Friday, April 15, 2011

Chicken, Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup

Chicken Mushroom Wild Rice Soup 2

It's spring right? I mean technically winter is over. I know that's what the calendar says but here in New England it's been a slow, slow process. We are preparing though. I've been clearing out the garden and flower beds, planning out the veggie garden, getting ready to purchase some new plants, and I'm ready to plant the ones we bought a few weeks back.

My chives are up, my garlic is sprouting and my tiger lilies and hostas are all peeking there noses out, so there are signs that spring is actually here. Now if the ground would just cooperate with me and let me dig dammit!

John built me a beautiful new fire pit. It's big and it's beautiful and I can't wait to spend my summer nights sitting around it. Makes me happy.

I know soup season is coming to a end. It kind of makes me a little sad.

I love a good soup. A hunk of bread and a bowl of steaming soup, and all is well in the world.

So even though most of us will be moving on to more springy/summery dishes, I couldn't pass this one up.

Chicken Mushroom Wild Rice Soup 1

We all love rice in this house, and almost all of us (yeah I'm looking at you Evan) love mushrooms. Evan has learned to just pick the mushrooms outta things over the years.

I love that this was creamy, but still pretty light. It wasn't rich and heavy, but it still had a wonderful consistency.

I can see this being one recipe that is in heavy rotation during the cooler months.

We paired this with a nice spinach salad for dinner.

Chicken, Mushroom & Wild Rice Soup
2 – 6oz packages of long-grain and wild rice mix (hello Uncle Ben)
12 cups chicken broth, divided
4 tablespoons butter
1 – 8oz package of fresh mushrooms, sliced (I used baby bellas)
1 medium onion, chopped (I also threw a few shallots in)
3 stalks chopped celery
¼ cup butter
½ cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup half & half
2 tablespoons dry white wine
2 cups cooked shredded chicken breasts
Garnish: fresh parsley, cracked pepper

Bring the 2 packages of rice, 4 cups of chicken broth and 1 seasoning packet from the rice mix to a boil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender (reserve remaining seasoning packet for another use.)

Meanwhile, melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat add the mushroom, onions and celery. Cook 10 to 12 minutes or until tender, stirring often.

Melt ¼ cup of butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat, whisk in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute or until thickened and bubbly. Gradually whisk in the remaining 8 cups of chicken broth and cook, stirring often, 8 to 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Whisk in the half & half and wine. Stir in the mushroom mixture, chicken and rice. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 10 minutes or until thoroughly heat. Garnish and enjoy!
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