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Author Notes: Soup is the perfect vehicle for those of us who cook without a net; it's a great place to improvise. This particular soup's richness comes from whole milk, chicken stock and a little bit of sharp cheddar instead of heavy cream. The almonds add a surprising crunch and enhance the nuttiness of the wild rice. Sautéing the chicken with ah herb-spice crust also boosts the flavor of the soup, but you can certainly use leftover roast chicken to save time. —Rivertree kitchen
Serves 4 to 6
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into large strips (or chicken tenders)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning blend
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- 3 tablespoons flour, divided
- 5-6 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups cooked wild rice
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup grated sharp cheddar
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- Season the chicken pieces well with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Sauté in a stockpot with the oil over medium-high heat until they're well browned and just cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Remove the chicken and set aside.
- Add 2 tbs. of the butter to the pan. Add the onion, carrot, bell pepper, and garlic; sauté for 5 to 7 minutes until the veggies are softened.
- Add 2 tbs. of the flour and stir until incorporated; cook for 2 minutes. Stir in 5 cups of the stock. Add the wild rice and simmer for 15 minutes or so.
- Meanwhile, melt the remaining 1 tbs. butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the remaining tbs. flour and cook for 2 minutes. While the flour cooks, heat the milk in the microwave until it’s warm, about 1 minute. Whisk the warm milk into the flour-butter roux and cook until it’s smooth and thickened. Whisk in the cheddar until it’s melted into the milk. Stir the cheesy sauce into the soup and heat through.
- Shred the cooked chicken and add along with the almonds just before serving. Add extra chicken stock if the soup is too thick. This soup freezes very well.
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