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3.21.14 Smoked Chicken, Kale, and Wild Rice Soup

3.21.14 Smoked Chicken, Kale, and Wild Rice Soup

I know it’s almost spring and all, and that the weather today is supposed to be practically ridiculous (a high of 56? Amazing!), but for some odd reason, I’m craving soup. And not the sort of lovely, light, springy soup that should accompany beautiful, near sixty degree weather, but a big, hearty bowl of soup. Preferably accompanied by a huge chunk of crusty bread for dipping. It’s strange, but what can you do? When you have a craving, there’s usually nothing to be done but give in and go for it. So guess what? I’m making soup.

Now don’t worry. I’m not going to go as far as making a chili or a stew or something crazy wintery like that. But some smoked chicken? Sure. Caramelized onions? Yes please. Wild rice? Oh, most definitely. And of course, this being practically spring and all, we should probably throw in some greens. Okay, so they’re hearty winter greens, but greens nonetheless. All told, this is one tasty soup that will definitely fulfill my soup craving.

And so, while you may think I’m silly, enjoying a big bowl of soup on a warm springy day, let’s be honest, when the temp dips back down into the 30’s tomorrow, you’re probably going to be craving a big bowl of soup too. Luckily, I’ve already got just the recipe for you here. It’s marvelous. And what with the unpredictability of spring weather, it’s always good to have a nice, hearty soup recipe in your back pocket for when that freak spring snowstorm or cold front rolls in. You’re welcome.


Smoked Chicken, Kale, and Wild Rice Soup

Serves 4-6

If you can’t get your hands on some smoked chicken (Nueske’s makes a good one), just sub in some regular cooked chicken. Of course, in that case, if you still want that nice smoky flavor, you should probably saute in some chopped bacon when you add the mushrooms.

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup thinly sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme (or ½ tsp dried thyme)
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4-5 oz chopped kale
  • 6 oz smoked chicken, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 ½ cups cooked wild rice*
  • salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat the olive oil in a pot over medium heat, then add the onions and ¼ tsp salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium-low heat until the onions are beginning to caramelize, about 20-25 minutes.

2. Add the mushrooms and thyme, and continue to cook for about 3-4 minutes.

3. Add the chicken stock and balsamic vinegar and bring to a boil.

4. Stir in the kale, chicken, and wild rice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

*To cook wild rice, combine ½ cup dried rice with 1 ½ cups broth or water and ½ tsp salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered until rice is tender, about 45 minutes. Yes, that’s a long time, but totally worth it. If you don’t already have rice made, you can start the rice and let it cook while you caramelize your onions and make the soup, then just stir the warm rice in at the end.

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