Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

1/2 cup brown & wild rice blend, uncooked
1 leek, chopped small
1 carrot, chopped small
1 celery stalk, chopped small
6 cups water
4 chicken bouillon cubes
2 Tbsp. butter
1 cup cooked chicken, chopped
1 can Campbell's turkey gravy
salt & pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 cup water

Cook rice according to package directions.  In a large sauce pan melt butter.  Add leek, carrots and celery.  Saute until tender.  Add water and bouillon cubes, chicken, gravy, rice, salt and pepper.  Cook 20 minutes to allow flavors to blend.  Mix cornstarch and 1/4 cup of water.  Stir into soup.  Cook on medium heat another 5 minutes allowing cornstarch to thicken.

Martha:  One of the restaurants I enjoy going to serves chicken and rice soup once a week.  I've always loved the slight thickness of the soup so decided to ask what they used.  I was told cornstarch.  That, along with the H. T. Trader brand of brown and wild rice blend that I love so dearly, prompted me to work up this recipe.  The rice has wheat and rye berries which give you a slight chew that is really good.  The turkey gravy was a thought to add more flavor, which it did.  And the cornstarch measurements above gave this the perfect thickness for my taste.  You can add less or more for your own taste or you can leave it out completely.  And for the chicken, you can use pre-cooked frozen, fresh cooked and even canned.  Whichever you happen to have on hand.  I used pre-cooked frozen.  This dish has so many flavors and textures that it's simply delicious with our without crackers.

Food Tester Carol:  The chicken noodle and chicken rice soup I grew up with turns out to have been a weak, watered down broth based soup, nothing like the whole hearted flavor in this soup.  The generous chicken pieces are intensified by the addition of the turkey gravy that deepens the flavor and creates a pleasing balance with the nutty flavors of the blended rice and grains, a heartier rendition of the previous neutral white rice or limp noodles that I always thought were added just to "stretch" the soup.  This chicken and blended rice soup is the "real deal!"