Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Cute Girl Loves her Daddy's Soup

Panera makes a good Cream of Chicken Wild Rice Soup, but do you know who makes an even better one?  Andy.  Do you find that food other people make tastes better than if you make it?
I was having a rough week early in my maternity leave, felt cooped up and needed an escape.  Saturday afternoon Andy stayed home with the kids so I could go to Home Depot and drool over the spring plants, do some returns and get groceries.  It's an amazing feeling of freedom to get out of your house without anyone hanging on you, asking to go potty, needing a bottle or a diaper change.
While I was out - Andy made soup.  He had made it early for lunch the following day for after church, but it smelled so amazing we decided to eat it for dinner when I got home.  Bronwyn loved it also - it had rice and chicken, veggies too!  Let's not talk about the sticks (yes plural) of butter.  This is not a low cal dish.  And this is why the left overs sit in our freezer awaiting a day when we need some comfort soup.

Copy-Cat Panera Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

6  cups chicken broth
2  chicken breast halves (cooked, boneless and cubed)
1 (6 ounce) package long grain and wild rice blend, quick cooking version (You will use the seasoning packet.)
1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
3⁄4 cup butter (12 tbsp. or a stick and a half)
1  cup carrot, diced
1  cup celery, diced
1  cup onion, diced
3  cups light cream (can lighten by substituting part or all of the cream with fat-free evaporated milk, or half-and-half)

Open rice, pull out seasoning packet and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine pepper and flour. Set aside.
In a large pot over medium heat, combine broth and chicken. Bring to a boil, then stir in rice. Cover and remove from heat.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add carrots, celery and onion and saute for 5 minutes. Stir in contents of seasoning packet, and continue cooking vegetables until softened, about 5 minutes more. Add seasoned flour gradually while constantly stirring, to form a roux. Saute roux for 3-4 minutes to cook out raw flour taste.
Whisk in cream, a little at a time, until fully incorporated and smooth. Cook until thickened, 5 minutes.
Stir cream mixture into broth and rice. Cook over medium heat until heated through and rice is done, 15-20 minutes.

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