Creamy Buffalo Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
March 10, 2020 by Nicole Collins
I love soup!
But every day, we get a little closer and a little closer to being out of soup season. And, I am SOOOO ready!
I’m sure I’ve told you before that I have not always been a soup lover. But the older I get, the more I crave it.
At work, we have a café that’s basically a full service restaurant. They publish a new menu every week, and the specials are different every day. Now we’re not just talking burgers and fries. We’re talking DIY themed bowls, exotic salads, hearty sandwiches and wraps, and 3 different kinds of soups every single day (amongst many other things).
I’ve never eaten so much soup in my life as I have since they opened this café in our building!
There have been MANY days where I’ve forfeited the perfectly good lunch sitting in the fridge for whatever the soup of the day is. The soups are never the same, and they only start to repeat once every few months.
There’s this soup that my friend, Shannon, and I go crazy for whenever it’s out. It’s a buffalo chicken and wild rice soup. And, it’s incredible. We’ve definitely eaten lunch, seen the soup just doing a quick pass through the café looking for a snack, and left with a bowl of soup for second lunch.
But, getting to eat this amazing soup once in a blue moon is not enough for me. So, I did what any Yummy Muffin would do; and I made my own!
So today, we’re making Creamy Buffalo Chicken and Wild Rice Soup!
I’m so in love with this soup. It’s hearty and creamy and comforting and a teeny tiny bit spicy and everything you could want out of a big ol’ bowl of soup. Please don’t let the longer ingredient list fool you. This really is not much more difficult than throwing some stuff in a pot and letting it simmer for a few minutes. I promise!
Let’s start with the veggies. We just need a standard mix of onions, celery, and carrots to saute for a few mins until they soften. Add some garlic until fragrant, and get ready for the liquid.
Next, we add in chicken stock for our soup base and some buffalo sauce for some zingy zang! We’re going to take advantage of the flavorful broth, and poach our chicken right in the soup base. I chose to use chicken tenders, because they were what was on sale at the store. Plus, they cook super quick, which means dinner will be in our tummies much sooner. But, you can absolutely use chicken breasts if that’s what you have. Your cook time will just be a little longer.
When our chicken is finished cooking, we’re going to pop it out of the soup for a few minutes so that we can dice it up. But in the meantime, we’re going to add some evaporated milk and heavy cream to make this soup rich and creamy, a little more buffalo sauce to turn up the flavor profile, and some prepared wild rice to make this soup extra hearty. Toss the chicken back in the soup, taste for seasoning, give it another few minutes over the heat to make sure all of the flavors are perfectly blended, and this soup is ready to devour.
I prefer to use evaporated milk in soups as opposed to regular milk, because the water content has been removed for the milk. I think it makes the soup more stable with less chance of separating when we’re not using a thickener. And, don’t be alarmed by the amount of buffalo sauce we’re using in this soup. It’s really mellowed out by all of the other ingredients, and it just leaves a nice background tingle in your mouth. We’re not setting anyone on fire with this one.
I had Shannon serve as a taste tester for me on this one since she knows what the original tastes like, and she gave this two thumbs up! She was so excited to eat it, she had it for breakfast! I’d say that’s quite an endorsement if I’ve ever seen one.
Ok, everyone. That’s all I’ve got for today. Make sure you tag me on Instagram if you make this so I can see how much you’re enjoying this soup too!
Soup’s on! Let’s eat!
Creamy Buffalo Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
Serves: 5 Print
½ cup wild rice
1 2/3 cups water
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
½ cup buffalo sauce, divided
1 bay leaf
½ tsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
½ tsp pepper, plus more to taste
1 lb chicken tenderloins
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
½ cup heavy cream
Make the Rice. Combine wild rice, water, and a pinch of salt, and cook rice according to package directions. Set aside.
Make the Soup: Heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium high heat. Add onions, celery, and carrots, and saute for 5-7 minutes until the veggies start to soften. Add garlic, and saute for another 30 seconds until fragrant.
Add chicken stock, ¼ cup buffalo sauce, bay leaf, thyme, 1 tsp salt, and ½ tsp pepper to the pot. Stir to combine, and bring to a boil. When the broth is boiling, add chicken tenders to the soup. Cover the pot, and boil for 8-10 mins until the chicken is cooked through. When chicken is cooked, use tongs to remove the chicken to a plate. Remove and discard the bay leaf.
Reduce heat to medium low. Add evaporated milk, heavy cream, and cooked rice. Meanwhile, dice the chicken while the soup simmers for a minute, then add the chicken back to the soup. Add remaining ¼ cup buffalo sauce to the pot, and stir well to combine. Simmer for another 5-10 mins, stirring occasionally. Taste for seasoning, and add salt and pepper, as necessary. Remove from heat, and serve!
*I chose to use chicken tenders as my protein, because they were on sale, priced low, and cook quickly. Feel free to used boneless, skinless chicken breasts if that's what you have. But, you'll need to increase the cook time. For breasts, start with 12-15 mins cook time. The goal is an internal temp of 165 for the chicken.
*I like to use evaporated milk to make my soups creamy, because I find it to be a little more stable since the water content has been removed. Regular or lowfat will work.
*I used a boxed mix for my wild rice and just discarded the seasoning packet. It worked perfectly! I had the exact amount of rice that I needed, and I got a box for less than a dollar.