This Chicken and Wild Rice Soup recipe offers plenty of alternatives.
One tip: Omit directions for poaching chicken and substitute with 2 cups of chopped rotisserie chicken.
Another tip: If desired when poaching chicken, omit the 1 cup chicken broth and use all water. We prefer the richer flavor of poaching with chicken broth.
Whatever you decide to do, this soup will come in handy for our cooler days.
Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
Makes 8 servings (about 9 cups total)
1 (4-ounce) box wild rice or ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons uncooked wild rice
2 cups water
1 (32-ounce) carton reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped into ¼-inch pieces
½ rib celery, chopped into ¼-inch pieces
8 ounces fresh button mushrooms, thinly sliced
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup fat-free half and half
Finely chopped green onions or chives for garnish, optional
Bring rice and water to a boil over medium high heat in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to a simmer and allow to simmer 45 minutes or until rice is done. Drain well and set aside.
Pour 1 cup chicken broth into a medium saucepan. Add chicken breasts to broth and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and simmer about 12 to 15 minutes or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Remove chicken breasts from liquid and allow to cool slightly. Discard liquid. Cut chicken into small pieces and set aside.
In a 3- or 4-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery and mushrooms to saucepan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add flour and stir until smooth and all liquid has evaporated.
Gradually add the remaining 3 cups of low sodium chicken broth, stirring constantly until mixture begins to thicken. Add chicken and wild rice and heat through. Add half and half and stir until blended well.
Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with green onions, if desired.
Per serving: 250 calories (27 percent from fat), 8 grams total fat (4 grams saturated), 48 milligrams cholesterol, 26 grams carbohydrates, 22 grams protein, 100 milligrams sodium, 3 grams dietary fiber.
Recipe developed exclusively for The Star by professional home economists Kathy Moore and Roxanne Wyss.