Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

(Updated 10/2010): This soup continues to be a family favorite and is deliciously perfect and elegant for potlucks and entertaining.  Over the years, I’ve adapted this soup in order to get the perfect consistency and have also added a few more details to help make putting it together a bit easier. Nine times out of ten, I serve this soup in bread bowls, but it is delicious on it’s own, also. The tender, chewy rice and subtle flavors of the curry and vegetables make for one of my all-time favorite soups.

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup


  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • ½ – 1 cup frozen corn
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • ½ cup carrots, sliced
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • ½ pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups cooked wild rice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 2 cups nonfat half-and-half (use normal half-and-half if you prefer, but you won’t believe how delicious this is with the nonfat variety!)


  1. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion, celery, corn, chicken and carrots and sauté for 5-7 minutes until vegetables are tender and chicken is cooked through. Add the mushrooms and sauté 3-4 more minutes. Then add flour and stir well. Over medium heat, gradually pour in the chicken broth, stirring constantly. Bring the soup just to a boil and then reduce heat to low and let simmer, while stirring, for 5-6 minutes, until it has thickened slightly.
  2. Next, add the rice, salt, curry powder, mustard powder, parsley, ground black pepper and almonds. Allow all the ingredients to heat through and then pour in the half-and-half. Let the soup gently simmer for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. The soup should not boil but should simmer over low heat so that it thickens slowly.

Recipe Source: adapted from Mary G.

136 Responses to Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

  1. Brittney says:

    I did have a question though – my soup was very, very yellow! Not at all the creamy white color in your photo. I used Swanson’s canned chicken broth, which has a very yellow tint to it, so I am wondering if maybe that is why. It still tasted delicious! Do you make your own chicken stock?

  2. Mel says:

    Brittney – the chicken broth could be part of it (I use the Swanson’s Natural Goodness 33% Less Sodium broth) but also it could depend on the curry powder you use. Some curry powder is much more yellow in color than others.

  3. Melanie says:

    Im really excited to try this soup tomorrow! im a little confused on the rice though, should it be fully cooked before i put it in the soup? or would if cook fully in the pot as the soup cooks??

  4. Mel says:

    Hi Melanie – yes, the rice is fully cooked before adding to the soup.

  5. […] Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup goes really well with this Beer Bread […]

  6. Angie Evenson says:

    I just had to stop back and leave a comment. I started making this recipe about a year or so ago and it’s one of our favorites! We especially love it with your Italian bread bowls. I took some soup and bread bowls out of the freezer for supper tonight! Thanks for a great recipe.

  7. Sarah says:

    I just made this using some leftover turkey instead of chicken. It is incredibly delicious! Thanks for this awesome soup recipe!!!

  8. Katrina says:

    First off: I love this soup! I’m not a huge curry fan but it’s just enough for this soup.
    Second: I love your blog and recipes! Thank you for taking the time to share.

    Now… I’ve made this before, but for some reason this time (can’t remember with other times) the left over soup is SO thick. Even when reheated its more like a casserole. That’s not necessarily bad, but I want soup.
    Is it because the rice is just absorbing all the liquid? Did I simmer it too long? Did I add too much flour? A combination of them all?
    Any thoughts would be helpful. Thanks so much!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Katrina – my soup gets really, really thick, too, once I refrigerate it. It’s largely because of the rice absorbing more liquid but I’ve noticed this happens anytime I refrigerate a dish (soup or sauce or otherwise) that has a roux (flour/butter) to thicken it. You didn’t do anything wrong but if you want to minimize it in the future, add more liquid to the leftovers before refrigerating (just a bit of milk or broth). That should help.

  9. Gail says:

    wonderful soup!….made it last night. Only change was added minced garlic in the first step…and a pinch of cayenne at the end for a little “kick”. It does make a huge pot!…but assuming leftovers for lunch today will be just as good! Thanks Mel!

  10. Heidy A says:

    I have been making this soup for several years now. I make it often because it is such a favorite! Everyone loves it! Many requests for the recipe too! It is my go-to recipe today for unexpected dinner company! Thanks, Mel!

  11. Stienus says:

    We are a team of 12 Belgian guys, coming together each month to cook and learn new things. For this month, I was looking for a soup, which wasn’t just another soup. And then I found this one. I’ve tried it yesterday for the first time, and I must say.. it is DELICIOUS !! We’ll be serving it just as it is on the picture and I’m sure they’ll all love it. Yet another great recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. Love it!

  12. Teresa says:

    Sorry if this was asked before but how many does this feed do you think?

  13. Annie says:

    Hey Mel,

    Do you think I’d run into issues if I prepped everything that goes into the initial saute, threw it in a gallon ziploc, and froze it ahead of time? (All chopped vegetables and the cubed chicken.) I know it technically isn’t a TON of chopping, but I crave this stuff often enough that I wish that I could do some of my prep ahead of time so I can throw it together in a pinch. My biggest concern is putting freshly chopped onions in the freezer. Would the whole mass turn too oniony? And potentially more catastrophic, would my whole *freezer* turn oniony?

    • Mel says:

      Annie – That could totally work, I think. I’d probably put the onions in a smaller ziploc bag inside the bag with the other veggies/chicken so that it is double sealed to help with the onion overpowering factor.

    • ~Sapphire~ says:

      Whenever I have anything I’m worried about smelling up the freezer, I do what Mel said in reply to you, except I wrap the item in plastic wrap, then fold it up in foil, and then put it in the larger bag. Especially onions or garlic. But most of the time I prep everything except the onions, then when I make the dish, the onions are the only thing I have to cut up. (I also wrap anything odorous that I put in the fridge for storage/pre-prepping in foil to keep the odors out of my fridge, as it seems ziplock/plastic containers don’t keep the smell in – unless they’re the super nice ones with the silicone seal.) Hope that helps! 🙂

      • Cathy says:

        just a tip … I freeze chopped onions all the time, what a time saver! When I’m using onion but don’t need the whole thing, I just dice up all of it and put what I don’t use in a ziplock and freeze it. I’ve used it in everything with great results, and the best thing is they don’t freeze solid, so you can still add just the amount you need after they’re frozen.

        Mel, I love your recipes and refer everyone … keep ’em coming!

  14. Trisha says:

    So I am a novice at cooking Wild Rice and just over-cooked it by a long shot. The rice is very very soft. Do you think I can still use it in the soup?

  15. Trisha says:

    Wow. This is delicious. Thank you! I used the over-cooked rice and it wasn’t a problem at all (especially with the almonds in there). Great recipe, glad I quadrupled it to freeze for the crazy days. It takes 2 really large pots – in case anyone is crazy, like me, and wants to make this in bulk.

  16. Ashlee says:

    I doubled this, froze a few ziploc bags for me, and for a friend who just had a baby. It was delicious! I’m excited about all the leftovers:)

  17. Stacie says:

    I’ve been making this soup for a while now, always delicious! I took it to our church Halloween party last week and it won the “best soup” category, so pretty much that means you are a rockstar (but I already knew that so no surprise there)!! Thanks for all that you do with this site, seriously, you are amazing!

  18. Laurie says:

    I have made this soup many times and it is really good!! I use the nonfat half and half and it turns out great! It is part of my go to soup recipe file!

  19. Anne says:

    Am I dreaming, or have I just awakened in Heaven??? This soup is incredibly delicious! It’s just become the new family favorite!

  20. Becky H. says:

    Hi Mel – I am going to a party with an “American Diner” theme, and to me no diner is complete without a cream of chicken & rice soup. Yours sounds like an elevated version, which is great! Do you think it would hurt to omit the mushrooms? There is a mushroom hater in the group. Also, I am skeptical of the word “curry” but admit I have no experience cooking with it or eating it. Is it noticeable in the smell? I just don’t want to bring something to a party that reeks. Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      The curry adds a subtle flavor and is delicious in this soup but it isn’t overpowering and yes, I think you could probably omit the mushrooms just fine.

  21. Melody says:

    Hi Mel – do you use the sweet curry from Penzeys in this or does any curry “blend” from Penzeys do? We recently bought a new one my DH is dying to try but I’m not sure of the spiciness and I wouldn’t think you’d want this soup to be too spicy. Thanks – from another “mel”

    • Mel says:

      Hi Melody – I usually use the Penzey’s curry because it’s what I keep on hand but I think some of their other curry blends could work well (it will be great as long as you love the flavor of the curry you are using).

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