Friday, October 26, 2012

Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice Soup with Caramelized Onions

I love curling up with a nice hot bowl of soup when the weather gets cold. It's the end of October in Chicago, so it should be soup weather, but somehow it was 70 degrees all week after I made this soup.

Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice soup is one of my favorite soups of all time. It's also pretty bad for you, especially when you get it at a restaurant or store. Luckily, the slow cooker makes this soup especially easy to prepare, and when you make it at home you can control the salt content and load it up with whatever veggies you like! I also opted to thicken it by mixing flour into evaporated milk instead of adding heavy cream in a feeble attempt to reduce calories.

For a couple of days I considered making caramelized onions the base of the soup but I could not convince the boyfriend to see the genius behind that idea. I thought "they're sweet and very rich-tasting, perfect for a creamy, comforting bowl of soup," but he was worried that it would end up tasting like a strange french-onion/wild rice hybrid. Fine, whatever. I am very stubborn, but occasionally willing to compromise, so I decided to make caramelized onions and add them as a garnish.


Olive Oil
1 Large Onion, chopped
5-6 Stalks of Celery, Chopped
5-6 Carrots, Peeled and Chopped
3 Large Chicken Breasts, Chopped
1 Cup Uncooked Wild Rice
6-8 Cups Chicken Broth
1 1/2 tsp Marjoram (or 1 tsp Oregano + 1/2 tsp dried mint leaves + 1/4 tsp orange peel)
1 Can Evaporated Milk
1/4 Cup Flour


Heat oil in a large pan.

When oil ripples add onion and cook until just tender.  

Add onion, celery, carrots, chicken, rice, broth, salt, and pepper to slow cooker. 

Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or until chicken is cooked and vegetables are tender.  If you don't want creamy soup, this is a delicious chicken and rice soup, as is!

Whisk flour into evaporated milk and stir into soup. Add Marjoram. Heat until soup thickens to desired consistency.

Caramelized Onions
3-4 Large onions, sliced
Olive oil

Coat a large, flat-bottomed skillet with olive oil and heat on low until oil ripples. Add onions and stir to coat in oil.

Cook, stirring occasionally for 40-50 minutes, or until onions are soft and caramelized. 

 Since I'm using onions as a garnish I decided to cook them a little bit longer to add a different texture to the soup.


Slow Cooker Safety Tips:

When starting with raw meat, use extra care not to lift the lid and be sure to cook meat thoroughly (especially poultry, cook to 165 degrees). Slow cookers work by trapping heat and creating a moisture seal, so every time you lift the lid heat escapes and the seal is broken. It may not seem like a lot, but it takes about an hour for the slow cooker to recover from the trauma of premature lid lifting. 

I recommend not using an extension cord with a slow cooker but if you absolutely MUST, make sure it is the same electrical rating as your slow cooker to ensure that the cooker heats and maintains temperature properly. Also, be sure the cord is not obstructing any path that you or a pet may take. 

Stay safe out there kids!

No comments: