Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

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Chicken & Wild Rice Soup is thick and creamy, but has no cream at all. A lighter take on the hearty winter soup.

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup via @Iowa Girl Eats

Winner, winner, week full of chicken dinners! That is to say, I’m deeming it chicken week here on IGE!

Chicken is one of the most popular proteins served each night in households across America (‘Merica! Sorry.) But let’s face it – although it’s lean, filling, and versatile, it’s really easy to get stuck in the same ho-hum routine of sauteing a seasoned chicken breast then serving it alongside a starch and veg and calling it dinner two nights a week.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m totally guilty too! My go to dinner on days Ben and I aren’t dining on blog food is garlic salt & pepper sauteed chicken breasts served with roasted broccoli, mashed potatoes, and an apple. Always that. No deviation. Ben says its his favorite. I can’t say I disagree – like I always say, it’s the simple things in life – but it’s also nice to have a few new chicken recipes in your repertoire, which is what I hope to give you this week.

Up first, Cheesy Chicken & Rice Soup’s brother from a less-cheesy mother, Chicken & Wild Rice Soup! 

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup via @Iowa Girl Eats

Chicken & Wild Rice Soup – plump and hearty wild rice mingling with shredded chicken and veggies in a rich, savory broth – is one of my most favorite soups. Ever! Ben is, well, he’s ready to part ways with soup for the winter (oops) but even he perks up when I make a big batch of this stuff. It’s that yummy, thick, and creamy – yet has no cream at all.

I developed the recipe for a freelance project I was working on several months ago, and have made it a handful of times since then because we love it so much. It was finally published, so I finally get to share the recipe with you – just in time for Chicken Week – whee!

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup via @Iowa Girl Eats

Start by sauteing 2 carrots, 2 celery stalks, and 1 large shallot (or 1/2 an onion) in 2 Tablespoons butter over medium heat until tender, about 10 minutes. Then add 2 minced garlic cloves and 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme and saute for 1 more minute.

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Next add 8 cups chicken broth. Sounds like a LOT, I know, but a lot of the broth will be absorbed by the hearty wild rice we’ll add in a bit!

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Bring the broth to a boil, then drop in 2 chicken breasts cut in half. Let the chicken cook right in the broth for about 10 minutes, or until cooked through, then remove and shred when cool.

This soup would actually be great to use leftover or rotisserie chicken in. Thigh meat, chicken tenders, etc, too. Whatever you’ve got on hand works!

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Now add 3/4 cup wild rice blend. I think this is why Ben loves this soup so much – both he and I are ga-ga for wild rice (there are worse things, right?)

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Here’s the brand I used, which I found in the health food section at HyVee. Whatever the brand, be sure to buy a wild rice BLEND and not just straight up wild rice. The brown rice in the blend gives the soup a great, chewy texture, whereas the wild rice is a bit heartier and, well, stiff?, for lack of a better word.

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K! Pop a lid on the soup pot, turn the heat down to medium-low, then simmer for 40-50 minutes or until the rice is plump and chewy. When the rice is ready, stir together 1/4 cup each flour and milk (whatever you’ve got in the house) until smooth.

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Mix it with 3/4 cup more milk (for 1 cup total) then slowly stream it into the soup while stirring. This will give the soup a lovely, creamy and thick texture.

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Add the shredded chicken back in…

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Then let the soup simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.

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Ladle into big bowls then serve with a side salad or fresh fruit and enjoy!

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup via @Iowa Girl Eats

Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

Print this recipe!

Serves 6

Ingredients:
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 small onion or 1 large shallot, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 small carrots, chopped
salt & pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
8 cups chicken broth
2 chicken breasts, cut in half
3/4 cup wild/brown rice blend
1 cup milk
1/4 cup flour

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and carrots, season with salt & pepper, then saute until tender, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and thyme then saute for 1 more minute.
  2. Add chicken broth then increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Add chicken breast halves and cook until no longer pink in the center, about 10 minutes, then remove to a plate and set aside. Shred when cool enough to handle. Add wild/brown rice blend to the pot then place a lid on top, turn heat down to medium-low and simmer for 40-50 minutes or until rice is tender. 
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup milk with flour until smooth then add remaining milk. Slowly drizzle into soup while stirring. Add chicken then simmer soup for 10 more minutes uncovered and serve.

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup via @Iowa Girl Eats

This is a second and thirds type soup, I’m telling ya’! Low in fat yet super filling and satisfying, soup lovers and meh’ers alike will love it. Leftovers are just as delish, and make for quick and easy lunches all week. Enjoy this one, guys! :)

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup via @Iowa Girl Eats

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Comments

  1. Nancy 01.28.2013

    I’ve NEVER known how to make soup. I know it’s the easiest thing to cook, but I never knew when to put the carrots in, when to put the chicken in. For how long. Would the veggies get soggy.

    But you provided me a step-by-step recipe of when to do what. I’m super excited!

    One question: Can I pop in cooked (or uncooked) basmati in this? I don’t want to go out and buy a bag of wild rice for this.

    • Iowa Girl Eats 01.28.2013

      You bet! Just add it in when the directions say to add the wild rice, then cook until the basmati is done – which could be anywhere between 20-30 mins (just use the directions on the bag!)

      • Nancy 01.28.2013

        Oh good! Thanks Kristin!

      • Jessica B 02.05.2014

        I just wanted to jump in here and let you know how much I enjoy ALL of your recipes – and I’ve made a lot! They are amazing. The cheesy chicken rice soup was absolutely incredible and I’ve been craving it since I made it two weeks ago. With our Minnesota weather, I need all the soup I can get ;) Thanks for such an amazing set of recipes and a great blog. Keep up the great work!!

  2. Angie 01.28.2013

    “Meh-ers” – bahaha!

  3. Em 01.28.2013

    Yippee! Chicken week! And I just got a bag-o-chicken breasts on sale at Cub Foods!

  4. Lisa @ SoTeaBeeZa 01.28.2013

    This looks like a wonderful, hearty soup. I love chicken and wild rice.

    Oh, and I can hardly wait to see what else Chicken Week brings!!!

  5. Alisha 01.28.2013

    Yum! This is the perfect weather for soup. I just love how dense and chewy wild rice is! Beautiful pictures, as usual!

  6. Krystle 01.28.2013

    I’m back in Des Moines after half a year abroad!
    Do you see yourself hosting another IGE Follower get together sometime in the near future? :)

    • Iowa Girl Eats 01.30.2013

      Yay – welcome back! I don’t have any plans in the works right now, but never say never! :)

  7. Nay 01.28.2013

    Looks delish! Quick question for you. I was wondering if you have a little tutorial on how to saute your favorite, simple chicken breast. I have been cooking for years and just recently moved into a new house with one of those flat top ranges. I can’t get it right for some reason. I don’t know if it’s the stove top or my pans or a combo of the two. But I either under cook it or over cook it! Just wondering if you have any tips since I see you cook on the same type of stove and seemed to have master the simple saute.

  8. Lauren 01.28.2013

    Ah, how appropriate for this time of year. Nothing is quite more enjoyable than a bowl of classic coup on a cold winter night. This looks fab!

  9. This is a printer for sure! I love wild rice, but don’t eat it enough! This recipe ought to fix that!

  10. Stacy 01.28.2013

    I am gluten free….do you think I could sub corn starch for the flour? How much do you think?

    • Iowa Girl Eats 01.30.2013

      I haven’t tried it, but I bet it would work! Probably the same amount of cornstarch!

    • Mary Covault 12.19.2013

      I cook gluten-free, too. In this recipe just substitute potato flour for the wheat flour. Works great!

    • Chris 12.29.2013

      For gluten free/dairy free (I had to make this at Christmas): try putting some of the chicken broth in a blender with some cooked brown or white rice and cooked vegetables and puree it. Then add a couple of eggs, and blend the whole thing. (think Greek egg & lemon sauce without the lemon). Pour the thickened mixture into the soup that is done or almost done while stirring the soup. Simmer & stir until soup thickens.

      The only reason I don’t use wild rice in the blender is that I don’t like the way it looks when finished.

  11. Stefanie 01.28.2013

    I’ve been loyal blog reader for over two years and I see you using flour and milk alot to use in place of cream in recipes. Would this concept work to replace “cream of something” in recipes? I don’t know about you but those cream of soups just look so awful coming out of cans not too mention how unhealthy they can be.

    • Jennifer 01.29.2013

      You can certainly make your own cream-of-something soup at home. There are lots of recipes for this kind of thing online. It’s basically a white sauce using butter, flour and milk. Add mushrooms for cream of mushroom, chicken broth for cream of chicken, etc. I love the convenience of cans of cream-of-something soup but hate the ingredients!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 01.30.2013

      You bet! I usually replace cream of xyz soups by melting 2 Tablespoons butter then whisking in 2 Tablespoons milk and cooking for a minute. Slowly whisk in 1 cup milk then cook until thickened. If you want cream of cheese soup, for instance, turn off the heat then stir in 1 cup shredded cheese, etc. That’s it! :)

  12. Maureen 01.28.2013

    Yum! So glad you posted this…. my mom makes a great wild rice soup and I was going to make it this week (irony) ;). Yours seems lighter (yay!) but a lot of the amounts are the same so I think I am going to do some sort of combination. Just a thought – my mom puts 3 Tbs of slivered almonds in and grates her carrots which makes the textures SO nice. Thanks again!

  13. Ash 01.28.2013

    Any tips on making this GLUTEN FREE? Thanks!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 01.30.2013

      I’m sorry I actually don’t know a ton about gluten free diets! You could just use a cup of half and half to make it thickened and creamy!

    • Amanda 10.22.2013

      My husband is gluten free and I made this recipe with a gluten free flour blend I picked up at my local market. It’s a blend of chickpea and other flours and the recipe turned out dee-lish-ous and looks just like IGE’s pics. Enjoy!

    • mary 08.21.2014

      I used soy flour and it tasted great. You can use whichever thickener you prefer.

  14. As a vegetarian, this probably is not the most ideal of weeks for me ;), but I love the challenge of trying to make meaty meals into vegetarian meals. I’ll be on the look out for some new chicken recipes that I can turn vegetarian!

  15. Love how creamy this looks! You’re right about chicken…such a favorite popular option but it gets boring quickly! Wild rice sounds like a fun soup addition too :)

  16. Nancy 01.28.2013

    I’ve got a bag of wild rice in the pantry courtesy of a Minnesota friend – is the wild rice blend just a mixture of wild and brown rice? I think I’d try just mixing half brown and half wild rice together – does that sound about right?

  17. Love the blended rice – that looks so wholesome and delicious. Perfect winter recipe!
    xo Emily

  18. I could really use a bowl of this right about now. We’re on day six of below freezing temps here in Boston with one more day to go before it breaks. Come on, summer! Until then though…come on, soup!

  19. Love chicken and wild rice soup! I like to cook and puree a butternut squash and add that to the soup to help flavor and thicken instead of adding milk and flour.

  20. Angela 01.29.2013

    I love creamy soups!! I love that this one is still pretty healthy. Can’t wait to try it!!

  21. Heather 01.29.2013

    Thanks for what looks like another easy recipe. With this recipe and the lazy girls lasagne, I’m feeling more confident in the kitchen. My hubby does most (99%) of the cooking, but on nights he goes to school, it’s my turn. As my husband puts it (lovingly) “I burn water.” ;) Looking forward to impressing my family again with this one. :)

  22. Staci 01.29.2013

    I am making this tonight! Excited to try another IGE recipe!

  23. This looks like it would warm me right up. Sounds simple too, which is pretty much a requirement for my weeknight meals. It is currently minus 42 degrees here. CELSIUS!

  24. Andrea 02.02.2013

    I just made this. It rocks. Thanks for the recipe! And the others as well… my husband is partial to the cheesy taco soup. :-)

  25. Jessica 02.03.2013

    Just made this and husband and I loved it! So thick and creamy, but still pretty healthy. I used corn starch instead of flour (still 1/4 cup) and it worked perfectly. Thanks for all your great recipes!

  26. Sally 02.06.2013

    Yum!! Absolutely loved this soup! The ingredients are inexpensive, it was so easy to put together, and you are right, I definitely went back for seconds and (shh!) thirds. I made this on a sick day from work, and it was the perfect meal for a cold day.

  27. Sarah V 02.07.2013

    Made this tonight. It was awesome on a snowy night. Thanks for another great recipe!

  28. Lauren C 02.08.2013

    Just made this and it was fabulous! I was lazy and shredded a rotisserie chicken … Yum! My husband said this is his new favorite soup! Thanks so much for the recipe.

  29. Angie 02.08.2013

    Oh gurrrrl, this soup was fantastic! Usually I just hit up Panera’s million calorie Chicken Wild Rice soup when the craving strikes. I will never go back. So easy! So delicious! So much better for the waistline!

    I added 1/2 cup each of wild and brown basmati rice, used poultry seasoning (we had no thyme, no pun intended), and added some baby bella mushrooms for that extra meaty kick.

    So much soup love. The hardest part was smelling it wafting through the house while it was cooking.

    Angie
    everafteralways.blogspot.com

  30. [...] and bagged, and dried noodles are added to the bag so I don’t even need to measure those) *Chicken and Wild Rice Soup (all veggies chopped, all meat cooked and bagged, and rice is measured) *Tons of packages of brats [...]

  31. Sharon 05.23.2013

    I usually add some chopped spinach to this soup,makes a good soup even better.

  32. […] creamy, and ultra-hearty, Chicken and Wild Rice Soup is one of my Top 3 favorite soup recipes here on IGE. It’s so comforting and even better the […]

  33. Valerie 10.21.2013

    I made this tonight, since my husband and I got sick from our 8 month old. It was delicious! Although, mine came out like a chowder. It still hit the spot.

    I think I might give this to our baby tomorrow for dinner, since all the ingredients I used are organic anyway!

  34. […] Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats […]

  35. Amanda 10.22.2013

    Iowa Girl does it again. This soup is ah-maze-ing. Love it. Just made a big batch to freeze some for those sick days when I don’t want to stand over a stove. Thanks, IGE!!

  36. Rachel 10.25.2013

    I don’t think I’ve ever made one of your recipes without absolutely loving it. This soup is so good that I went back for another bowl… Twice. Thank you!

  37. BMW 10.27.2013

    This was delicious! The only change I made was to add mushrooms. :) This soup will be a go to recipe for cold winter days.

  38. Maggie 11.17.2013

    I made this soup tonight. It was so so good. My husband and I loved it. Can’t wait to eat leftovers tomorrow!

  39. Sheila 11.24.2013

    One more question, if you are using rotisserie chicken, do you just skip the boiling chicken part & bring it to a boil, then let it simmer? (I’m new to cooking! – help!)

  40. Iowa Girl Eats 11.24.2013

    You can just add the chicken during the last 10 minute simmer time to warm up!

  41. […] soup while stirring. Add chicken then simmer soup for 10 more minutes uncovered and serve. Source: Chicken & Wild Rice Soup | Iowa Girl Eats (For some reason this page has a photo where the soup includes noodles, which sounds very weird to […]

  42. Dan 12.11.2013

    Thanks for this post. I’m making this for my wife tonight, looks delicious!

  43. Elizabeth 12.16.2013

    This looks wonderful! Can I make this and freeze the leftovers? How long will they last in the freezer?

    Sincerely,

    Cooking for one :-)

    • Iowa Girl Eats 12.16.2013

      I’m sure it would be fine frozen for 2 or 3 months. Also, the recipe is easily halved if you’re just cooking for one!

  44. Dawn Klein 12.30.2013

    This soup is so yummy! It’s a good supper for a chilly night!

  45. Jane 01.05.2014

    Can I make this the day before, refrigerate, then slowly warm in a crockpot for a luncheon meeting – and it still taste as good? Thanks :)

    • Iowa Girl Eats 01.07.2014

      Hey Jane! I’ve never tried this exact method, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. I’d make sure to have some extra chicken broth on hand as the soup will thicken overnight.

  46. […] adapted from Iowa Girl Eats and Pinch of […]

  47. […] Hearty Chicken and Rice. The original recipe comes from my sister-in-law, Iowa Girl Eats. Her Chicken and Wild Rice Soup recipe was a huge hit with us last year for 2 […]

  48. Lyn 01.16.2014

    I’m making this tonight and was wondering-how big is a serving size? Thanks!

  49. Joe Zimsen 02.04.2014

    This is the best soup I’ve ever had!!! Thanks for sharing it. I am a total novice with soups, but it turned out so good, my wife and I are eating the double-batch I made for at least 2 meals a day. Can’t wait to try more of your recipes and ideas.

  50. Cara 02.05.2014

    Perfect stuck inside on a work day recipe !!!! Thanks ;) it’s wonderful

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