This cream of chicken & wild rice soup is a comforting dish that brings together the rich flavors of tender chicken and chunky vegetables with rice in a velvety cream-based broth in a meal that's sure to please the whole family!
I loved it when my mom cooked up a pot of chicken and rice soup. It was a comforting lunchtime meal, and with a loaf of hot French bread and a salad, it makes a perfect dinnertime entree as well.
Mom used white rice in her recipe, but I prefer Rice-a-Roni's wild rice with seasonings in mine. Rice-a-Roni has been around since 1958 and was frequently used in mid-century recipes. If you're in a time crunch you can toss in the boxed version. But if you'd like to try an easy and delicious homemade version, try my fellow blogger Staci's copycat recipe called Simple Wild Rice Blend.
The Two Step Process For Making Soup
This soup is easy to make, and I make it in two steps:
- Cook the chicken in a pot with seasonings to make a broth. The chicken will absorb the flavor of the seasonings as it cooks and tenderizes. You can reserve the broth and use it later to thin out the chicken and rice soup if necessary.
- Prepare the cream of chicken and rice soup, adding the cooked chicken toward the end of the process.
I put the chicken on to cook first, then as it's cooking I start making the cream of chicken soup.
Ingredients for Cream of Chicken & Wild Rice Soup
A Note About Cooking the Chicken
- When cooking the chicken breast, I just cut the celery and carrots into 2 or 3 pieces. I put the parsley in whole, and a ¼ of an onion in one piece. They don't have to be chopped up because they are there to add flavor, not to eat. Even if you use the broth later, you will strain these items out of it. With no chopping involved in this step, preparation is quick and easy!
The chicken will simmer for 10 -30 minutes, depending on the size of your pieces. It's ready when the temperature reaches 165 degrees and there's no pink in the middle, and you can pull it apart easily using two forks:
Tips for Perfect Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
- To chop the vegetables in this recipe quickly, I always use a Vidalia Chop Wizard. It's my very favorite, can't live-without kitchen gadget. It saves so much time, it's safer than using a knife, and everything you chop comes out uniform in size and shape. I use the smaller sized dice for the carrots and celery, and the larger sized dice for the onion.
- Cook the cream soup low and slow in a covered pot. Stir it frequently, as it has a tendency to stick to the bottom of the pot if left unattended for too long.
- If you can, make it a day ahead to give the flavors a chance to really settle in. As with most soups and stews, it's delicious on the first night and even better on the second!
- Reserve and refrigerate the broth you cooked the chicken in. Cream soups have a tendency to thicken after they've cooled or been refrigerated, and adding a scoop or two of the broth rather than plain water or milk will help retain the original flavor.
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Cream of Chicken & Wild Rice Soup
Step 1 Ingredients
- 1.5 lbs chicken breasts
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 stalk celery
- 1 carrot
- ¼ yellow onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 bay Leaf
Step 2 Ingredients
- 2 carrots diced
- 2 celery sticks diced
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 32 oz chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups milk divided
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 4.3 oz box of Rice-a-Roni long grain and wild rice
Step 1: Prepare chicken
- Put chicken in a large saucepan and add 1.5 quarts water; it should be enough to cover the chicken by at least 1 inch. Add remaining ingredients in step 1. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook for 15-30 minutes. Chicken is done when it is tender, 165 degrees and not pink in the center.
- Remove chicken from pot, discard vegetables and reserve broth in case it's needed in the future to thin the cream of chicken and wild rice soup. Shred the chicken into bite sized chunks. Cover and set aside until needed.
Step 2: Prepare Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
- While chicken is cooking, put olive oil in a 4 quart stock pot and add diced carrots, celery and onion. Bring to a low simmer over medium heat and cook for 8-10 minutes, until vegetables begin to soften and onion is translucent.
- Stir in garlic, chicken broth, water, and 1 cup of milk.
- Mix in bay leaf, oregano and black pepper. Bring mixture to a simmer and continue simmering for 15 minutes.
- Whisk flour into remaining cup of milk until completely smooth. Once you're sure there are no lumps in the mixture, pour it into the soup and stir to thoroughly incorporate.
- Add the box of long grain & wild rice to the soup, including the seasoning packet. Stir until combined.
- Add in the shredded chicken. Simmer for 25-30 minutes until rice is tender.
- Remove bay leaf and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- If you like more rice in your soup, you can add 2 boxes of Rice-a-Roni. Test the flavor of the broth after you add one seasoning packet to determine whether you want the additional seasoning of the second packet.
- Be sure to stir the cream of chicken and rice soup frequently, as it can get stuck to the bottom of your pan.
- Store in pot with lid on it or in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Soup will thicken in the refrigerator; you can thin it out with your reserved broth, water or milk.
- You can freeze it in an airtight freezer container for up to 2 months, but the creamy soup might break down upon reheating from the freezer. Reheat very slowly over a low heat, and whisk to return it to proper consistency.