I don’t usually post two recipes in a row, but recipes are quicker to put together and besides, who doesn’t want some comfort food right now? We have new snow (and it’s still snowing) so what’s better than a nice bowl of thick, hot soup? And you don’t have to leave home to have it!!
I found this soup recipe several years ago, and I love Panera’s chicken and wild rice soup so I thought it would be fun to see how this compares. I have to tell you, it’s so close to Panera’s, you’d never know the difference. I hope you agree.
I’m giving you a half recipe. Full recipes tend to be way too much for us and while I love leftovers, they aren’t Tim’s favorite.
Because it’s a half recipe, you’ll have to handle the boxed long grain and wild rice a little differently. For the full recipe, you use all the rice and all the seasoning. For this recipe, I use all the rice and half the seasoning. In case you didn’t know, I love thick soup!! But, adding all the rice in this half version does not mean you’ll have too much rice. I actually think it’s just right.
And because the seasoning packets in these boxes aren’t mixed well, I recommend pouring out the contents and giving them a stir. Then using only half.
This makes 6 pretty good-sized bowls but of course, it all depends on how much you put in a bowl!! We had two and a half meals out of this. I had the last bowl for lunch. It warms up great, but I suggest adding more broth (hopefully you have some left) when you warm it up. It does get a little thicker as it cools.
Hope you give this a try one of these cold, snowy days. But don’t feel you have to wait. It’s yummy any day!!
Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice Soup (Panera Copycat)
- 3 c. chicken broth
- 1 chicken breast (cooked and cubed)
- 1 6 oz. package long grain and wild rice blend (quick cooking version)
- 1/4 t. ground black pepper
- 1/4 c. flour
- 6 T. butter
- 1/2 c. diced carrot
- 1/2 c. diced celery
- 1/2 c. diced onion
- 1 1/2 c. half and half
- Open the rice package and set aside the seasoning packet.
- In a small bowl, combine the flour and pepper. Set aside.
- In a large pot, over medium heat, combine broth and chicken. Bring to a boil, then stir in the rice. Cover and remove from the heat.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.
- Add carrots, celery, and onion and saute for about 5 minutes.
- Stir in half the contents of the seasoning packet and continue cooking the vegetables until softened, about 5 more minutes. (I pour the contents of the seasoning packet into a small bowl first and stir it up. Otherwise, you don't get a good mixture of the spices.)
- Add the seasoned flour gradually while stirring to form a roux.
- Saute the roux for 3-4 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste.
- Whisk in the half and half, a little at a time, until fully incorporated. Cook until thickened, about 5 minutes.
- Stir the cream mixture into the broth and rice mixture.
- Cook covered over medium heat until heated through and rice is done, about 15-20 minutes.
- Add extra broth if the soup is too thick for your liking. Also, add salt to your taste.