Monday, March 26, 2012

Wild Rice Soup

I live in Georgia.

My best friend lives in California.

No, it wasn't always that way- we grew up together in Northern MN.

We have had a lot of Skype dates in our time. (Skype is an online video chat service) We have introduced our spouses and fur babies (they have three cats, we have our furry walrus) via our video chats. We have shared ups and downs, tears, laughter and pure silliness together, in real time even though we are 2,521 miles apart.

We have had many a dinner date this way as well. In recent history, Alan has been stuck on a cheesy wild rice soup. He insisted I make it and share a bowl with him one night via skype.

So, he sent me the recipe. I of course, had to make it my own.... It was scrumptious! I asked Jon's opinion, but he was too busy trying to get every last drop out of his bowl to give me a response. :)

I used a country brown rice blend from Whole Foods Market. It had brown rice, wild rice, a black rice of some sort, and a few other rices.


If you have a whole foods market within um, anywhere of you. Go. Bring your cooler. Fill it up with all the amazing finds you are bound to acquire. I found Gluten Free waffles by Van's. (My oh my, the blueberry flavor- out of this world) gluten free panko bread crumbs, some fun gluten free flours by Bob's Red Mill, Tinkyada vegetable spiral pasta, Synders Gluten Free pretzels, quinoa, and some fun cheese samples from around the world.

A note about the waffles and the pretzels. These two products are made by companies who have perfected the wheat based versions. Snyders does pretzels right- all the time, and the gluten free version is no exception. Same goes for Van's. They make frozen waffles and french toast sticks they way they should be done. That care and dedication shines through with the gluten free version as well.

Tangent over. Back to the soup.

I made the soup. It was a hit, and the leftovers were divine. Shout out to my best friend for the great recipe idea!

I am so excited to tell you that in 14 1/2 days I get to share a meal with my best friend. In person. I look forward to our adventures!

Here's to you and your culinary adventures, friends. Cheers!

Cheesy Wild Rice Soup

1 cup wild rice blend or country brown rice blend*
1 cup water
1 cup chicken broth
season with garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and adobo seasoning to taste

1 tsp olive oil
2 chicken breasts, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 large carrots, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dry Italian herbs
1/2 cup milk
2-3 cups chicken broth
6 oz velvetta cheese
1/2 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese
2 TBS corn starch

Prepare the rice first. 

Simmer the rice blend in water, broth, and seasoning for 50 minutes, covered.

In a large pot, add the oil. Saute the chicken until no longer pink. Remove from pot. Add veggies. Saute until slightly softened. Return the chicken to the pot. Add cooked rice.

Add herbs, milk, broth, and cheese.  Bring to a simmer. 

Mix the corn starch with a little cold water to make a thin, running paste. Stir into the simmering soup. Allow to thicken to desired consistency. If the soup becomes too thick, simply add additional broth to thin.

*The rice blend I used called for 1 cup dry rice and two cups liquid. Follow your rice blend directions to fully cook the rice.

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