Sunday, October 27, 2013

Chicken bacon and wild rice soup ... with a little Thermomix help


Last night I got home from a work week dead tired and I still had dinner to cook, fortunately for me, The Boy wanted nachos for dinner and that was easy to do. On top of that I had to decide what to cook for the weekend since we were going to be home during the weekend and needing meals both nights.

I went through my Pinterest board where I had pinned a whole bunch of stuff and came across a soup recipe that sounded good. Now, it's not exactly the season for soup here since it's supposed to be Summer though the weather has not been terribly warm. (Right now though the apartment is very warm from all the cooking I've been doing!)

Anyway, I asked The Boy what he thought of chicken bacon and wild rice soup and he thought is sounded very good and immediately suggested a lovely chardonnay that would go well with it.

Therefore, tonight, we are having soup for dinner and here's the RECIPE for it:

Ingredients:
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • ½ cup uncooked wild rice, rinsed
  • ½ cup finely chopped green onions
  • ½ cup margarine or butter
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1½ cup cubed or shredded cooked chicken or turkey (2 chicken thigh fillets)
  • 8 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon chopped red capsicum
  • 2-3 tablespoons dry sherry or white wine, if desired

Instructions:
  • In a large saucepan, put in chicken stock. Add wild rice and onions. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 30-45 minutes (or until rice is tender). Once the rice is cooked, there will be some additional broth – do not drain.
  • In a medium saucepan, melt margarine, stir in flour, salt, seasoning, and pepper. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly, until smooth and bubbly. Gradually stir in milk with the butter/flour mixture and cook until slightly thickened, stirring constantly.
  • Add this creamy mixture back into the saucepan with the rice/broth. Add remaining ingredients (chicken, bacon, capsicum, and sherry). Heat on low, stirring every once in a while, for at least a half an hour. Do not boil. The mixture will look thin, but the longer you heat the soup, the more the flavors merry and the more it will thicken. This soup is best served after gently heating for an extended period of time (even a few hours) or the next day! For extra flavor, add more poultry seasoning and/or bacon.

I was immediately daunted by the bit in the recipe that needed to make a roux and I was quite daunted by it - I'm a complete wuss when it comes to making a roux and I get very intimidated by it so thank goodness for the Thermomix. I went through my Thermomix recipes and decided to look for one that would do the roux and found one which was went something like this:

Thermomix version of creamy mixture:
  • Add margarine, flour, salt, seasoning, pepper, milk into Thermomix. Cook at 90 degrees for 12 minutes on speed 4.

Unfortunately for me, this turned out to be rather a thick roux by following the cooking instructions exactly and I was left with lumpy dough that I somehow had to smooth out into a creamy texture. To the rescue came my trusty hand blender and the whisk attachment. My mistake was putting the hand blender in without covering the pot because EVERYTHING went EVERYWHERE. What a splash it made! I'm sure that I will be cleaning up soup mixture for a long time! but the whisk did the trick and turned my soup back into a lovely, thick, creamy texture.

Now, I just need to adjust the Thermomix recipe for the creamy mixture for the next time I make this soup. I think the trick is to not let it go the whole 12 minutes but to check it for texture about 3 minutes in. (Just a little tip for those of you who have a Thermomix)

I followed the recipe pretty much exactly for the quantities and that made a lot of soup. I went with 8 cups of chicken stock when in fact, I should have gone with 6 cups of chicken stock because there's only the 2 of us eating and there's now enough soup for about 3 or 4 meals for the 2 of us. I am going to have to freeze some of the soup for future consumption, I'm thinking.

Where it said bring to boil and simmer for 30 - 45 minutes for cooking the rice, instead of simmering the soup on the stove, I cooked the soup in a cast iron pot and put the whole thing into the oven for the time recommended at 120dC to cook the rice, which worked out well as a no mess, no fuss way of simmering something. The only thing with doing it this way was there was a lot less evaporation and that also contributed to me having a lot more liquid left in the pot and hence, a lot of soup.

The soup was still a very thick, very creamy texture.

I wanted a slightly smokier flavor and something to enhance the bacon further, so I also added some smoked paprika to the soup to give it more depth and a little additional flavor on top of the chicken and bacon flavor which was the dominant flavors.

I also listened to the recipe and cooked the soup early, so it sat in the oven with the lid on, cooking at a low 90dC for several hours to get the most out of the flavor.

Other than that, the soup turned out to be very, very tasty, though with the bacon and all that chicken stock, I don't think the extra chicken seasoning and the salt was really necessary and next time I will leave it out - this means that next time I will go with 6 cups of chicken stock and no extra chicken seasoning and no salt.

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1 comment:

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