keep in mind that liquids expand when frozen so leave about an inch at the top of the bag for expansion. On the other hand, you don’t want it to get freezer burnt so remove as much excess air as you can.
Lay the soup bags down in a single layer on rimmed baking sheets and place the sheet in the freezer. Once fully frozen stack the bags up on their side in the freezer to save on space.
Thaw the soup in the fridge overnight. Reheat the soup on the stovetop on low or in the microwave at 60% power so as not to overcook any ingredients before it is hot.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 ¼ lbs boneless skinless chicken breast cut into bite-sized pieces
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
⅛ teaspoon smoked paprika
4 tablespoons butter
1 medium yellow onion chopped
3 ribs celery chopped
2 large carrots peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
⅓ cup flour
1 cup wild rice blend see notes
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
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