This soup is perfect for chilly weather! A Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup, with butternut squash and kale, makes a perfect fall combo.
*Today I’m partnering with Sharp Home USA ~ Sharp creates quality home appliances that make life easier!
A Fall Inspired Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
You’ll adore this cozy and comforting Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup!
Soup season is my favorite. There are so many great combinations you can throw into your soup pot, and it’s easy to make a meal to feed your family dinner with several lunches left over.
Plus, you can pack in lots of veggies! This soup uses one of my favorite pseudo-grains, wild rice, along with sweet butternut squash, to give it an earthy flavor and lots of interested texture. I also add shredded Lacinato kale, one of my favorite greens for soup. It retains it’s texture and doesn’t break down in soups, so the leftovers are just as good as the soup is on day 1.
If you have some wild rice you need to use up, this soup is amazing — but you can also try this wild rice pilaf!
You’ll love this healthy chicken soup because:
- It’s easy to make. I use a pre-roasted chicken, and buy butternut squash that’s already peeled and cubed — so chopping the garlic and shallots and shredding the kale is bulk of the hard work.
- Wild rice, actually the seed of a grass and not rice at all, is high magnesium and zinc, two nutrients important for a strong immune system. Perfect for cold and flu season!
- I use a pastured (grass-fed) heavy whipping cream. While many of my soups are dairy free, I’ve started using pastured heavy whipping cream because it’s DELICIOUS, almost lactose free, and also higher in CLAs than conventional dairy and has an ideal omega 3 to omega 6 ratio. Don’t rule out all dairy unless you have a need to! It’s okay to enjoy some dairy products in moderation.
- Kale, butternut squash, and herbs like sage, rosemary, and thyme, scream comforting fall flavors!
What you’ll Need for this Fall Soup:
- Avocado Oil
- Shallots (or use a yellow onion)
- Herbs (I love to use fresh sage, thyme, and rosemary. Dried is fine too!)
- Chicken Broth (an organic carton is fine, homemade is the best!)
- Wild Rice (order online if you can’t find it in your store!)
- Butternut Squash (many stores, like Costco and Trader Joes sell it pre chopped!)
- A Roasted Chicken (remove the meat from the bones)
- Lacinato Kale
The Luxury of Perfectly Calibrated Cooking
A few years ago, I received my first Sharp Induction Cooktop. I had never cooked on induction before, and it has changed my view on kitchen appliances!
If you’re still thinking gas ranges are best, it’s probably because you haven’t had the luxury of an induction cooktop.
One of my favorite features is the perfectly calibrated settings. I know exactly how long and on what setting to cook my eggs perfectly every time, and when I set a soup to simmer, I know it will stay at a perfect simmer for as long as I need it to.
This Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup simmers for 40 minutes so the rice and butternut squash soften perfectly. Once the soup is up to a low boil, I set the burner on “4” and use the built-in timer to set it to cook for 40 minutes. If I get busy, it doesn’t matter. The burner will turn off and when I come to check on the soup, it will be ready for me to turn on and finish.
The simmer enhancer feature (which sends slow pulses of heat through the cook wear) prevents burning when cooking with milk or cream, so it’s perfect for keeping a creamy soup warm without scalding.
Hop on over to Sharp’s website to see if the Induction Cooktops are the right fit for your dream kitchen!
How to Make Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
Step 1: In a large soup pot or dutch oven, add avocado oil, garlic and shallots. Saute at setting 5 (medium heat) for 7-10 minutes, until softened.
Step 2: Add the herbs, wild rice, butternut squash, and chicken broth to the pot. Bring to a boil, then set the Sharp Induction Cooktop to setting 4 (medium low heat), and then set the timer for 40 minutes. Cover the pot and allow to simmer.
Step 3: Season the soup with salt and pepper. I also like to use a powdered vegetable bouillon to add more flavor to soup broths when using a cartoned chicken stock. Add the shredded chicken and kale, and continue to simmer for about 10 minutes.
Step 4: Add the pastured heavy whipping cream, and stir in while bringing the soup back up to temperature. Remove soup from heat and serve.
HOW TO ROAST A CHICKEN AND MAKE HOMEMADE CHICKEN BROTH
This recipe calls for cartons of organic chicken stock and a pre-cooked chicken from the store. These are great time savers and make a delicious soup!
If you happen to have a whole chicken or would like to make this soup more nutritious with a homemade stock, it adds to the flavor and makes this chicken and wild rice soup even better!
First, defrost a chicken, and prepare it by rubbing it down with lots of salt and pepper. Bake the chicken covered with foil, and bake it for about an hour. Chicken need to cook to an internal temperature of 165º F. If your chicken is large or small, the baking time will vary. Read this post on a simple roasted chicken.
Once your chicken is baked and has cooled, you can pull all the meat off the bones. Place what’s left of the chicken in a large stock pot, and fill it with water. Boil the chicken carcass for 2-3 hours at a low simmer.
If you’d like to have an even more flavorful broth, you can follow this recipe for how to make chicken stock with some vegetables and herbs. However, with all the additional flavors in this soup, it’s really not necessary.
Tips and Variations
Make this Soup Gluten Free: This soup is naturally gluten free. While wild rice is similar to a grain, it is actually a grass and one of the most nutritious options.
Make this Soup Dairy Free: If you need this soup to be dairy free, follow the instructions for making a cauliflower cashew cream sauce in this Whole30 Zuppa Toscana recipe. Add the cauliflower-cashew cream in the last step in place of the heavy whipping cream.
Does this Soup Freeze Well?: Yes it does! I prefer to leave the kale out of the soup and add that back in after defrosting and reheating the soup.
What are other vegetable options for Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup?: If you don’t have butternut squash and kale on hand, you can also add celery and carrots in place of the squash. Instead of kale, try chopped broccoli, zucchini, or cauliflower.
Can I use leftover chicken or turkey? Yes! This makes a great leftover turkey recipe after the holidays. Use an equal amount of shredded turkey in place of the chicken.
Other Healthy Creamy Chicken Soup Recipes:
- Tom Kha Gai (creamy Thai Coconut Chicken Soup)
- Whole30 Zuppa Toscana (I use chicken sausage)
- Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup (dairy free using a cauliflower-cashew base)
Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 shallot peeled and finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 quarts chicken stock
- 1 1/2 pounds butternut squash peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 cup wild rice uncooked
- 1/4 cup fresh herbs (sage, thyme, rosemary), finely chopped
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken shredded, from a pre-cooked whole chicken
- 3 cups Lacinato kale shredded
- 2/3 cup pastured heavy whipping cream
- sea salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- In a large soup pot or dutch oven, add avocado oil, garlic and shallots. Saute at setting 5 (medium heat) for 7-10 minutes, until softened.
- Add the herbs, wild rice, butternut squash, and chicken broth to the pot. Bring to a boil, then set the Sharp Induction Cooktop to setting 4 (medium low heat), and then set the timer for 40 minutes. Cover the pot and allow to simmer.
- Season the soup with salt and pepper. I also like to use a powdered vegetable bouillon to add more flavor to soup broths when using a cartoned chicken stock. Add the shredded chicken and kale, and continue to simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Add the pastured heavy whipping cream, and stir in while bringing the soup back up to temperature. Remove soup from heat and serve.