I’m weird about my creamy soups. I like creamy soups, but I don’t like when they’re so creamy that I feel like I’m eating some type of cream-of-whatever soup situation straight out of a can. Please tell me you know what I’m talking about. It leaves that weird feeling on your tongue like you just chugged a pint of heavy cream?
There’s a balance to be struck between brothy and creamy.
The other thing I love about this soup is that along with being on the lighter creamier side of things, it’s also healthier than I thought it’d be when I was making it. We got 8 servings out of it and when I plugged the recipe into a nutrition calculator, it only has about 250 calories a serving. Plus about 17 grams of protein!
Sometimes I miss being a vegetarian. Other times (when I can eat 17 grams of protein in one bowl of soup), I don’t. Having said that, you could easily make a vegetarian AND a vegan version of this soup (which I totally plan to do this Winter) by doing the following:
- For vegetarian soup, sub in cooked white beans for the chicken, adding them near the end
- For vegan soup, sub in the cooked white beans for the chicken and omit the creamy milk mixture altogether
I made this soup for our trip to the mountains for the Christmas holiday. While it definitely wasn’t the star of any show (it didn’t stand a chance next to my dad’s prime rib), it was warm and cozy and the perfect post-sledding snack.
Speaking of which, if you’re at all interested in seeing how beautiful central Oregon is, take a peek 🙂
And yes, I definitely took more than one nap in that glorious oversized armchair.
- 1 yellow onion
- 4 carrots
- 5 stalks celery
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound whole chicken breasts (about 2)
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 3 cups water
- 1¼ cup wild rice
- 2 whole bay leaves
- 1 lemon
- handful fresh dill
- handful fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 2 cups 2% milk
- salt & pepper, to taste
- Dice the onion, carrot, celery, and mince the garlic. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the veggies and cook for 6-8 minutes or until onion is translucent, stirring occasionally.
- Add the whole chicken breasts directly to the pot, followed by the stock, water, wild rice, bay leaves, and a few cranks of black pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 25-30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees F. Remove the chicken from the pot but continue to simmer the soup for another 15-20 minutes or until rice is fully cooked. In the meantime, chop the chicken into bite sized chunks and set aside. Finely chop the herbs and the zest from half the lemon.
- When the soup is almost done simmering, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour to the hot butter and cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly. Slowly whisk in the milk and continue to cook, whisking frequently until the mixture begins to bubble and thicken. Pour the cream mixture into the soup, along with the chicken, herbs, lemon zest, salt, pepper, and juice from half the lemon. Taste and adjust the seasonings, to taste.