Who else is ready for spring?! The snow was nice for the first 3 months of winter, but it (along the frigid, arctic temps) can be gone for good any day now! I’m so ready for the mild spring air, the wet puddles on the sidewalks, and the green grass peeking through the ground! But as excited as I am for winter to exit, I know that also means the days of some of my favorite warm, hearty comfort foods are numbered too.
So, before it warms up too much, I wanted to pass along one of my favorite cold-weather recipes to you: Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup! Unlike most cream soups that get their velvety texture from lots of butter and heavy cream, this soup uses a mixture of evaporated skim milk and flour to produce that same creamy texture we all love (without the extra calories and saturated fat!). Loaded with long grain & wild rice, tender bites of carrot, celery and onion, and hearty chunks of mushroom and chicken breast, this soup is definitely comfort food at its best!
To get the recipe started, begin by cooking up a pound of chicken breasts. (If you have leftover cooked chicken on hand, skip right over this step!). Place the chicken in a sauté pan and add water until the meat is just covered. Simmer for about 20 minutes, or until cooked thoroughly. Once the chicken is done, set it aside and cut into bite-sized chunks once cool enough to handle.
Meanwhile, as your chicken is cooking, heat 1 Tbsp. of canola oil in a Dutch oven or large soup pot. Add the chopped onion, celery, carrot, and mushrooms, and sauté until the vegetables soften (this should take about 5 minutes).
After the vegetables have softened, stir in the garlic and thyme and cook about 1 minute longer. After a minute, a heavenly scent will start filling your kitchen!
Next, add the water, chicken broth, and long grain & wild rice blend. Be sure to stir the seasoning packet from the rice into the pot as well!
Bring the soup up to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the rice is tender.
To keep this recipe lighter, we’re thickening the soup with a mixture of evaporated skim milk and flour. So combine the milk and flour in a container that has a tight-fitting lid. Place the lid securely on the container to avoid any leaks, and shake-shake-shake until it’s completely combined and there are no clumps of flour!
Then, after the rice is cooked, stir the milk and flour mixture into the simmering soup. And to finish it off, add the chicken that you cooked and chopped up earlier (or add in your leftover chicken instead, if you were lucky enough to have some already on hand!).
Continue cooking the soup for another 15-20 minutes, which allows it to thicken up nicely
Once your soup is nice and creamy (sans any cream!), dish it up and enjoy! Serve with a nice crusty bread or a crisp side salad to sneak in some extra veggies J This soup reheats incredibly well and is freezer-friendly too!
So, when you’re in need of a meal that will help you beat the winter blues, get a pot of this Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup simmering on your stovetop and you’ll be set! Enjoy, and have a great week!
Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 Tbsp. canola oil
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped carrot
- 1 (8 oz.) pkg. mushrooms, cut into chunks
- 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
- ½ tsp. dried thyme leaves
- 4 cups water
- 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 (6 oz.) box Uncle Ben’s® Original Long Grain & Wild Rice
- 1 (12 oz.) can evaporated skim milk
- ¼ cup flour
- Place chicken in a sauté pan and add water until just covered. Simmer for 20 minutes or until cooked thoroughly. Set aside and cut into bite-sized chunks when cool enough to handle.
- While chicken is cooking, heat oil in a Dutch oven or large soup pot. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and mushrooms, and sauté until vegetables soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and thyme and cook about 1 minute more, until fragrant.
- To the vegetables, add the water, chicken broth, and long grain & wild rice (stir in the seasoning packet from the rice as well). Bring to a boil and simmer about 20 minutes, until rice is tender.
- In a container with a tight-fitting lid, combine evaporated milk and flour. Shake, covered, until flour and milk is completely combined with no clumps.
- Once the rice is cooked, stir the milk and flour mixture into the simmering soup and add in cooked, chopped chicken as well. Continue to cook another 15-20 minutes, until soup has thickened and is creamy.
Yield: 8 servings
Per Serving*: Calories 230, Total Fat 3.5g (Saturated 0.5g, Trans 0g), Cholesterol 35mg, Sodium 630mg, Total Carbohydrate 30g (Dietary Fiber 2g, Sugars 8g), Protein 20g, Vitamin A 60%, Vitamin C 10%, Calcium 20%, Iron 15%
*Nutritional values are an approximation. Actual nutritional values may vary due to preparation techniques, variations related to suppliers, regional and seasonal differences, or rounding.
Leah Anderson is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with Festival Foods and is certified by the state of WI.