My mom had me when she was 38. I had turned breech during the last few weeks of her pregnancy so, I ended up being a scheduled C-Section. Then 3 years later, my sister came along and at 41, my mom rocked a natural VBAC. Growing up, my mom never said a single negative thing about birth and so of course, it was something I always looked forward to. Before even having kids, I knew the day I met my baby, would be the best day of my life.
After having 3 incredible births of my own, it’s been VERY tempting to study to become a doula, midwife or labor and delivery nurse. The timing however, hasn’t been right. Scheduling childcare for a birth is nearly impossible! So, just once in awhile, I attend a friend’s birth and take photos for them. For me, in this season of life, this is perfect. Recently I attended my friend Rachel’s homebirth. You probably recognize her because she’s guest posted some amazing articles! Oh my word, what a perfect day! It was a Sunday afternoon and Seahawks had just finished playing (and won!). Her older children were there and the midwives were people I could totally be real-life friends with. What an honor to be with her as she welcomed her third baby into the world!
When I dropped off her photo CD, I also brought this soup. If you love fall soups (like my family does!), you need to give this one a try.
Be sure to use wild rice. It adds the perfect texture and has great health benefits:
- Wild rice is a gluten free food.
- It does not contain sodium: good news for your blood pressure and your heart.
- It does take about an hour to cook, but rewards you with a lovely nutty flavor.
- It contains twice as much protein as brown rice.
- Wild rice can be eaten by diabetics, since it is actually a grass, and the grains are not polished or refined. Of course, small quantities are recommended.
- It is very rich in antioxidants—containing up to 30 times more than white rice! Which means regular consumption of wild rice protects you from disease and ageing.
- Because of its high fiber content, wild rice keeps your digestion smooth and helps lower cholesterol.
- Wild rice is a good source of essential minerals such as phosphorus, zinc and folate, which give you energy and nurture your bones.
- Vitamins A, C and E are essential for overall health and immunity. Wild rice contains these vital vitamins.
- A serving of wild rice is lower in calories than other rice varieties, so you can enjoy it without worrying about weight gain.
Sometimes when I make this soup, I cook a whole chicken on Day 1 and then reserve about half of the chicken to use in the soup on Day 2. If you go that route, you can also make your own chicken broth that way. Whatever works!
- 1 cup uncooked wild rice blend
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup diced celery
- 5 Tbsp butter, diced, divided
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 tsp of each dried thyme, marjoram, sage and rosemary
- Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1/2 cup flour (or thickening alternative)
- 1 1/2 cups milk (use water if dairy free)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (can omit for dairy free)
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- Prepare rice according to directions listed on package.
- Halfway through the rice cooking, in a separate large pot, melt 1 Tbsp butter over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and celery and saute until slightly tender, adding in garlic during last 30 seconds of sauteing.
- Add chicken broth, thyme, marjoram, sage, rosemary and season with salt and black pepper to taste. Increase heat to medium-high, add chicken and bring to a boil. Cover pot with lid and allow mixture to boil 12 - 15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
- Remove chicken and set aside to cool 5 minutes then shred into small bite size pieces.
- Meanwhile reduce heat to low and add cooked rice. Add shredded chicken to soup.
- In a separate medium saucepan, melt remaining 4 Tbsp butter over medium heat. Add flour and cook 1 1/2 minutes, whisking constantly. Then, while whisking vigorously, slowly pour milk into butter/flour mixture.
- Cook mixture, stirring constantly until it thickens. Add milk mixture to soup mixture in pot and cook about 5 minutes longer, or until soup is thickened (at this point, you can simmer the soup for a longer period of time if you want the rice to soften more, just cover with lid first and stir occasionally. You can also add what's left in the remaining can of chicken broth).
- Stir in heavy cream and lemon zest and serve warm.