CHICKEN-BEER WILD RICE SOUP
**This makes a church-size
batch and cooks best on a gas stove due to the instant heat adjustments that can be made. It's practically ALL out of cans.
The Cardinal Rule: Use Campbell's regular soups - NOT the low-fat ones.
Fat is an integral part of this recipe. The fat in one soup melds and mingles with the fat of the other soups and ingredients. You start using low-fat soups and you'll wind up with a scorched, watery, tasteless mess. When made properly; this soup should clog your arteries just by LOOKING at it.
Hence the beer, which should help to ... ummm... thin the blood.
One LARGE can cream of mushroom soup (I think they're 20 or 24oz)
Two regular cans "cream of mushroom with roasted garlic" soup
One regular can cream of celery soup
One regular can cream of onion soup
One regular can Swanson's chicken broth (the garlic-flavored one is good)
One regular can french onion soup
One regular can golden mushroom soup
One regular soup-can of milk
4 cans beer (we use MGD Light)
1 Hand-full of dried soup vegetables (mom gets 'em for me by the pound at the local co-op)
1/2 packet of wild rice (the packets I use are about 4"x 6" - I forget the actual size)
1/2 cup long-cooking white rice (or you can use something like Harvest Blend rice, which has wild rice, white rice and dried vegetables in it)
2 small cans of Swanson's chicken meat (I use one can of white meat and one of mixed chicken meat)
1 8oz can of mushrooms
3 large onions (sweet onions like Vidalia or Texas Sweet are best, but yellow is fine)
Lawry's season salt (will be used to taste)
Red pepper (quantity unknown - I pour it into the palm of my hand - a nice little dimple-full)
Black pepper (quantity unknown - another palm deal - a little more than the red pepper)
Click here for the down-and-dirty instructions! (opens in a tiny new window)
Here's the blow-by-blow instructions:
Put the wild rice in a pot, cover with lots of water and sit it on a back burner. Let it boil while you move on to other stuff. You may need to add water to it occasionally.
Mix in your biggest soup pot:
the LARGE can cream of mushroom soup (I think it's 24oz)
the Two cans "cream of mushroom with roasted garlic" soup
the can cream of celery soup
the can cream of onion soup
the can Swanson's chicken broth
the can french onion soup
the can golden mushroom soup
the Hand-full of dried soup vegetables
the soup-can of milk
and THREE of the FOUR cans of beer.
the Red Pepper and Black Pepper
If your soup kettle is like mine, you should have
it darn near full to the top with all this stuff. Put it on your other back
burner on low. Shake a large whisk back and forth in it to gently break up the
cream soups as it cooks. Be very careful with the temperature. Be wary if you
feel something building up on the bottom of the pot; it's starting to stick and it's going to burn. I have a gas stove and I'm constantly shifting the soup pot around on the burner so the low flame doesn't stay on the same part of the pot for too long (see *Burning Tip* at end of page).
Peel back the clear plastic off one end of your package of bacon; exposing one end of the pound, with all bacon strips still stuck together. Use kitchen shears to cut off 1/2 inch chunks, straight across all strips. Put these in a frying pan, peel the little chunks apart or they'll stay stuck together when you cook them.
Fry the bacon until crispy without burning. Whisk the soup occasionally, making sure it's not getting sticky on the bottom of the pan. While the bacon is cooking, cut up the three large onions into soup-size chunks. Not real small, mind you, but reasonable enough to fit your spoon when you have to eat the soup.
When the bacon is done, drain off (but SAVE ) some of the bacon grease. Put the bacon on a paper towel to get the excess grease out of it.
By now your wild rice should be cracking open and showing little white ends peeking out. Add a little more water and also the WHITE RICE; keep boiling.
NOW's the time to crack open that 4th beer. Drink, as needed.
Pour a little of the bacon grease you saved back into your frying pan and fry the onion chunks, stirring continuously. Cook them until they get a transparent 'glassy' look. Then take them off the burner.
Don't forget to keep whisking the soup gently. It should be starting to look smooth and the sides should be starting to bubble gently. When all the little cream soup chunks have dissolved and blended, taste the soup and decide how salty you want it - use the Lawry's season salt. Regarding the red pepper, the soup should leave a comfortable heated taste in your mouth; don't over-do it. This soup should make you just barely break a sweat when you eat it.
If your soup pot is the same size as mine, you can't possible put anything more into it. At this point, use a soup dipper to transfer about a fourth of the liquid into a 1 1/2 quart pan and also heat on lowest setting.
Test the white rice between your teeth; if it's done, drain and rinse all rice.
To your soup (which is now cooking in two pots) add the:
mushrooms (exclude from the smaller pot if you have a shroom-hater in the house)
Stir and see how much room for rice you have. Add as much rice to the soup as you want; some like it chock full of rice, some want to savor the broth more. Remember; the rice if a tad undercooked, will expand while in the soup. Better to start out with less, let simmer, then add more later if necessary.
If soup is too thick and you have any of that fourth beer left, use it for thinning. If it's too thin, use another small can of cream of mushroom soup to thicken it up. If it's a little strong, thin with water or a can of vegetable broth carefully (more milk can subject the soup to burning). Let the soup simmer on lowest setting for another half-hour. This is a durable soup you can leave on low all day (gas stove recommended) The longer it simmers, the more the ingredients 'meld'. I've never tried freezing it because it all got eaten. But it's lasted a week in the refrigerator for me - a couple times!
If you do feel soft stuff building up on the bottom of the pot, don't scrape at it and stir it thoughout the soup! If you have a gas stove, turn it down to lowest possible setting, off-set the pot on the burner by an inch to the right or left, and the stuff on the bottom will loosen up. Then, if you want, you can carefully, carefully scrape the bottom of the pot with a big metal spoon or spatula, carefully pull the spoon or spatula out and discard the lump accumulated at the end in the sink. But careful is the key; mixing burned stuff throughout the soup can really kill a nice batch. If you have an electric stove and stuff starts building up on the bottom of the pot, take it off the burner immediately, turn the burner down and wait a couple minutes for the burner heat to dissipate before putting it back on - just be sure you stand right there with the pot in your hands waiting for it to cool down - don't put it down and leave the live burner unattended!!
|**This recipe was extensively developed, tested and written by the Howard Family of Almelund, MN. Feel free to modify it or re-post it to the web as you like. Making something better makes it more enjoyable for all. We do ask, however, that if you re-post the original writing content from this page in whole or in part, please give credit where credit is due by providing a courtesy link to this page!|