Chicken Bacon Wild Rice Soup

Soup season is upon us and this one has quickly become a favorite in our house. It’s hearty and full of flavors and textures that are sure to satisfy on a cool autumn day. It can simmer for hours or come together just before dinner.

I found the inspiration for this recipe on Pinterest. Weird, huh. The recipe I found was super heavy and void of veggies. I struggle to stick to recipes and this was no exception! It’s still a comfort food but now it is one you can feel good about serving.

Complete recipe below photo tutorial.

To kick off this soup you will need to make the wild rice. Read the instructions for cooking on the box and then modify by switching the water out for chicken stock and double the amount of liquid recommended. After the rice is cooked there will be liquid leftover. This will make the base of the soup. Do not strain this off!

Also to the pot of cooking rice add 2-3 thinly sliced green onions (scallions).

While the rice is cooking chop up a few carrots and a couple of stalks of celery. Set these aside for later.

This is also a good time to get your bacon going. This is my preferred way to cook a bunch of bacon. Line a baking sheet with foil, top with a metal baking rack, spray rack with cooking spray, and top with bacon. Bake at 400 degrees until crispy. You want this bacon to be on the very crispy side because it will be added to the soup which will soften it.

BTW, you won’t need this much bacon for the soup but if I make bacon I always make as much as possible because there are always uses for extra bacon…Always…

Ok, if you are doing as much prep work ahead of time as you can, like I did when I last made this, you can do the bacon, chop the veggies, and cook the rice and chicken all ahead of time. After my rice was done I poured it into a glass storage container and threw it into the fridge until closer to dinner time. If you are making this all just before serving you will leave the rice / broth mix in its pot when it is done and turn off the heat.

Once the rice is cooked or close to being done you can start your roux. You can do this even an hour or so before dinner time to let the flavors come together even more. Start by grabbing a good sturdy pot and drop in 1/2 stick of butter.

Once the butter is good and hot drop in 1/4 cup flour. Whisk it around to incorporate.

Continue stirring and let the flour cook for a minute or two.

Next pour in 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, whole milk, or 2% milk. Depending on how rich you want the soup or what you have in the fridge 🙂 Let that come to a rapid simmer and reduce the heat so the liquid is simmering but not boiling. Let it simmer until it starts to thicken. You can check this by running your finger over the back of the wooden spoon. If there is a visible track through the liquid it is perfect.

Now it is ready to assemble the soup. Pour in the rice / stock mixture from its pot or straight from the container out of the fridge. No need to reheat first if you made it ahead of time.

Add in your carrots…

And celery.

This is when you need to check your seasoning. Add salt and pepper, cook a minute, recheck flavors, and add more of either if necessary. Let the soup simmer. The flavors will build together and the veggies will become nice and tender. Continue checking the seasonings as the veggies cook as they will absorb the salt while cooking.

Now for the chicken. You have some options here! You could cook up some chicken like I did here or you could use rotisserie chicken from the store and really save yourself some time here! Either way, grab some cooked chicken and cut into bite sized pieces and toss into your soup.

Mmmmm… bacon. Chop up your bacon and drop HALF of it into your soup. Not ALL of it! You will want some to garnish the soup as you serve it and to add some crunch.

This is how I like my soups to look! I don’t like to have to search for the goodies inside! They should fill up the soup. Continue to let simmer and recheck seasonings until you are ready to serve.

Ladle a hearty bowl full and sprinkle on some of the crispy bacon. Some nice warm bread would be amazing with this as well! Enjoy! Bring on autumn!

Chicken Bacon Wild Rice Soup
1/2 uncooked wild rice
chicken stock – double the amount of the water recommended by the instructions on the wild rice box
2-3 thinly sliced scallions
8-10 slices crispy bacon, chopped
2 cups chopped cooked chicken, can use rotisserie chicken
3-4 carrots, peeled and sliced
2-3 stalks celery, sliced
1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, whole or 2% milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook wild rice according to package replacing the water with chicken stock and doubling the amount of liquid to allow for extra liquid for soup stock. Add sliced scallions to cooking rice. While rice is cooking cook chicken or cut up rotisserie chicken. Slice carrots and celery. Cook bacon until very crispy, chop. 30 mins – 1 1/2 hours before desired serving time melt butter in heavy pot. Add flour and stir to combine completely. Cook a couple of minutes. Pour in cream / milk. Stir vigorously to mix with roux mixture. Turn heat down to simmer and allow to thicken. Once thickened add rice / stock mix, carrots, celery, chicken, and 1/2 of bacon. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste. Continue to simmer for 30 + minutes checking seasonings frequently as ingredients will absorb salt as they cook. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with remaining bacon. Enjoy!!

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