Chicken and Wild Rice Soup


*Note: The vegetables in this soup are very adaptable. I usually use a combination of carrots, celery and corn and use the guideline of having 2 cups total of any number of combinations (i.e. only carrots and corn, carrots and celery, carrots, celery AND corn, you get the picture).

½ cup butter

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

½ - 1 cup frozen corn

½ cup chopped celery

½ cup carrots, sliced

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed

½ pound fresh mushrooms, sliced

¾ cup all-purpose flour

6 cups chicken broth

2 cups cooked wild rice

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 teaspoon mustard powder

1 teaspoon dried parsley

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 cup slivered almonds

2 cups nonfat half-and-half (use normal half-and-half if you prefer, but you won't believe how delicious this is with the nonfat variety!)

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion, celery, corn, chicken and carrots and sauté for 5-7 minutes until vegetables are tender and chicken is cooked through. Add the mushrooms and sauté 3-4 more minutes. Then add flour and stir well. Over medium heat, gradually pour in the chicken broth, stirring constantly. Bring the soup just to a boil and then reduce heat to low and let simmer, while stirring, for 5-6 minutes, until it has thickened slightly.

Next, add the rice, salt, curry powder, mustard powder, parsley, ground black pepper and almonds. Allow all the ingredients to heat through and then pour in the half-and-half. Let the soup gently simmer for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. The soup should not boil but should simmer over low heat so that it thickens slowly.