Thursday, December 20, 2012

Cream of Mushroom Soup with Chicken & Rice

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Soup is one of those things I especially enjoy during the cooler months. Usually I'll make a big pot of soup every other week or so but I will often get my soup fill when we dine out. I recently visited a Panera Bakery Café with Joel and we enjoyed all the varieties they offered at any given time. When we were there, they had roughly six or seven soup offerings to choose from. Joel and I decided on the Cream of Chicken and Rice soup, which was delicious! In this soup, long grain and wild rice, celery, onion, carrot and diced chicken was simmered in chicken broth and then embellished with cream and herbs. How could it not be good?! In fact, Joel and I enjoyed the soup so much that Panera Bakery Café inspired me to go home and make more soup. {That and Joel expressed how much he liked it and wanted more lol!} So with full bellies of soup and inspiration in mind, I made this Cream of Mushroom Soup with Chicken & Rice. Similar to the Panera soup we had, this one includes mushrooms, making it rich with flavor...

Panera is one of my favorite cafes because they have such a great offering of good eats. From Sandwiches, salads, soups, pastries and even coffeehouse drinks, they have it all. This soup is all about good ingredients going in, which fit with Panera's 'Good Goes In' philosophy. Their philosophy means they pay attention to the quality and wholesome goodness in all their dishes and it's evident in the soup we had. Joel is a fan of rice, especially in soup. I knew he'd love this, especially after seeing how he devoured the soup at Panera!

Cream of Mushroom Soup with Chicken & Rice.
recipe adapted from MyRecipes

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked long grain rice
  • 1 cup cooked chicken breast, diced or shredded
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 5 tablespoons butter at room temperature, divided 
  • 4 slices bacon,  diced
  • 8 ounces button mushrooms, finely chopped 
  • leek, halved, rinsed, and white and light green parts thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons flour (or gluten free flour blend)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine 
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth 
  • 3 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 stalks green onion, chopped for garnish


  • Place porcini in a small bowl and pour in 1 1/2 cups boiling water. Let sit until soft, about 15 minutes.
  • In a large pot, cook 1 tbsp. butter and pancetta over medium-high heat until the meat renders some of its fat and turns a lighter pink. Add button mushrooms and leek. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms give off their liquid, about 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, remove porcini from liquid with a slotted spoon (reserving liquid), chop finely, and add to pot.
  • Sprinkle vegetables and bacon  with flour and cook, stirring constantly, until flour starts to stick to the bottom of the pot (scrape it up as much as possible while stirring). Add wine, reserved liquid from soaking porcini (pouring slowly so as to leave any grit behind), and broth. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to maintain a steady simmer and cook 15 minutes. 
  • Meanwhile, combine remaining 4 tbsp. butter, the parsley, and pepper. Set aside.
  • Add rice and chicken to vegetable mixture and cook 10 minutes. Stir in cream and cook until hot, about 1 minute. Divide soup among 8 bowls and serve hot, with a dollop of parsley butter on each serving.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Panera Bread as part of the
DailyBuzz Food Tastemaker Program. All opinions are my own.

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