Chicken Wild Rice Soup is a Minnesota favorite! It's classic ingredients, carrots, onion, celery, wild rice and chicken come together in one creamy, hearty and comforting bowl. It's a nourishing, yet simple soup for a cold winter day!
A Minnesota Classic
When I moved to Minnesota years ago, I noticed a few items in common on every single menu in every single restaurant ~ Walleye and Wild Rice Soup. It's not like I'm from that far away, but just across the border in my home Wisconsin, I'd hardly ever noticed these two Minnesota staples. The locals love them for a reason, they are delicious! I start making this cozy autumn wild rice soup by late September when a big pot of soup is a nice change to summer grilling. But all through the winter, when it's mid January, and this week's warm up to the 30's has everyone excited, a pot of soup is always welcome. I'll save the walleye fry for when my husband brings me home an ice fishing catch.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Wild Rice - A hearty and healthy and native to Minnesota ingredient, the wild rice should be rinsed and cooked in a separate pot, it needs to simmer 45 minutes before adding to the soup.
- Butter and Olive Oil - The fats in this soup serve two purposes so don't skimp on the amount! First, they are needed to saute the vegetables. They later combine with the flour to form a roux which will be the thickener for the soup.
- Onion, Carrots, Celery and Mushrooms - While chicken is the star, this is really a fully-loaded healthy Vegetable wild rice soup! Lots of classic flavors from the onion, celery and carrots, super nutritious too. My family, other than me, isn't a fan of mushrooms, so sometimes I leave them out or use less. Half of an 8oz box is about right, but use as many or as few as you like!
- Salt, Pepper, Garlic and Italian Seasoning- The simplest seasonings! A note on salt; I've used 1 teaspoon of salt when sautéing the vegetables. Keep in mind that you may want to use less depending on how salty your chicken is (store-bought rotisserie chicken can be quite salty), or if you are a big fan of lots of saltine crackers in your soup! You can always add more later but you can't take it out once you put it in.
- Flour - The flour combines with the butter and oil your vegetables are sautéed in to form a roux. You can't really see it, but as your liquid cooks, that roux is what will thicken the soup.
- Chicken - Leftover or rotisserie chicken work great for this recipe. When I'm grilling or roasting chicken for dinner, I often make extra to make the following night a soup night! Leftover Thanksgiving turkey is also a great substitute!
- Chicken Stock, Milk and Cream - These provide the liquid for the soup. The cream is optional, you can make the soup without it, but it makes your soup just a bit richer, creamier and more delicious!
Step 1 - To make this soup, cook the wild rice separately in its own pot while you prepare everything else. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil, rinse the rice and add it to the water. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover and simmer about 45 minutes, taste a bite to see if it's softened. This is what it looks like when it's done and ready to add to the soup.
Step 2 - In a large soup pot, start by sautéing the veggies in butter and olive oil for about 12 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Step 3 - Add the flour, garlic and Italian seasoning and cook another minute. The fat will combine with the flour to form a roux, the thickening agent for the soup.
Step 4 - Add the liquid - chicken stock, milk and cream and give it a good stir. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to LOW, cover and allow to simmer about 30 to 45 minutes. Anytime while the soup is simmering, add the wild rice when it is done, it will thicken your soup even more. Give it an occasional stir.
Step 5 - Enjoy! Garnish with chopped parsley if you like and serve with crackers or crusty bread!
- Thanksgiving Turkey works great in this recipe! - Got leftover turkey? Make Turkey Wild Rice Soup! The turkey is a perfect substitute for the chicken in this recipe, and you can also use homemade turkey stock.
- Make Ahead and Storage Instructions - A big pot of soup is a great meal prep and stores well in the fridge in airtight containers for up to 4 days or in the freezer for 4 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop. Leftovers are great for lunch! Add a bit of water, milk or stock if it is too thick.
- Vegetarian Wild Rice Soup - To keep this soup vegetarian, just omit the chicken and substitute vegetable stock for the chicken stock. The large amount of veggies and nutrient dense wild rice make it a great hearty vegetarian option!
More Favorite Soups!
- Pasta Fagioli Soup
- Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Veggie Beef Chili
- Split Pea Soup with Ham
- Beef Cabbage Soup
Did You Make This Recipe?
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Chicken Wild Rice Soup
- 1 cup wild rice (cooked in 4 c water)
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion chopped (about 1½ cups)
- 3 carrots chopped (about 1 cup)
- 3 ribs celery chopped (about 2 cups)
- 4 ounces cremini mushrooms (optional) sliced or quartered (about 1 cup)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 10 grinds fresh black pepper
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (or any chicken herb blend)
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 cups cooked chicken (leftover or rotisserie) chopped
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups milk (whole milk is best but any will work)
- ½ cup heavy cream (optional-makes soup richer and creamier, but can be made without)
- Cook wild rice separately in a medium pot. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil, rinse the rice and add it to the water. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer about 45 minutes, taste a bite to see if it's softened (follow package instructions).
- Meanwhile, set a large soup pot over medium heat and add butter and oil. Add onion, carrot, celery and mushrooms and season with salt and pepper, saute 12 to 15 minutes or until starting to brown, stirring frequently.
- Add garlic, Italian seasoning, and flour. Cook 1 minute more while stirring to incorporate flour.
- Add the chicken, stock, milk and cream (if using). Whisk to combine, scraping any bits off the bottom.
- Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then lower the heat and simmer on LOW until the soup thickens, about 30 to 45 minutes, give it an occasional stir. (Give your rice a quick stir too!)
- Wild rice can be drained and added to the soup when it's done, anytime while the soup is simmering. Soup can sit on a low burner until ready to eat, it will only get thicker and creamier as it sits! Serve with crackers or crusty bread.
- Leftover Thanksgiving turkey can be used in place of the chicken.
- Before cooking, rinse the wild rice in a strainer under cold water.