Hello from bed, where I spent the last week recovering from a relentless cold with Karl. In addition to the cold, we are slowly recovering from our wonderful trip to Kansas, where every other relative nudged us and asked “so any announcements coming out soon?”. Folks, don’t look at me – it’s out of my hands.
Our New Year’s Eve was perfectly mild. We stayed home, whipped up some meatballs, and helped ourselves to many servings of homemade tiramisu. In other words, it was the best evening ever, despite the runny noses and rapidly forming Kleenex mountain. A few minutes before midnight, we mustered up the last of our energy to walk up the hill to catch a glimpse of the fireworks, and a glimpse was all we got because they were almost completely hidden behind houses. The walk down the hill gave us room in our stomachs for more tiramisu, so it wasn’t a total lost cause.
Because we are still a little unwell, a warm and cozy bowl of soup was in order. To be fair, I will use just about any excuse to serve soup for dinner. It’s one of my favorite things to whip up because there is so much room for creativity. Also, I love all the chopping that needs to happen for a hearty soup. This is where some may stop me or raise an eyebrow, but it’s true – I love it! And when you do it an orderly fashion, the Monica Geller in me has a ball. Tip: chop, dice, mince, slice everything you need for your dish before you turn the stove on. It makes cooking so much less stressful!
This chicken and wild rice soup is made with humble ingredients, like carrots, celery, and cabbage, but it is so rich and soothing. To add more life to the soup that brought me back to life, I stirred in a generous dose fresh parsley and a spoonful of sherry to the pot. I am a lover of saturated fats (butter, cream, etc…), but I decided not to make this chicken and wild rice soup creamy. It’s the first week of January, so there was this external force encouraging me to make it healthy. I trust that this force will go away soon, probably next week. But if this soup is so perfect without butter and cream, maybe other dishes could be just as good without-… this must be the cold talking. Time to have a bowl of soup for dessert.
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound chicken thigh meat, diced into bite-sized pieces
- ½ pound chicken breast meat, diced into bite-sized pieces
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup diced celery
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 7 ounces shredded green cabbage
- 1 cup wild rice
- 8 cups chicken broth
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon sherry cooking wine
- In a large pot or dutch oven, heat up the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the breast meat and season with some salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir often. Cook until no longer pink on the outside, but still raw in the middle. Plate, then set aside.
- Add the thigh meat to the same pot and season with some salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir often. Cook until no longer pink on the outside, but still raw in the middle. Plate, then set aside.
- There should be at least half a tablespoon of oil and fat in the pot - add more if needed. Add the onions to the pot over medium heat. Cook and stir occasionally until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, and garlic. Season with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook and stir for another 5 minutes, until the vegetables slightly soften.
- Add the cabbage, rice, chicken broth, dried thyme, garlic powder, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat, then simmer over medium-low heat for 40 minutes uncovered. Stir in the parsley, sherry, and the partially-cooked chicken. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and serve warm.