Is there ever a bad occasion for chicken soup? It’s great when you’re sick, when you’re healthy, when you’ve had a little too much wine at a wedding the night before (ahem…I plead the fifth), when you’re cold, when you’re a kid, and when you’re an adult. I don’t think there is another meal as soul-satisfying, easy to make, and simple as chicken soup.
I must really love chicken soup of all kinds, because this is the
third fourth version I’ve posted on this blog (Easy chicken soup with lemon and dill, Avgolemono, and Smoky chicken tortilla soup). This version with wild rice is really, really tasty- it has all the classic tastes of traditional chicken soup with a bit of an earthy, nutty flavor from the wild rice.
Fun fact: did you know that wild rice is actually a seed, not a grain? And that it contains as much protein as quinoa? And it has a lot of fiber? It’s a great, healthy thing to keep in your pantry (and if you have extra, you should make wild rice casserole).
Whenever I make soup, I make a huge batch and freeze half of it. Sometimes, I forget about the things in my freezer. Often, I’ll go through my freezer and make an exciting discovery, and do a quick celebratory dance around my kitchen. It was no exception with this soup- even though I made it only a couple of weeks ago, I was really psyched to realize that I had it ready to go. Just run some warm water over the container you freeze it in to dislodge it, then pop the frozen soup right into a pot and heat up on the stove. So easy!
I’m going to make a plug for you to get a slow cooker right now if you don’t have one. It’s a busy person’s best friend, and in my opinion, it’s the best way to cook a whole chicken (not to mention countless other things). A whole chicken is cheaper by the pound than buying cut up chicken pieces and you can get so much more out of it. A couple of weeks ago, I threw a whole chicken in a slow cooker with some salt, pepper, and a little bit of water, and came home from work to an entire cooked chicken and some chicken stock. I made chicken pot pie with half the meat. THEN, I put the carcass back in to the slow cooker, added water and some celery/carrot/onion scraps, and made chicken stock. THEN, I made this soup with the other half of the meat and the stock.
This may seem like a lot of work, but it’s not. While using a slow cooker does take some foresight and planning, it takes hardly any extra hands-on time, making it really great for busy people who are on a budget (like me)!
Speaking of slow cookers, you can make this soup on the stovetop OR in the slow cooker (see notes in recipe below for instructions).
You can also make this soup with any pre-cooked chicken you want, and store-bought stock, to make it extra quick and easy. Enjoy!