Chicken, Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup {Slow Cooker Sunday}

chicken mushroom wild rice soup (1)
When the long, gray days of winter set in, I think of soup. I want to enjoy a warm, hearty and comforting meal that chases those chilly days away. For me, the slow cooker is the quintessential kitchen tool for that.

I call this an accidental soup. It was one of those dishes that just happened. I had a rotisserie chicken in the fridge that I needed to use and everything else came together from the pantry or the vegetable bin. From that gathering came this soup which has become one of our family’s favorites.

Arkansas products are foremost in my thinking when I plan our menus and shop for groceries, and I love that this soup uses both chicken and rice that figure prominently in agricultural production in our state. While we like it just as it is, you could always add additional vegetables such as black beans or corn if you like. Soup, after all, was meant to be made from what you have on hand.

If you are expecting a crowd of family or friends, for a Sunday meal, give this soup a try.

Chicken, Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup {Slow Cooker}

3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
3 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 parsnip, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup chopped onion
4 cups water
1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
2 Tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 fresh sage leaves
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
2 chicken bouillon cubes or 1 Knorr reduced sodium home style stock cube
¼ cup unsalted butter
1 large portabella mushroom
4 ounces shitake mushrooms
1 deli rotisserie chicken (4 – 5 cups cooked chicken); removed from bones, shredded and set aside.
1 box wild and long-grain rice mix with seasoning packet
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup unsalted butter

In a large skillet, sweat the celery, carrots, parsnip and onion in 2 Tablespoons olive oil and ¼ cup unsalted butter until tender.

Add the vegetables to the crock of the slow cooker with the water and chicken broth; add in thyme leaves, chopped parsley, sage leaves, bay leaf, salt, cracked black pepper, bouillon and butter.

Cook on LOW 3-4 hours until the vegetables are tender.

Thinly slice or grind the mushrooms* and add to the vegetable and broth mixture.

Prepare the long grain and wild rice mixture according to package directions using 1 cup of the chicken broth mixture from the slow cooker crock to replace 1 cup of the water in the directions; set aside.

Thirty minutes before serving, stir in the cream and reserved wild rice mixture, stirring well to combine.

Stir in the chicken and adjust the seasonings; add additional chicken broth if needed.

Set the cooker on the WARM cycle or keep on LOW until ready to serve.

Garnish with additional chopped parsley before serving.

Serve with a crusty garlic bread and salad for a full meal. Enjoy the leftovers for lunch the next day as it only improves in flavor.

*My husband is not a fan of mushrooms therefore I disguise them in this soup by grinding them. They add so much depth of flavor to the soup that they are definitely worth hiding!  If you are a mushroom lover, leave them thinly sliced.

debbieaArkansas Women Blogger member and co-administrator Debbie Arnold pontificates and eats at Dining With Debbie.  She and her Hubby split their time between Central and Northwest Arkansas.  She loves to cook, develop recipes and have play dates with her two perfect grands.  Mostly, she has play dates with the Perfect Ones