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Chicken Wild Rice Soup, rice flour as a thickener

I don't know what your weather has been like lately, but here it's been typical March -- a couple of warmer days to make you think that spring is finally almost here, and then back to winter!  These last two days have looked good (read sun is shining), but when you go outside, there is an arctic wind blowing and the temperature is maybe 23.  Brrrrr!  When it's like this, I always want comfort food -- you know, like hot homemade soup.  So today I thought I'd share with you one of my favorite soups.  I actually have several similar recipes for Chicken (or Turkey) and Wild Rice Soup, but my favorite one was sent to me by my friend Kayce.  I have adapted it to be gluten free.

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

4 cans (14-1/2 oz) Swanson's Chicken Broth
2 Cups sliced carrots
1 Cup sliced celery
2/3 Cup sliced green onions
2/3 Cup wild rice
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. pepper
3 Cups chopped, cooked chicken or turkey
4 Tbsp. butter
6 Tbsp. brown or white rice flour
2 Cups milk (I use 1 cup evaporated 2% milk and 1 cup water)

In large pan, mix broth, carrots, celery, onion, uncooked rice, thyme, and pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat.  Cover and simmer for 50 minutes or until rice is tender.

Melt butter in sauce pan.  Stir in flour and cook 2-3 minutes.

Stir in milk all at once.  Stir constantly until thick and smooth and bubbling. 

Slowly add to vegetable/rice mixture, stirring constantly.  Stir in chicken or turkey.  Heat through.  Makes about 2-1/2 qts.

Doesn't that just make you feel cozy?  The perfect antidote to cold weather.

If you can't have the milk, just add another can of broth to the roux and proceed as usual.  The soup won't look creamy, but it will have a nice texture to it.

The original recipe called for regular flour as the thickener, of course.  Happily, rice flour thickens just like wheat flour, in the same proportions, so you can use any of your recipes for gravy, white sauce, etc. and just substitute rice flour for the wheat flour.  Most recipes that begin with a butter/flour roux say to cook them together for about 1 minute and then add the liquid.  I've found that when using rice flour, it helps to cook them together longer -- 2-3 minutes -- before adding the liquid.  If cooked together for only 1 minute, you will detect graininess in the finished product, but it will be nice and smooth if you cook it longer, and no one will ever know that you used rice flour instead of wheat!

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