Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

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What better dinner to come home to – a pot of soup full of vegetables but made hearty with the addition of chicken, white beans, bacon and wild rice.  This is a great make ahead recipe which gets better with time.

Serves 8-10

½ cup chopped onions (I use frozen, they are so handy)

1 small fennel bulb, chopped

2 celery stalk, chopped

1 red pepper, cored and cut into large pieces

2 carrots, peeled and cut into large pieces

2 tablespoons canola oil

4 ounces of bacon, diced

1 cup wild rice, rinsed

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 large pinch saffron dissolved in 1 cup of warm water

½ cup white wine

2 quarts  chicken broth (I use the 1 quart boxes)

2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into ½ inch pieces

1 6 ounce bag of baby spinach

1 15.5 ounce can of Cannellini beans, rinsed

  • In a food processor pulse the onion, fennel, celery, red pepper, and carrot until they are finely chopped and transfer them to a bowl.  You may need to do them in batches depending on the size of your  work bowl
  • Heat a large stock pot then add the canola oil and the bacon and sauté until the bacon is golden brown.  Remove from the pan.
  • Add the vegetable mixture to the pot and sauté until the vegetables are soften, about 6 minutes
  • Add the bacon, tomato paste, chicken broth, wine and saffron water and loosen any bits which are stuck to the pot
  • Bring the pot to a boil and add the wild rice and the salt
  • Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes
  • After 30 minutes, add the chicken and simmer for an additional 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the wild rice is tender (it should split and curl to show the white interior)
  • Add the spinach and stir until wilted about 2 minutes
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