Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Baby Prep #1

Here is the first of a series of posts I intend to do about freezing meals for after our baby arrives. My first, Chicken Wild Rice Soup, is a family favorite. Even though our baby is due in the spring, a lot of freezer meals will end up being more wintry food, just because they freeze better. But, for me, Chicken Wild Rice beats corn dogs and fries any day of the year, so I'm all for it. I'll post pictures now, then the complete recipe at the bottom. 

First you gotta melt some butter. This is a double recipe, so it's 12 TBS. Yes, 1200 calories, but don't think about that just yet, remember, it's a double recipe. 

Is there a better smell than celery and onions sauteed n butter? I attest there is not!

Then you have to get your roux on. Make sure to stir it so it doesn't get lumpy. Have some carrots or almonds? Add them!

The important part. We tend to think a rotisserie tastes the absolute best in this soup, and it's often the cheapest way to add good chicken. 

Don't forget the wild rice. 

The finished product. 

After a full dinner, here are the leftovers. For our family, this means two dinners, plus two lunches in containers for Mark. 

A Word about Wild Rice. It's a Minnesota product, and while it's expensive here, I imagine it's much more elsewhere. The nice thing about soup is that it's tough to screw up, so even if you have a small amount of wild rice, just use what you have. 

Wild Rice Prep: This is how I like to prepare it.
-Rinse wild rice, soak in double the amount of liquid overnight, i.e., 1 cup of rice, 2 cups of water. 
-Bring to boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for one hour. Leave it alone! Don't open or stir. 
-The amount of rice wild when cooked will double, i.e. 1 cup of uncooked wild rice yields 2 cups of cooked rice.

Chicken Wild Rice Soup: The basis for this recipe is from my mother in law (Thank you!) I've tweaked a few things to add more of what we like and have taken out ingredients that we don't keep in cupboard. No one seems to mind. I'm posting the double recipe for the sake of freezer storage. This makes A LOT of soup!

12 TBS butter                    3 TBS chopped/slivered almonds (optional)
1 onion, minced                  2-3 C half and half (or more if you like your soup less thick)
1 C flour                             Salt and pepper to taste ( we like a lot of pepper)
6 C chicken broth               2 C cooked and cubed/shredded chicken. We use a rotisserie.
2 C cooked wild rice          3 celery stalks finely chopped 
3 finely grated carrots

1. Melt butter in LARGE stock pot, add onion and celery, saute until tender (~10 min)
2. Blend in flour, gradually stir in broth (theoretically you could use MORE broth and LESS cream if you're into the whole lower calorie sort of thing). 
3. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, bring to boil for 1 minute. 
4. Stir in rice, carrots, almonds, salt and pepper, simmer 5 minutes
5. Blend in half and half

Amount: 12+ cups. 
This is a SUPER filling soup. I make it with bread sometimes, but other times, we just eat it with a side of cut-up fruit. 


Detta said...

This looks fantastic! (I'm lovin' all that butter..mmm). We're gonna try it soon! Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

MMMMMM, I just tried your recipe tonight and it is wonderful! I tweaked a little, used homemade turkey stock I had in the freezer and 2% milk instead of half-and-half. I only had enough ingredients to make about a third of your proportions, but we have a bit leftover for lunches. Yum, yum, thank you!


Mallory said...

Yeah! Yes, I realize that this isn't really a low-cal dish, but the nice thing about soup is that you can use whatever you have on hand! I know people who put heavy cream in their wild rice soup, so I thought I was doing pretty well with the half and half ;-) , but good job, Lorrene, on the milk!

B, I hope your family likes the soup! My boys eat it up!

Anonymous said...

If you use carnation evaporated milk (low fat), it makes the soup thick like you are using half and half:) Kristin made some this week and brought me some while Paul is in Haiti! The best soup ever! Miss you, Mal♥

Mom S.

Anonymous said...

yum!! thanks a TON!! i am a visual learner! leah has made it for us before, but i forget so easily!