Southwest Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

I first encountered a version of Southwest Chicken and Wild Rice Soup during my winter cookbook perusing. I found Alex Snodgrass’s The Comfortable Kitchen at our public library and was immediately drawn in by her beautiful photos and approachable recipes. I wanted to make her Creamy Cajun Chicken and Wild Rice soup, but I didn’t have all the ingredients she listed. So I substituted the foods I had in the house for the things I did not, and I also switched out anything dairy-free for the real thing. All of my tasters loved my version, and I did too!

As always, ingredient quality makes all the difference for flavor. We used our organic vegetables and local, pasture-raised chicken from Kniman Farms. Since this recipe calls for cooked chicken, I roasted an entire chicken, set aside what I needed for this recipe, then froze the rest of the meat. I also used the bones for homemade chicken stock

Our family like to pair this soup with a crusty bread (like sourdough from House of Rufus!) or top with croutons. Enjoy!

Southwest Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

photo by Evalena Voss

Southwest Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Soup
Keyword: soup, Southwest, wild rice
Servings: 6 people


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup onion diced
  • 1 cup bell pepper diced
  • 1 cup celery or celeriac diced
  • 1 large garlic clove minced
  • 2 tsp kosher salt or more to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley minced
  • 1 Tbsp Southwest seasoning
  • black pepper freshly ground
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3/4 cup uncooked wild rice rinsed
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 cups cooked chicken chopped
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice


  • In large Dutch oven or soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add chopped onion, celeriac, and pepper. Saute 8-10 minutes, until veggies are fragrant and tender. Add garlic and 1 tsp kosher salt. Saute 1-2 minutes more.
  • Add parsley, Southwest seasoning, and black pepper. Saute 1-2 minutes more, until spices are fragrant.
  • Deglaze pot with 1 cup chicken stock. Add 3 cups chicken stock, 8 cups water, and 2 bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Add 3/4 cup uncooked wild rice, cover, and cook until rice is tender, around 45-50 minutes.
  • When rice is finished cooking, whisk together heavy cream or half and half with cornstarch until cornstarch has dissolved. Slowly pour cream mixture into soup, stirring constantly.
  • Stir in the cooked chicken. Cook on low heat, uncovered and simmering, for 5-10 minutes more, until soup is thickened, stirring often. Stir in the lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasonings. Discard bay leaves. Top with croutons and enjoy!


You can add additional herbs like thyme, rosemary, and oregano for even more flavor.

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