This Wild Rice Chicken Soup is a cozy “comfort food” that is healthy, wholesome and ladened with chunks of onions, celery, and carrots. Both wild and brown rice add amazing texture for a truly satisfying bowl of warmth during these wintry evenings that are upon us.
Why I love this Wild Chicken Soup Recipe:
The soup is both hearty and healthy. This soup is full of rich antioxidants with nutrient-dense ingredients which makes it not only satisfying and filling but lower in calories to help jump-start the New Year for a more fit you.
A super easy recipe that from start to finish that can be made in about 45 minutes. “Quick and Easy” – that’s my cooking mantra. It takes very little time and the only effort needed for this recipe is chopping the veggies.
You can make this one day and have leftovers that are even better the second day. Let this pot of deliciousness set for a day and the flavors meld together for a more tasty soup after the fact.
Cooking Wild and Brown Rice together
Right before you start the soup recipe, put on 1 cup each of wild rice and long grain brown rice. I used my instant pot and combined both kinds of rice together, added 2 1/2 cups water and 1 teaspoon of salt. Pressed the “pressure cooker” button and increased the time to 35 minutes. Once it was done, I used the 10-minute natural pressure release.
You can also use the stove-top method. 2 cups of mixed wild and brown rice, 3 1/2 cups water, 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Simmer with the lid on for 45 minutes. If the rice is not tender, continue to cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
Ladened with Veggies
I know there are plenty of “brothy” soups out there with plenty of flavors. But if I’m gonna devour a bowl, I want it to be loaded with lots of texture and depth which this recipe provides in abundance. This wild rice chicken soup employs large chunks of carrots, celery, and onions. When you dip your soup spoon in, you’re coming out with hunks of these veggies.
Cook the vegetables until they are tender
A good tablespoon of olive oil in the bottom of a heated Dutch oven is the perfect place for these vegetables to cook. You’ll want to cook them for about 8-10 minutes over medium-high heat long enough for them to become somewhat tender and the onion slightly translucent.
And whatever you do, don’t forget the chopped garlic at the end of this cooking process. It contributes the perfect hint of garlic flavor to the finished dish. Once the above veggies are tender, add the garlic and stir it for only one minute. If it is over-cooked and burnt it will leave an unpleasant bitter taste.
Use Chicken Stock rather than Chicken Broth
Chicken stock is made from the bony parts of the chicken and is richer and fuller in flavor because of gelatin that is released into the stock from a long-simmering of the bones. You can make your own by using a leftover chicken carcass and add a variety of veggies in your fridge that need to be used up. Simmer for a good four hours. Use this “Simple Recipes” link for a homemade recipe.
Because I did not have any homemade chicken stock in my fridge, I grabbed the organic box off the grocery shelf, which worked just as well. Four cups of stock were enough to cover my vegetables and the chicken breasts that are added next in the recipe.
Use Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts in this Wild Rice chicken Soup
You could use bone-in and skin on, which could contribute to more flavor in the end, but it does add more cooking time. And because I was already using the full flavor of the stock, I chose the ease and the quickness of chicken without bones and skin.
Once the stock and vegetables have been brought to a boil, add the chicken breasts and make sure they’re all covered with the stock. If not, add a little bit more to the pot. Slowly bring it back to a very low boil and reduce the heat to a simmer, where you see tiny bubbles popping up. You want to gently cook the chicken, not too high, not too fast and not too long. Overcooked chicken is rubbery and tough. Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the internal temperature is 165°F.
what to do about white scum left on the broth from the chicken
Many times when simmering chicken, it can release on top of the stock a white foam and “scum” which is not scum at all. It is actually denatured protein (like that of egg whites). As you can see from the photo below, it can be visually unappealing at this stage but harmless and flavorless. A good portion can be skimmed from the top with a small wire sieve. By the time the soup is finished though, it’s not even visible.
One way to prevent this all together is to simmer the chicken in the stock while you cook the vegetables in the oil. Remove the chicken, strain the stock and simmer the vegetables in the stock for about 15 minutes. You can then continue on with the recipe. It does add another process to cooking. In my opinion, the end result is basically the same. (See the last two photos below.) Either way, don’t panic when you see the “foam” or “scum” on top. It can easily be remedied.
Cut Large Chunks when cubing the White Meat
Remove the chicken breast from the broth with tongs. Let them sit long enough so they’re cool enough to handle. I’m not delicate when it comes to how I cut up the chicken for soups. Just like my vegetables, I want large chunks of tender white meat. Some people like to shred the meat at this stage. Either works, but for me, I want a mouthfeel of chunking ingredients.
Canned tomatoes vs fresh tomatoes in soup
Because canned tomatoes are harvested at the peak of tomato season, you get the ripest tomatoes available offseason. So when they’re not in season, I always reach for the can on the shelf because it really is a healthier choice. Where I live, it’s pretty much impossible to get a locally vine-riped tomato beyond October. Picked green and shipped long distances to my grocery store’s produce section, those tomatoes become a flavorless imposter of the real deal. And how simple is it to open a can of organic diced tomatoes. Which, btw, I used “fire-roasted” tomatoes for this recipe because it adds a savory smoky flavor.
Adding Wild and Brown Rice, Chicken and Thyme
One of the final touches of this Wild Rice Chicken soup that increases its overall complexity and depth of texture is the cooked wild and brown rice added at the end. This also enhances the soup with an earthy nutty taste that I think you will absolutely love.
Both types of rice, wild and brown, provide a superb source of nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants. So not only does it add the texture and flavor that we love, but the health benefits are amazing and well worth the extra work.
The final touch is the cubed cooked chicken along with 2 tablespoons of chopped thyme. In my opinion, you can’t find a better, more delicious collection of ingredients in a soup.
And there you have it – a rewarding, soul gratifying soup that will add some warmth to your life during these long cold evenings. Right here is a pan of cozy comfort that is soooooo simple and promises to hit that hunger spot in your belly that longs to be filled tonight. Give it a try! I guarantee this recipe will be in your meal rotation this winter.
Add some whole-grain crusty bread alongside this Wild Rice Chicken Soup and ENJOY!
If you like this comfort food, cold-weather recipe, you’ll love these other recipes of mine:Print
Healthy Wild Rice Chicken Soup
A cozy “comfort food” soup that is both healthy, wholesome and ladened with chunks of onions, celery, and carrots. Both wild and brown rice add amazing texture for a truly satisfying bowl of warmth during these wintry evenings that are upon us.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 12 cups 1x
- Category: Soup
- Method: Stove Top
- Cuisine: American
Wild Rice Mixture
- 1 cup Wild Rice, rinsed
- 1 cup Long Grain Brown Rice, rinsed
- 2 1/2 cups Water
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
Wild Rice Chicken Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 large Sweet Onion, chopped in large chunks
- 5 large Carrots, peeled and chopped in large chunks
- 5 Celery Stalks, sliced in large chunks
- Kosher Salt and Freshly Group Pepper, to taste
- 6 large Garlic Cloves, chopped
- 4 cups of Organic Chicken Stock (1 quart)
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless, Chicken breasts
- 2 – 14 ounce cans Petite Dice Tomatoes, Fire Roasted (I prefer Muir Glen)
- Cooked Wild Rice from Instant Pot (see above)
- 2 tablespoons Fresh Thyme, chopped
- Add 1 cup wild rice, 1 cup long grain brown rice, 2 1/2 cups of water and 1 teaspoon kosher salt to an instant pot.
- Securely lock the lid and use the [-] button to set 35 minutes of pressure cooking time. Make sure the valve is set to the sealing position.
- When the time is up, use the 10 minute natural pressure release.
Wild Rice Chicken Soup
- Heat a Dutch Oven or large heavy pot over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoons of olive oil. Heat the oil and swirl around the pan.
- Add 1 1/2 cups chopped sweet onion, 5 large carrots (chopped) and 5 stalks of celery (chopped).
- Reduce the heat to medium and cook the veggies until almost tender and the onion is somewhat translucent, 8-10 minutes. Stir frequently.
- Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Add 6 cloves garlic (chopped). Stir for one minute.
- Add 4 cups of organic chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Season again (to taste) with kosher salt and freshly black pepper.
- Add 2 pounds boneless, skinless, chicken breasts to the stock and veggies. Make sure liquid covers the chicken.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
- Remove the chicken breasts from the stock with tongs.
- Cube the chicken into large chunks when cool enough to handle.
- Skim off the white foam and “scum” from the top of the stock with a small metal sieve. Some will still be left in the stock but will disappear once all the other ingredients are added.
- Continue to simmer the vegetables until they are fully tender (5-10 minutes).
- Add two 14 ounces cans of petite diced tomatoes (fire roasted), the wild and brown rice from the instant pot (approx. 4-5 cups), cubed chicken and 2 tablespoons fresh thyme.
- Taste and see if the soup needs more seasoning. Salt and pepper to your taste preference.
- Stir everything together and heat to desired serving temperature.
- You can use the stove-top method to cook the wild and brown rice. 2 cups of mixed wild and brown rice, 3 1/2 cups water, 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Simmer with the lid on for 45 minutes. If the rice is not tender, continue to cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Chicken stock is made from the bony parts of the chicken and is richer and fuller in flavor because of gelatin that is released into the stock from a long-simmering of the bones. You can make your own by using a leftover chicken carcass and add a variety of veggies in your fridge that need to be used up.
- You could use bone-in and skin on, which could contribute to more flavor in the end, but it adds more cooking time.
- You want to gently cook the chicken, not too high, not too fast and not too long. Overcooked chicken is rubbery and tough. Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the internal temperature is 165°F.
- Many times when simmering chicken, it can release on top of the stock a white foam and “scum” which is not scum at all. It is actually denatured protein (like that of egg whites). It can be visually unappealing at this stage but is harmless and flavorless. A good portion can be skimmed from the top with a small wire sieve. By the time the soup is finished though, it’s not even visible.
- Because canned tomatoes are harvested at the peak of tomato season, you get the ripest tomatoes available offseason. Where I live, it’s pretty much impossible to get a locally vine-riped tomato beyond October. Picked green and shipped long distances to my grocery store’s produce section, those tomatoes have now become a flavorless imposter of the real deal. So go for the can on the shelf because it really is healthier.
- Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups
- Calories: 357
- Sugar: 7 g
- Sodium: 1061 mg
- Fat: 5 g
- Saturated Fat: 1 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 2 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 49 g
- Fiber: 6 g
- Protein: 31 g
- Cholesterol: 65 mg
Keywords: wild rice chicken soup, chicken and wild rice soup, wild rice soup with chicken, wild rice and chicken soup