This Creamy Wild Rice Soup is a warm, comforting homemade soup made with leftover turkey or chicken, vegetables, and cooked wild rice.
Treat leftovers as new ingredients just waiting to be turned into an entirely new dish. When I’m smoking, I always make extra Brined Applewood Smoked Chicken Thighs just so I can use them in another dish like this soup or as Smoked Chicken Salad with Grapes.
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Wild Rice Soup
For a dish that is made almost entirely of leftovers, this hearty soup has such an amazing flavour. It is the kind of soup you’ll want to make and eat over and over again. It’s comfort food at it’s finest.
The creamy rich homemade chicken stock makes a wonderful base for bobbing bits of tender veggies, succulent chicken, and chewy wild rice.
Best of all, this soup is so simple to make. Since it’s made from leftovers, most of the work has already been done for you!
Ingredients for Chicken Wild Rice Soup
- olive oil
- leftover poultry such as chicken, turkey, or smoked chicken
- chicken or turkey stock
- cooked wild rice
- fresh or dried thyme
- salt and pepper
Use any kind of leftover poultry, whether it’s roasted or poached turkey, chicken, or smoked chicken. Even leftover rotisserie chicken will be delicious in this soup.
Generally it’s a good idea to match the stock with the kind of poultry you are using (turkey stock with leftover turkey for example) however, if you only have chicken broth, feel free to use it with leftover turkey meat (and vice versa), no one will be the wiser. Use homemade stock if you can, or buy high quality stock from stores.
Wild Rice has a unique, chewy texture and it holds up nicely in this soup. For pointers on how to cook this unique grain, check out this post. Pre cooked white long grained rice would also work well in this recipe. Oh, and if you prefer noodles instead of rice, no one’s judging. You do you.
This soup is delicious with the added cream. However, if you prefer a clear soup feel free to omit the cream (and flour). This will make the soup dairy and gluten-free.
The flour and cream mix together to form a slurry which thickens when added to simmering soup. It is part of this recipe, but not necessary if you prefer a clear, thinner broth.
My mother is the Queen of Soup. She is always simmering a pot on her stove and loves to give away frozen portions to family or friends in need.
She always makes good use of leftovers, perfecting the art of ‘fridge clean soup’ years ago when I was a kid. According to my kids, no one can touch Grandma’s Beef n Barley soup and her Borscht is pretty good too.
My all time favourite is her Chicken and Wild Rice Soup. So, this one’s for you, mom! The boys really loved this soup so I think maybe I learned a thing or two from my momma.
Cook the Wild Rice Before Adding to Soup
When adding rice (or pasta) to soups, it is important to always cook them first. The reason for this is two fold.
Firstly, the starchy grains (or noodles) will soak up quite a bit of the stock. While this will leave them very flavourful, it also decreases the amount of liquid in the soup and may leave you with a chunky stew instead.
Secondly, the starchy grains will break down within the soup as they cook, adding starch to the soup, thickening it and leaving the broth cloudy. This is more evident in clear broth soups.
How to Cook Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup
Whipping up a batch of this delicious soup couldn’t be simpler. Most of the work is already done!
Begin by cooking the wild rice in a separate small saucepan. It has a bit of a ‘slough’ flavour to it, so it’s important to boil that out, strain it, then replace the water and boil it a second time until the rice is tender and splits. Full directions are included in this ‘how to’ post.
The next step is sautéing the vegetables with a little olive oil over medium heat. Don’t skip this step as it is essential to get the most flavour out of the vegetables. Cut them all into similar sizes so they all cook at roughly the same time and stir occasionally to keep them from getting too dark.
Add in the minced garlic and thyme when the veggies are just beginning to soften and cook for two more minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Now it’s time to add the stock. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the vegetables become soft (but not mushy) roughly 10-15 minutes.
Place the chicken and cooked rice into the simmering soup and allow it to come up to temperature again. Heat 3/4 cup cream to a gentle simmer in the microwave or a small saucepan.
Finally, add the flour to the remaining 1/4 cup heavy cream and mix well. Stir it into the simmering soup and allow it to thicken for a few minutes.
Fresh crusty bread or biscuits are the most delicious side kicks to a hearty bowl of soup. Oh, and cheese!
- Start some Easy Cheddar Stout Soda Bread before you begin making the soup and it will be ready at the same time!
- Pumpkin No Knead Bread takes a bit of time to prepare but produces a light texture, perfect for soup dipping.
- Dill Pickle Bread is just like my mom’s homemade bread with added bits of dill pickle. It is AMAZING as grilled cheese!
- We always love a bit of cheese to go with bread or crackers. Might I suggest Creamy Whipped Feta Cheese or Pimento Cheese Dip?
Storing and Reheating Soup
This soup contains ingredients that freeze very well. So, if you have leftovers of your ‘leftover’ soup place them in a freezer friendly container and freeze for up to 3 months.
Be sure to leave enough space at the top for the liquid to expand as it freezes or the container could open or crack. Glass jars or containers are not recommended for this reason.
To reheat, place the soup container under hot running water to loosen the soup. Move the frozen soup to a saucepan, add 1/2 cup water, cover, and slowly warm it on medium low heat. Once the soup has thawed, allow it to come to a slight simmer but don not allow a rapid boil.
- 1/2 cup uncooked wild rice
- 1/2 onion; finely diced
- 1 stalk celery; finely diced
- 2 medium carrots; finely diced
- 2 garlic gloves; minced
- 2 cups leftover chicken (or turkey)
- 4 cups chicken or turkey stock
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 cup cream; separated
- 1 tbsp flour
- salt and pepper
- Cook the 1/2 cup wild rice according to instructions in this post.
- Place the onion, celery, and carrots in a large heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven. Drizzle with olive oil and sauté on medium low until softened.
- Add the garlic and sauté for another few minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then add in dried thyme.
- Pour in the chicken or turkey stock and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the veggies are completely soft.
- Add the leftover chicken/turkey and cooked wild rice. Continue cooking until the meat is heated through.
- Heat 3/4 cup cream until it is just ready to simmer (on stove or microwave). Gradually pour it into the hot soup.
- Mix the flour with 1/4 cup cold cream and stir it into the hot soup.
- Allow the soup to come to a simmer so that it thickens slightly.
- Remove from heat and serve immediately.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 715Total Fat: 49gSaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 259mgSodium: 342mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 53g
Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.