Mushroom and Chicken Soup
The holiday season is damn near upon us and I probably don’t have to tell you that that means eating. Lots of it.
While I’m normally not one for diets, I do try to gear up for the holidays (especially Thanksgiving) by eating healthier than normal for a week or two leading up. For me this normally takes the shape of lots of soups and salads so I was very happy when you all picked a soup in the poll last week.
This Mushroom Chicken Soup is like a chicken soup, but with the flavors cranked up to 11. Instead of egg noodles, I used wild rice which gives it a really nutty flavor, but a huge chunk of exotic mushrooms that make the soup really savory and wonderful.
It’s healthy, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t the bomb.
1) Boil wild rice until it’s cooked, but still has a slight bite to it. Don’t cook the rice in the stock for your soup because it’ll make the stock black!
2) Shred leftover chicken or simmer a chicken breast in simmering water for 15 minutes until chicken is just cooked. Then remove and shred.
3) Meanwhile, slice mushrooms and dice other veggies. For mushrooms, I like a mix of shiitake, oyster, and cremini mushrooms.
4) In a large pot add olive oil followed by sliced mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Cook until mushrooms release their liquid and are lightly browned, about 6-7 minutes.
5) Add diced onions, carrots, and red peppers and continue to cook until veggies are softened, another 4-5 minutes.
6) Add garlic and thyme and cook for 30 seconds. Then add stock, cooked rice, and shredded chicken. Simmer for 5 minutes, partially covered. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve soup with fresh parsley as a garnish.
Mushroom Chicken Soup
Rice Gone Wild
I really love wild rice, but it can be sort of annoying because it takes like 45 minutes to cook. I don’t really know how to get around this. You could use white rice for this recipe, but I feel like that’s an entirely different recipe.
Luckily, this Mushroom Chicken Soup takes about 45 minutes to make start to finish so you can start your rice first thing and then add it in at the end and you’ll be all set.
One very important note: Do cook your rice separately. I recommend boiling it in a medium pot with a lot of water. This will help it cook faster and also you’ll notice that the rice turns the water a dank, black color. This would NOT be appealing if you turned your soup this color which is why I recommend cooking the rice in a separate pot.
After it is cooked (taste it regularly to make sure it doesn’t get mushy), just drain it and set it aside until you need it for the soup.
Making a good soup isn’t all that complicated. If you can, use homemade stock for the base, but if you are using store-bought stock it helps to simmer the stock with a cup or two of water, an onion, a few stalks of celery, a carrot, and a few cloves of garlic. Just those basics will improve the flavor of the stock.
Meanwhile, you’ll need to dice some veggies that will go in the finished soup. Take your time on these, but not need to be totally anal.
If you have some leftover chicken from another meal, all the better. You can shred a few cups of it and use it in the soup, but if you need to cook some chicken just add it to your stock while it simmers with the aromatics or cook it separately in a small pot of simmering water for about 15 minutes until it’s cooked through.
Then shred the chicken into medium-sized strands.
As I mentioned earlier, you’ll also need a lot of mushrooms for this Mushroom Chicken Soup. I used about 10 ounces of various mushrooms including shiitake, cremini, and oyster. You could use all cremini if you want. I wouldn’t use white button mushrooms. They don’t bring much to the party here.
Feel free to mix and match mushrooms though depending on what you can find in your store.
Making the Soup
Once you have your ingredients prepped and your rice is simmering, add a good drizzle of olive oil to a large pot and add in all the mushrooms. Season them with a big pinch of salt and let them cook until they start to brown and they release their liquid. This should take 6-8 minutes over medium-high heat.
Then add the red pepper, onion, and carrot and continue to cook until those veggies are soft.
To finish the soup, add the garlic and thyme and stir to combine. Then add the stock (strained if you simmered it with aromatics), the shredded chicken, and the cooked wild rice.
Season this whole deal with salt and pepper and you’re ready to rock.
This Mushroom Chicken Soup is surprisingly filling. A bowl of this with maybe a few crackers or a good slice of bread and you’ll be in good shape.