Wild Rice Soup

5:00 AM

It's been strangely "cold" in Arizona this winter season and I think I'm one of the few not complaining. At first I was a little concerned being home for the holidays, since home would usually mean shorts and maybe a sweatshirt. However, this year we got to flip the heat on and actually pull our jeans and light coats out of storage.

Since it's been abnormal weather, I've also pulled out some old recipes. This favorite is a Christmas Eve tradition, coming from my side of the family. It's perfect for sweater weather, and to me it tastes like the holidays. So if you're a little hung over from the bliss now that you've gone back to work, this is a home-cooked cure for those blues!


Ingredients:

- 1 medium white onion

- 4 stalks of celery

- 1 green pepper

- 3 TBLSP olive oil

- 1/3 C flour

- 8 C of chicken or vegetable stock/broth

- 1 bag of Uncle Ben's (or any other brand) Wild Rice Soup (the bag is easy because you can stick it in the microwave to cook it right before you need it. If you get the box or what have you, make sure to have sufficient time to cook it!)

- 1 TBLSP parsley

- 1 tsp black pepper


Directions:

- Chop up the green pepper, onion, and celery. You can either puree these in a food processor with the olive oil to make the soup thicker, or you can chop up the veggies extraordinarily finely. I have always (except once) opted to puree them, but it does work either way.

- Sautee your veggies, whichever way you prepared them, in a deep pot. Cook them for about two to three minutes, then add the flour. Mix this thoroughly until there are no separate clumps.

- Add the water or chicken broth. Cook on Medium to Medium-High heat and mix constantly until it thickens. You have to keep at it, which can be time consuming, but it will be like lumpy porridge if you don't.

- Once the mix has come to a slow boil, add the cooked rice. Mix this until the rice is distributed nicely, then add the pepper and parsley.

- Turn the soup on low, cover it, and let it simmer for around twenty minutes. Make sure to check on it and stir it as many times as possible.


This goes wonderfully with baguettes or crackers of your choosing! Also, for an extra treat: add some bacon bits. I promise you'll thank me later.

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