Putting the “Wild” Back in Wild Rice Soup
My husband is a hunter. There, I said it. Although we were both born and raised as suburbs-kids, Ryan loves the great outdoors and spends a great deal of his fall and early winter getting up early, gathering his gear and looking for our “groceries” (that’s how I like to think of it). As a result, we have a lot of meat in our freezer this time of year.SEE THE RECIPE
My husband is a hunter. There, I said it. Although we were both born and raised as suburbs-kids, Ryan loves the great outdoors and spends a great deal of his fall and early winter getting up early, gathering his gear and looking for our “groceries” (that’s how I like to think of it). As a result, we have a lot of meat in our freezer this time of year. Right now it’s walleye, grouse and – the most abundant – pheasants galore. It took me a little while to get accustomed to this style of meals, but I’ve done my fair share of recipe testing, and what shocked me is that wild game is not so crazy after all.
Take pheasant for example: it’s very similar to chicken, but it’s very lean (gotta love that!). Because the meat is trimmer, it is just a little more firm (wild birds get a lot more exercise than your average grocery chicken); however, most city slickers (like me) wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between pheasant and chicken when it’s seasoned or prepared in another dish.
So, what do I do to use up this abundance of wild pheasant? I take a fabulous favorite like Slow Cooker Wild Rice Soup and swap out the chicken for pheasant. Ta-dah! The soup is healthier and I get to use ingredients I already have on hand.
To make your easy Slow Cooker Wild Rice Soup, begin by rinsing the rice. I had never prepared wild rice before, but this stuff is amazing! It begins as hard, narrow little black grains and after simmering it explodes into fluffy rice. Am I the only one who didn’t know that it starts out looking entirely black?
Anyway, just put the rice in a larger measuring cup, add water…
Prepare your veggies by washing and chopping. I like to have baby carrots on hand for snacking, so I chopped those up instead of shredding larger carrots.
The recipe calls for chicken or turkey, but – as I mentioned – we used pheasant breasts. Pheasants are a little smaller than chickens, so I used more.
Cut up your chicken, turkey, pheasant or other foul-of-choice into one-inch cubes. It doesn’t have to be pretty.
Combine the rice, veggies and meat into your crock pot, then add the chicken broth. My box of broth was a little larger than the recipe called for. So, I saved it in the fridge just in case the soup was looking too thick later on. You can always thin it out a little.
Put the lid on the crock pot and turn the setting to low. Head off to work, school, go buy groceries, shovel your driveway… whatever you need to do on this blustery winter day. Cook for 6 – 8 hours.
When you return home, the smell of hot, delicious soup will greet you! Just before you’re ready to sit down to dinner, combine sour cream (I used light sour cream) and flour in a medium bowl.
Increase the crock pot setting to high, and then add the thickening mixture to the soup. This combination of sour cream and flour will give the soup its creaminess.
Mix thoroughly and continue to stir occasionally until the soup thickens. This should take about 6 – 8 minutes.
Serve your soup in cups or bowls and garnish with toasted almonds. They give the soup a nice little crunch.
Don’t you feel wild? Ok, at least warm, healthy and full?
Try making this Slow Cooker Wild Rice Soup to enjoy on a cold winters night, and let me know how it turned out for you by rating and reviewing the recipe.
Come back in a few days when Becky will be sharing a recipe perfect for Super Bowl entertaining.
Amanda is paid to write for the Land O’Lakes Recipe
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