Stovetop Chicken and Mushroom Wild Rice Soup

chicken and mushroom wild rice soup with a piece of crusty bread, in a white bowl

It’s November! And it’s finally crisp and chilly on the Outer Banks! Time for soup, ya’ll! I had a beautiful inspiration for this recipe today:

shitake mushroom the size of my hand
my homegrown “wild” mushroom

I know. Some of you are like, “So?”. But, this mushroom actually grew on a special log my parents brought back from the farmer’s market in Raleigh in May. It’s a mushroom-growing log! Joey set it in a shady spot like the instructions said, tucked behind a bush, next to our front door and we’ve been peeking at it for 6 months, willing it to sprout ‘shrooms. A week ago, this little baby popped up and it was perfect timing because we were headed for a week of rainy, cloudy weather. 7 days later, boom- it was the size of my hand. So, I popped it off the log today and got to work on writing a recipe for Chicken and Mushroom Wild Rice Soup.

chicken and mushroom wild rice soup with a piece of crusty bread, in a white bowl

Truth: Joey and I had weird feelings about eating something that we witnessed appear as fungus on another thing. We both like mushrooms and know this is how nature works, it was just… weird. I addressed those feelings with bacon fat in the prep for this soup and guess what? Delicious fungus.

mushrooms browned in bacon fat on a white plate

I hope you enjoy!

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Stovetop Chicken and Mushroom Wild Rice Soup

chicken and mushroom wild rice soup with a piece of crusty bread, in a white bowl

A recipe for hearty, creamy wild rice soup with all the goods: chicken, mushrooms, bacon, and leeks.

  • Author: Megan
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: soup
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 bone-in, skin on chicken breasts
  • ½ lb (about 8 slices) of bacon, chopped
  • 4 oz mushrooms (any kind), sliced thin
  • 4 T butter, divided
  • 1 large leek, cleaned well (see note), sliced in half lengthwise, then sliced ¼” thick
  • 2 ribs of celery, diced in ¼” pieces
  • 1 large carrot, diced in 1/4” pieces
  • 1 large or 2 small parsnips, diced in ¼” pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 C chicken stock
  • 1/2 C wild rice, rinsed
  • 1 T Italian herb seasoning
  • 2 chicken boullion cubes
  • 1 C Half & half
  • 2 T sherry

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high, heat, season chicken breasts generously with salt and pepper, and add them to the pot skin-side down.
  2. Sear chicken breasts until you can lift them up with no resistance – about 5 minutes. Turn the chicken breasts over and sear on the other side for another 4-5 minutes. Remove from the pot and set aside on a plate.
  3. Lower the heat to medium and add chopped bacon to the pot. Cook, stirring until crispy. Once crisp, remove bacon from pot with a slotted spoon and set aside on a paper towel-lined plate.
  4. Increase heat to high, add the mushrooms and stir them quickly to coat them in the oil and bacon fat. Spread them into a single layer and don’t touch for 5-6 minutes, until brown. Stir around and flip them over to brown on the other side. Remove mushrooms from the pot to the plate with the bacon.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium and melt 2 T of butter in the pot. Add the leek and a pinch of salt, saute for 5-6 minutes until tender.
  6. Add the carrots, parsnips, and celery to the pot with a pinch of salt and pepper and cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. (add a smidge more butter or oil here if the pot is too dry)
  7. Add the garlic to the pan and cook, stirring for about 30 seconds.
  8. Stir in the wild rice, chicken stock, Italian seasoning, and bullion cubes. Return the chicken, most of the bacon (save some for garnish), and the mushrooms to the pot. Cover and simmer until chicken is done, about 40 minutes. The safest way to tell is to take the temperature – it should be 160.
  9. Remove the chicken to a plate to cool and taste the rice. If it is not tender yet, cover the pot again and continue cooking until tender. Meanwhile, remove the skin and bones from the chicken and discard. Shred the chicken into bite-size pieces.
  10. When the rice is tender, add the shredded chicken, the sherry, and the half and half to the pot and stir to warm through. Serve, garnished with remaining chopped bacon. (Some crusty bread along side is also great!)

Notes

  • To clean a leek really well, slice it lengthwise down the middle, then slice it rounds across, and transfer it to a salad spinner. Fill the salad spinner with water and really swish the leeks around in there with your hands, separating all the pieces and letting the sand and grit fall to the bottom. Repeat that one more time, drain, and spin dry.
  • I forgot to include the reserved bacon garnish in my picture! Dang it.

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