Chicken Wild Rice Soup

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Chicken wild rice soup is a classic, comforting dish. When the weather is cold, there’s nothing better than a warm bowl of this soup!

I grew up in Wisconsin. That meant a good deal of my time was spent being cold, or warming up from the cold. The first snow usually comes in October, and I remember snow just days before my birthday.

My birthday is in May, y’all.

It definitely doesn’t get as cold in central Texas, but I can’t imagine winter without a big pot of soup, stew, or chili cooking away all day long. 

I never had chicken wild rice soup when I was a kid, but it quickly became a favorite after my husband and I first made it. You can easily substitute turkey to help use up Thanksgiving leftovers.

overhead of chicken wild rice soup in black mugs with a floral napkin

One of the reasons I like this soup is because it uses wild rice. I think most people don’t make wild rice that much because it has such a strong flavor, but I love it.

It’s great not just in soups but in salads, like my fig wild rice salad. You can also use it to make a porridge-like breakfast!

Do you add cooked or uncooked rice to soup?

This recipe calls for cooking the rice before adding it to the soup. You can do this in advance if you like, and store the cooked rice in the refrigerator until ready to make the soup. 

If you prefer, you can add the rice to the soup without cooking, but you will need to add much more broth to compensate for the liquid the rice will absorb. 

If adding uncooked rice, be sure to bring the soup to a boil before reducing the temperature and simmering. It will also take longer to cook the soup, so plan ahead!

chicken wild rice soup in black and white mugs with a floral napkin

How do you cook wild rice?

Wild rice is cooked just like basmati or brown rice, it just takes longer. 

I like to use my Instant Pot to cook rice, because I can let it sit after cooking until I’m ready to use it. You can also use the stovetop if you don’t have an electric pressure cooker.

Always rinse your rice before cooking. This helps to remove any excess starch and speeds up cooking time. 

Take note of what the package says for the ratio of water with your rice. There are different varieties of wild rice available in stores, from rice blends to toasted wild rice. 

In general, a 1:2 ratio of rice to water is recommended for the Instant Pot, but 1:3 or 1:4 for cooking on a stovetop. 

In an Instant Pot, combine the rice and water, set the lid to sealing, and do Manual for 30 minutes. Let the pressure release manually when done.

On the stove, bring the rice and water to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer for 45 to 60 minutes, until fully cooked.

overhead of chicken wild rice soup in a black mug with a floral napkin

What can I add to chicken wild rice soup?

You’ll notice that my soup recipe calls for a few unusual spices like curry powder. I love the flavor it adds, but you can always change up the spices to your liking.

Parsnips are a good option if you’re tired of carrots, or even small diced butternut squash. Not a fan of celery? No problem; you can leave it out.

Fresh herbs are great here too. Note that if you’re adding fresh herbs to soups, you’ll use more than the dried herb quantity. I recommend adding toward the end of cooking time, which will keep the flavor fresher.

A squeeze of lemon juice is always a great addition to finish off the soup just before serving. It will brighten up the flavor.

chicken wild rice soup in black and white mugs with a floral napkin on a black countertop

What do you serve with chicken wild rice soup?

My kids love having bread alongside any kind of soup. A slice of honey oatmeal bread or a buttermilk herb roll is perfect for soaking up some of that broth.

You can also serve a green salad with the soup, or finish off the meal with a cheese plate. I love simple meals like this; it’s a great way to unwind after a long day.

spoon scooping up chicken wild rice soup out of a black and white mug

If you have leftover soup, it reheats wonderfully. You can even freeze it into single-serve portions for a future meal. Simply defrost overnight and then reheat on the stove or in the microwave.

chicken wild rice soup in black and white mugs with a floral napkin on a black countertop

Chicken Wild Rice Soup

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes

Chicken wild rice soup is cozy and comforting. It's just what you need on a cold winter day!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups cooked wild rice
  • 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup milk

Instructions

  1. Melt butter in large stockpot over medium heat. Stir in the onion, celery, and carrots and saute until onions are translucent and carrots are tender. Add the flour and stir well. Gradually pour in the chicken broth, stirring constantly, until all has been added. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and let simmer.
  2. Add rice, chicken, salt, spices to taste, and white wine. Let simmer for 1 to 2 hours, then stir in milk and allow to heat through.

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Chicken Wild Rice Soup - I can't imagine winter without a big pot of soup, stew, or chili cooking away all day long. This chicken wild rice soup is perfect for chilly days.

5 Comments

  1. This sounds (and looks) so good! I’ve been wanting to make a big pot of something lately. I’ll have to try this!

    Ha, snowing in May. That always seems to happen here and I get angry and declare, “April showers bring May FLOWERS, not May SNOW!”

    1. Hi Cari, for the white wine you can either leave it out completely or add more chicken broth with the 6 cups. Thanks!

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