Soups & Salads
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Chunky Wild Rice Soup with Bacon

So soup is kind of a big deal in my family.  All thanks to this lovely lady, my grandmother.

Chunky Wild Rice Soup with Bacon//Peanut Butter & Dill Pickles Blog

She’s basically the queen over all things soup.  It’s well-known and understood in our extended family that her soups will be the best you’ll ever have so don’t even try to seek out something better.  She’s got a big, blue Le Creuset pot that sits on her stove and most of this amazing-ness comes out of it.  I’m all about symbolism and “hope through osmosis” so I asked for a blue enameled cast iron Dutch oven for Christmas several years back and am still trying to get something as good as hers to come out in a ladle.

Chunky Wild Rice Soup with Bacon//Peanut Butter & Dill Pickles Blog

One year for Christmas, she gave my great-uncle (her brother-in-law) a gift of soup for a year.  She showed up once a month to his house with a full pot and you could cut the envy with a knife as the rest of us sat on with gritted teeth or dropped jaws.  I cannot think of a better gift.  I can still recall a conversation with my sister:

Me: Remember that year Nonnie gave Uncle Tom soup for Christmas?

Sister: Yeah, talk about the best gift ever!

Me: I’m still not over it.

Chunky Wild Rice Soup with Bacon//Peanut Butter & Dill Pickles Blog

In my meek effort to carry on the familial soup tradition, I often make her version of wild rice soup.  It’s the crowd favorite and the soup that instantly comes to mind when I think of her soup-er powers (I’m sorry, I had to work in that silly joke at some point.)

A few of the reasons I love it:

  1. It’s super chunky.  Most of the time I prefer a less-crowded soup but there is something about all these ingredients together that makes me happy there is more “chew” than “slurp”.
  2. It’s got bacon AND ham.  As Emeril would say, “Pork Fat Rules!”
  3. It takes about 20 minutes to throw together and then you can let it simmer all afternoon/evening on the stove.  Read between those lines.  Your house will smell fantastic.
  4. She often made it for me when I was in college so I associate it with a time in my life when the bills were fewer and I had less adult responsibility.

I made this soup for my husband when we were dating and I’m pretty sure it’s one of the reasons he put a ring on it.  So if you were still not sold on making it, that should resolve any outstanding doubts on the subject.

Chunky Wild Rice Soup with Bacon//Peanut Butter & Dill Pickles Blog

One caveat.  This is a fall/winter soup.  I’ve never made it in the spring or summer for fear that the world would stop turning or something.  I guess you could try to make it throughout the year but I make no guarantees on the results.  I’m pretty confident you need leaves or snow on the ground or the soup just isn’t as good.

Chunky Wild Rice Soup with Bacon

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 4 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 1 c. sliced carrots
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 4 c. chicken broth
  • 2 c. cooked wild rice*
  • 2 c. diced ham
  • 3 tbsp. silvered almonds
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 c. half & half

Instructions

  1. Brown bacon in a large soup pot over medium heat. Once bacon is cooked, remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate.
  2. Saute the celery, carrots, and onion in the bacon grease until softened, 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add in the flour and stir until the fat is absorbed and the veggies are coated. Saute for another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Gradually stir in the broth. Turn up the heat to medium high and bring the mixture to a boil; stirring frequently until thick.
  5. Add in the wild rice, diced ham, almonds, salt and pepper, and cream of mushroom soup.
  6. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Stir in the half & half and simmer, covered, for 1-2 hours.

*My life forever changed when I found cooked wild rice in a can at the grocery store. It's located by the uncooked wild rice in my store, is packed in water (just drain before using), and I can't tell the difference in the dishes/soups I've used it in. Saves about an hour of cook time before starting the soup!

http://www.pbpickles.com/2013/10/chunky-wild-rice-soup-with-bacon/

Filed under: Soups & Salads

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Writer of recipes. Storyteller with a food twist. Sarcasm/humor served on the side.

2 Comments

  1. Wild rice in a can sounds awesome. I’ve never heard of such a thing but need to seek it out because I was less than impressed with wild rice the two times I’ve tried cooking with it…probably because I tried to shorten the cooking time.

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