Chicken Soup with Wild Rice and Greens

by formerchef on April 11, 2012

Post image for Chicken Soup with Wild Rice and Greens

Recipe for Middle Aged Weight Creep

1 cup sit all day

2 lbs eat whatever is put in front of your face

1 dash too much work

1 generous spoonful of no exercise

1 pinch of laziness

Serves: two ever-widening hips.

I’ve got to do something about this. In the past I’ve tried cleanse diets, and they work, like any diet will, until you stop doing it and slide back into old habits.

This time, the goal is to simply eat healthier, limiting fats and simple carbs, and try to get my body moving more. Sounds easy, right? Maybe for you, but for me the “moving” part is harder than the “eating” part. So I’ll start with the food and hope the exercise follows.

I made this soup because it’s healthy and filling and doesn’t feel like “diet food.” If you are anything like me, “diet” is a four letter word, and the moment it enters my consciousness is the same moment I get hungry. That’s why it’s critical to eat things which are filling, but not fattening. I highly recommend you try making your own chicken stock so you can control the amount of salt and fat in it (and as a bonus, save a little moola).

As for the exercise, that comes next. I just got back from a week in Istanbul, an ancient and exotic city, but also covered in hills much like San Francisco. For a few days we stayed in an apartment at the top of one of these hills and walking to and from it every day was a humbling experience, mostly for my lungs but also my legs. I see cardio in my future and honestly, it’s not pretty. On the other hand, this soup, if you serve it with rainbow chard in it as I did, can be pretty, colorful, and a healthy way to start any “diet” (pardon my French).

Chicken Soup with Wild Rice and Greens
Printable Recipe in PDF 

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, raw, cut into 1″ pieces
1 large yellow onion, small dice (10 oz wt)
2 carrots, small dice or sliced (6 oz wt)
3 stalks celery, diced (4 oz wt)
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced (about .25 oz)
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger (optional)
1 tsp dried thyme
10 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade, low fat, low salt
1 bunch rainbow chard or other greens, cut into 2″ pieces
2 cups cooked* wild rice
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Cut the chicken into 1″ pieces and cut all vegetables in advance of starting the cooking process.

Heat a large soup pot and add the oil. Add the diced onion and cook for about 5 minutes until the onion begins to soften. Add the carrots and celery and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Add the diced chicken and cook until seared on the outside. Add the minced garlic, minced ginger and dried thyme.


Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer.

In a medium sized pot, cook the 1 cup dry wild rice in 3 cups of water for about 40 minutes. The rice should just be starting to open but should not be over cooked. It is going to continue to cook in the soup and you don’t want to be mushy. Set aside when done.

About 15 minutes before serving the soup, add the cooked wild rice and the cut greens. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and serve.


1 Myra April 11, 2012 at 8:51 am

Ha! I cook that recipe often and I’m still in my early 30’s. I used to add an extra dash of lazy, then I got a puppy that if not walked daily, eats my shoes. I love rainbow chard (even have some growing in my garden) in my soup. I’ve never tried adding ginger though – great idea.

2 formerchef April 11, 2012 at 9:00 am

Myra- Yes, the ginger adds a little extra “something” to the flavor and I love it. It’s not overpowering, it’s just a hint…

3 Madhu April 11, 2012 at 8:57 am

That is such a colorful soup and looks yummy.

4 Barbara | Creative Culinary April 11, 2012 at 10:46 am

What an absolutely gorgeous bowl of food!

5 Amy Halloran April 11, 2012 at 1:11 pm

This looks great — my soups are often bland, so I’m happy to try a new recipe with the stock I have in the freezer.

I got a great recipe for exercise from my doctor this year that really helped address the problems of sitting for a living. I wrote her formula — getting hot, sweaty and out of breath for 15 minutes a day, here:


6 Kent @ No Vacation Required April 11, 2012 at 1:42 pm

It looks delicious, and I love the idea of adding the greens. Okay… if we’re good and have this for dinner can we have the cheesecake for dessert?

Glad to hear you are going to join us in the land of cardio. You’ll love it here. It allows you to eat more delicious food around the world.

Keep us posted on your progress. Remember, one day at a time.

7 angela@spinachtiger April 11, 2012 at 2:03 pm

This is the kind of food I am craving right now. The weight thing is always an issue with me. I have to lose 10 pounds and I agree the diet word is not for me. I know I would love this soup and it was so satisfy.

8 Priyanka April 11, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Thats a beautiful bowl of soup. Great burst of color

9 Debs @ The Spanish Wok April 12, 2012 at 1:36 am

LOL Love the recipe for weight creep.

Chicken soup is a must for everybody, healthy and healing too.

You are welcome to join in my monthly food blogger event THE SOUP KITCHEN, here all bloggers are welcome, hope to see you participate soon. Different theme each month. April is Chinese Soup.

10 Ariana Lemarr April 22, 2012 at 12:43 am

The dish seems really tasty and delicious. I think it will help me in reducing my weight, what do you think am I right? 😉 Anyways will be making it for my brunch time. 🙂

11 Myrtle April 25, 2012 at 2:17 am

I love chicken soup and I guess I can try this one.. Actually, I am not good in cooking and I only depend on cookbooks and recipes online.. Thanks!

12 rick@ April 27, 2012 at 11:20 am

Wow what a great looking soup. One of the best comfort foods known to man. Thanks for sharing

13 Katie Martin April 30, 2012 at 12:25 pm

I am exactly the same as you when it comes to eating healthy versus exercising. It is much easier for me to just eat healthy, because for some reason getting up and out takes a huge amount of effort. It’s pretty pitiful. But this recipe looks awesome. I’ve never had a soup that has greens in it, so this looks like a new fun thing to try. Would the ginger seem too strong if I wasn’t able to put the garlic in the recipe? I just don’t want to the ginger taste to be too strong if there isn’t another distinctive flavor to combine with it.

14 formerchef May 14, 2012 at 10:11 pm

No, I don’t think the giner would be overpowering if you left out the garlic, but the taste will be slightly different.

15 Amy May 6, 2012 at 7:08 am

Having just turned 40, I appreciate that recipe and am quite familiar with it. Thanks for the inspiration to lighten up.

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: