The hubs and I have been under the weather the past few days and the only thing that has sounded really good has been soup. I don’t eat a lot of soup, and the only kind I have ever made is chicken tortilla (which never really comes out the way I want). But I decided to try something different tonight. Panera Cream of Chicken and Rice soup is my favorite, so I searched online for a recipe that sounded similar. I wanted something easy and did not take a long time to cook. There were a ton of recipes, so I finally just picked one and went with it.
It turned out pretty darn good. Not quite the flavor of Panera, but close. I played around with the seasonings just a bit. It could have been a little creamier for my taste, so I might try heavy cream instead of half and half next time. Of course, the longer is set the thicker it got, which bodes well for lunch tomorrow. There was a lot left over! Below is the recipe (courtesty of allrecipes.com), my adjustments and pictures, of course! Enjoy!
- Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion, celery and carrots and saute for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and saute for 2 more minutes. Then add the flour and stir well. Gradually pour in the chicken broth, stirring constantly, until all has been added. Bring just to a boil, reduce heat to low and let simmer.
- Next, add the rice, chicken, salt, curry powder, mustard powder, parsley, ground black pepper, almonds and sherry. Allow to heat through, then pour in the half-and-half. Let simmer for 1 to 2 hours. (Note: Do not boil or your roux will break.)
I left out the mushrooms (hubs doesn’t like them), and the almonds and sherry (wasn’t quite sure how they went with the soup).I also doubled the amount of rice. I like a lot of rice. I bought the Uncle Ben’s Long Grain & Wild in the box and just left out the seasoning packet. Towards the end, as I was taste testing, I felt like it needed some more flavor so I added a couple additional pinches of the curry powder and a dash of garlic salt. It was not quite as thick and creamy as I like mine, so I think I will use heavy cream instead of half and half next time. I only cooked mine for about an hour after adding all of the ingredients. One of the comments on the recipe site said that person cooked it in a slow cooker, so that is an option I might try also.
A nice loaf of warm crispy french bread was a great side and dipper. Of course, the bread was definitely not Panera standard, but still good.