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
- 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!