This wild rice soup brings together the goodness of wild rice, fresh mushrooms, and tender pieces of chicken in a savory stock.
A mystique surrounds wild rice in part because of its intimate place in the culture of native Americans living within its habitats.
Envisioning canoes being carefully poled through rice beds as part of the traditional harvest adds to our perception of its exotic quality.
As you experience the romance of fine soup making, may it warm you like gentle sunshine in early spring...
1 tablespoon + 1 tablespoon olive oil
1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 celery ribs, washed and sliced
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, rinsed and sliced
8 cups chicken stock, homemade preferred (chicken stock recipe)
1 cup long grain and wild rice, uncooked
Freshly ground black pepper
Chives for garnish
1. In a Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil until shimmering.
2. Cook: Add chicken and 1 teaspoon salt; cook over medium heat for 6-8 minutes or until no longer pink. Remove from pan and set aside.
3. Sauté: Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the warm pan. Add celery, onions, and mushrooms; sauté 4-6 minutes or until onions are tender. Stir occasionally.
4. Add: Return chicken to Dutch oven. Add chicken stock and rice.
5. Simmer: Bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer for 60 minutes.
6. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
7. Garnish: Ladle your delicious wild rice soup into bowls and garnish with chives.
Wild rice is a beautiful aquatic plant that thrives in shallow lakes and along the borders of slow-moving streams, especially in certain areas of North America.
The wild rice region did more than just aid the survival of those living there, it also helped them thrive.
Historical records describe the native Americans in the Upper Mississippi region as physically superior in appearance, an indication of being well-nourished.
They were also said to be a peaceful people, more than likely another reflection of living within the haven of the wild rice habitats.
As blessed as sighs of gentle joy -- so too is simmering soup...
Jenks, Albert Ernest. The Wild Rice Gatherers of the Upper Lakes A Study in American Primitive Economics. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1901. Document. Available at: http://www.worldcat.org/title/wild-rice-gatherers-of-the-upper-lakes-a-study-in-american-primitive-economics/oclc/5340437
Smith, Charlene L., and Howard J. Vogel. "The Wild Rice Mystique: Resource Management and American Indians' Rights As A Problem of Law and Culture." William Mitchell Law Review 10, no. 4 (1984). Available at: http://open.wmitchell.edu/wmlr/vol10/iss4/6
Traill, Catherine Parr. The Backwoods of Canada: being letters from the wife of an emigrant officer. London, 1836.