Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

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Whenever I’m having a moment where I really miss living in Minnesota, I make this dish.  It brings back so many wonderful memories of my home state.  I remember when my mother would take me to Byerly’s, a Minnesota grocery store, and I would always anticipate a trip to the deli while we were shopping.  While I did try a lot of their deli selections over the years, one dish I always craved was a bowl of their famous chicken and wild rice soup.  It is creamy, hearty, and flavorful, the perfect harmony in any comfort dish.  Thankfully, Byerly’s is not against sharing their delightful recipes, including this soup.  The recipe below is the doubled version of the original because when I make anything from my childhood, I want a lot of leftovers!

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 yellow or white onion, minced
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 cup flour
7 cups chicken broth
4 cups cooked wild rice
4 cups cooked chicken, cut into one inch chunks
1 cup finely grated carrots (2-3 medium carrots)
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons dry sherry
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Prepare the wild rice: put 5 cups of cold water, 1 and 1/2 cups of wild rice, and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt into a saucepan.  Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 40 minutes.  Turn off the heat and let the rice sit in the water for an additional 30 minutes.  Drain excess water, set aside.

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In large soup pot, melt butter and add olive oil.  Add onion and celery, with a pinch of salt, saute until tender (about 5 minutes).  Add flour and cook for 1-2 minutes.

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Gradually add broth using a whisk to prevent lumps from forming.  Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil.  Boil and keep stirring for 1-2 minutes.

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Add rice, carrots, almonds, chicken, and a good seasoning of salt and pepper; simmer about 5 minutes.

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Blend in heavy cream and sherry, heat to serving temperature. Add the parsley just before serving.

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Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

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Serves 8-10.

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