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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I wanna be the Next Food Network Star for this one!!!

     Jim actually requests this soup at least once a week and my kids eat this stuff up! I have made it for Jim's family and for tailgating and it's been a hit everytime. I've also made it for 2 families in our church. Not only is it easy, it is one of those recipes you can do in spurts...for instance, when there's a toddler crisis going on, it's okay to step away to be supermom! The recipe is from the Come On In! cookbook and I first had it at Cooking Club. I took pictures for you! Maybe I can be the Next Food Network Star (hahaha) even though I know nothing about cooking or food. I like it when Taylor helps me cook, I get my Rachel Ray on and tell him all about what I am doing! I am secretely hoping that Jim will get me some new stuff for my kitchen for Christmas! hint hint 
     I am going to give you the cookbook recipe and directions first, then I'll give you my version!
Wild Rice Soup
Serves 12
3 cups     chicken stock
2 large     pototoes, peeled & diced
9 slices    bacon, in small pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups cooked wild rice
2 pints     half & half
8 oz.       American cheese, shredded
~            salt & pepper to taste
~            chopped green onion for garnish
     Cook potatoes in chicken stock until tender. Puree in food processor. Saute' bacon, add onion, and cook until tender. Combine bacon mixture with wild rice in saucepan. Add half & half, potato puree, and cheeses and heat gently, stirring until cheese melts. Add salt & pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped green onions.
(Side bar says: Three cans of cream of potato soup (30 oz. total) may be substituted for potato-chicken stock puree)
(The first time I had this, Wendy made it witht he substitution, cream of potato soup, it was great and I can't tell the difference to be honest with you.)
     I use 3 cups of chicken broth, and chop my potaotes...2 large come to a little over 4 cups.

Once they are tender, I save myself the mess and use my handy Braun Hand Mixer to puree the potatoes and broth.

I can't find just plain wild rice, so I usually use a box of Zataran's Wild Rice. I get it started first since it takes the longest. I use Turkey bacon as a healthy alternative and when I don't need to buy bacon for other dishes, I buy a pack of Bacon Pieces, not bits, pieces...I use the whole bag. But, remember the bacon is already cooked so no need to saute' it, I usually just use some EVOO to saute' my onions and then add the cooked bacon to it. This is 9 slices of turkey bacon.

Just for your info...1 pint=2 cups so it takes 4 cups of half & half...I am trying to think of a healthier alternative to this, half & half is just milk and cream so you might be able to use milk and butter as a substitution-I dunno though, I've never tried it! I also just use a bag of pre-shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese...ever tried to grate Velveeta? Here is my finished product. On a weekend we will devour this in a day, on a weekday, it takes 2 days. Will fill a normal sized crockpot.

Tonight I served this with Mrs. Kay's Corn Light Bread. I attempted this Sunday afternoon and I had to make a few adjustments to get it to turn out right...note to self...adjustments must be made to recipe if you are using natural whole grain corn meal and making your own buttermilk. I also had to lower my baking temp to 325 degrees. Here is my more successful attempt!

There were a lot of starches in this dinner, but we paired it with a Red Leaf Lettuce Salad with avacados, carrots and nuts. I was tempted to add some mixed veggies or corn to the soup, but decided against it at the last minute, but that is definitely an option! I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does!

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