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Slow Cooker (or not) Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
with spinach and pear salad

Active: 30 Total: 360

This is a fresh take on our 2017 version of this classic soup. This time around we're giving the soup a thick and creamy feel with a roux stirred in at the end of cooking and serving it with a fresh salad on the side.
Smarts: If you're short on time, skip the roux and stir in evaporated milk (as we did in the previous version) or regular milk. It just won't be quite as creamy.
Cooking methods: This recipe includes instructions for using the Instant Pot, Slow Cooker, or stovetop. Select your preferred method.

Tags

Ingredients

Servings:
4
Metric
Chicken and Wild Rice Soup:
  • Onions, medium - 1, chopped
  • Carrots - 8 oz, diced
  • Bell peppers, green - 1, diced
  • Celery - 2 ribs, diced
  • Garlic - 4 cloves, chopped
  • Chicken, boneless, skinless thighs - 1 lb
  • Thyme, dried - 1 tsp
  • Salt - 1 tsp
  • Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
  • Stock, any type - 5 cups
  • Wild rice, uncooked - 1/2 cup
  • Chives - 1 Tbsp, chopped
Spinach and Pear Salad:
  • Mustard, Dijon - 1 tsp
  • Honey - 1 tsp
  • Vinegar, apple cider - 1 Tbsp
  • Oil, olive - 2 1/2 Tbsp
  • Pears - 1, chopped
  • Baby spinach - 5 oz (sub any salad greens)
  • Sunflower seeds - 2 Tbsp (sub pepitas or chopped pecans)
Roux:
  • Butter - 3 Tbsp
  • Flour - 3 Tbsp
  • Milk - 1 1/2 cup

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Servings Per Recipe 4
Amount Per Serving
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% Daily Value
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Choose Cooking Method

Prep

  1. Onions / Carrots / Bell peppers / Celery / Garlic - Prep as directed and combine. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Make vinaigrette - Whisk together mustard, honey, and apple cider vinegar. Add olive oil while whisking. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  3. Slow cook soup - Combine onions, carrots, bell peppers, celery, garlic, chicken, dried thyme, salt, black pepper, stock, and wild rice in the bowl of a slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 to 7 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours.
  4. Pears / Chives - Prep as directed.

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Make

  1. When soup is nearly finished, make the roux. Heat small saucepan with butter over medium heat. When butter is melted, whisk in flour. Simmer, stirring frequently, until the mixture is golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Slowly pour in milk while whisking. Bring to a simmer and simmer until slightly thickened, ~2 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile remove chicken from soup and roughly chop or shred.
  3. If soup is not simmering, increase heat to a gentle simmer. Stir roux into simmering soup. Fold in chicken. Taste and season with some salt and pepper. Simmer until creamy and thick, ~5 minutes more.
  4. Leave soup in slow cooker on the warm setting until ready to serve.
  5. Toss spinach, pears, and sunflower seeds in vinaigrette until dressed to your liking.
  6. Serve soup with chives on top. Enjoy salad on the side.

Prep

  1. Onions / Carrots / Bell peppers / Celery / Garlic - Prep as directed and combine. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Make vinaigrette - Whisk together mustard, honey, and apple cider vinegar. Add olive oil while whisking. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  3. Pears / Chives - Prep as directed.

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Make

  1. Heat a Dutch oven with some oil (not in ingredients list) over medium-high heat. Add chicken and sear on both sides, seasoning with some salt and pepper as it cooks. This should take about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Set chicken aside, leaving pan over heat.
  2. To heated pan, add onions, carrots, bell peppers, celery, and garlic. Saute until vegetables are starting to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in dried thyme, salt, and black pepper for 1 minute.
  3. Add chicken back into pan with stock and wild rice. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to very low. Cover with a lid. Simmer, covered, until wild rice is tender, 45 to 60 minutes. (Start checking the rice on the low end of the cooking time. Be sure to keep the soup at a low simmer - if it starts to boil, the chicken will turn tough.)
  4. When soup is nearly finished, make the roux. Heat small saucepan with butter over medium heat. When butter is melted, whisk in flour. Simmer, stirring frequently, until the mixture is golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Slowly pour in milk while whisking. Bring to a simmer and simmer until slightly thickened, ~2 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile remove chicken from soup and roughly chop or shred.
  6. If soup is not simmering, increase heat to a gentle simmer. Stir roux into simmering soup. Fold in chicken. Taste and season with some salt and pepper. Simmer until creamy and thick, ~5 minutes more.
  7. Toss spinach, pears, and sunflower seeds in vinaigrette until dressed to your liking.
  8. Serve soup with chives on top. Enjoy salad on the side.

Prep

  1. Onions / Carrots / Bell peppers / Celery / Garlic - Prep as directed and combine. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Make vinaigrette - Whisk together mustard, honey, and apple cider vinegar. Add olive oil while whisking. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  3. Pears / Chives - Prep as directed.

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Make

  1. In the bowl of an Instant Pot combine onions, carrots, bell peppers, celery, garlic, chicken, dried thyme, salt, black pepper, stock (reduce liquid by 10-20% to account for lack of evaporation in the Instant Pot), and wild rice.
  2. Close and lock the lid. Set the pressure valve to 'Sealing'. Cook on manual / high pressure for 15 minutes. Let pressure release naturally for 10 minutes and then manually release any remaining pressure.
  3. When soup is nearly finished, make the roux. Heat small saucepan with butter over medium heat. When butter is melted, whisk in flour. Simmer, stirring frequently, until the mixture is golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Slowly pour in milk while whisking. Bring to a simmer and simmer until slightly thickened, ~2 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile remove chicken from soup and roughly chop or shred.
  5. Turn on the Saute function of the Instant Pot so the soup comes to a gentle simmer. Stir roux into simmering soup. Fold in chicken. Taste and season with some salt and pepper. Simmer until creamy and thick, ~5 minutes more.
  6. Toss spinach, pears, and sunflower seeds in vinaigrette until dressed to your liking.
  7. Serve soup with chives on top. Enjoy salad on the side.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Servings Per Recipe 4
Amount Per Serving
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% Daily Value
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Increase your nutrition smarts


Reviews

Ratings

Original (52)
Gluten-free (1)
Paleo (3)
Vegetarian (16)

46 reviews

The roux made this especially delicious and worthwhile to make a soup. I loved the pear salad, though I over dressed it for my husband. I added dry bread cubes to the soup for my 7yo, and that was actually delicious too.

By: Shawn
Posted: Mar 02, 2021
Diet: Vegetarian
0 Helpful

This was amazing. Frankly, I'm shocked. I didn't think the rice would be done in 15 minutes so I cooked for 20. I did add a bay leaf, more salt and lemon juice (at the end). It was so so good. I'm still in shock because I just didn't think I'd like it this much.

By: Ann
Posted: Mar 02, 2021
Diet: Gluten-free
0 Helpful

We loved this soup

By: Markell
Posted: Feb 23, 2021
Diet: Vegetarian
0 Helpful

This soup was delicious, freezes well too.

By: Luis
Posted: Feb 20, 2021
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

Made the instant pot version and it was AMAZING!! So good I would make this to take to friends as a gift! I did sauté the vegetables prior to adding the chicken and pressure cooking. Surely a keeper for many years!

By: Wendy
Posted: Feb 20, 2021
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

All the family enjoyed it.

By: Kristine
Posted: Feb 19, 2021
Diet: Original
0 Helpful