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Wild Rice Cranberry Soup

Cranberry Wild Rice Soup is like Christmas dinner in a bowl. It’s deliciously creamy, herby, and hearty.  It’s made with lots of vegetables, whole milk and cream but the special ingredient is small bites of sweet and tart dried cranberries.  It’s also the perfect way to use leftover turkey after Thanksgiving or Christmas.

As we enter the holiday season, I want to share some creative ideas for gathering together with friends and family.  When I was in high school, I used to organize an ugly sweater Christmas party every December. It was so fun to scour used clothing stores for the ugliest sweaters imaginable. We would submit a vote at the end of the night for the ugliest sweater and the winner got a small prize like an iTunes gift card (There’s a throwback!).

I love themed parties and I find it’s so helpful for holiday parties to have a theme. Here are some ideas to get you inspired to invite people into your home this year.

Hospitality Ideas for the Month of December 

Frequently Asked Questions About Wild Rice Cranberry Soup

What Should I Serve with Wild Rice Cranberry Soup?

  • Pair with a rustic loaf of bread — store bought is great! Try to look for a sourdough loaf. They are delicious! 
  • To elevate the meal, you could also make a flavoured or herbed butter. There are lots of recipes for herbed butter online.
  • Cranberry juice mixed with sparkling water would be a delicious addition to the meal.

Can I Freeze Wild Rice Cranberry Soup?

Yes, you can make this soup ahead of time and freeze it. I recommend putting in all the ingredients except the milk and cream. Freeze the soup without the dairy and add it on the day you are going to serve it.

Can I Make Wild Rice Cranberry Soup Ahead of Time?

Definitely. This is a great soup to make the day before. The flavours will only get better if allowed to sit for 24 hours in the fridge. When you bring the soup back up to temperature for serving, be careful not to let the temperature reach a boiling point as this will cause the milk to separate.

How to Make Wild Rice Cranberry Soup

Before beginning, chop all your vegetables and set out all the ingredients. 

Cook the cubed chicken in a separate frying pan until lightly browned and fully cooked. Set aside. 

Meanwhile, set a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot or Dutch oven on the stovetop and melt 2 tbsp of butter. Add the chopped onions and cook for several minutes until softened.  Add the diced carrots and celery and cook for several more minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the chicken broth, wild rice and bay leaves. 

Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes or until the carrots and rice grains are tender.  Reduce the heat, remove the bay leaves and add the remaining spices, dried cranberries (snip each cranberry two or three times with kitchen scissors for smaller bites), milk and cream.  Stir in the cooked chicken and taste the soup. 

Take your time to carefully adjust for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper as needed. If the broth requires thickening, make a slurry by melting ¼ cup of butter in a separate small saucepan and whisking  ¼ cup of flour into it.  Stir for several minutes. Add the slurry to the soup to thicken. Bring the soup back to temperature, stirring constantly.  Taste again for seasoning. Serve the soup with a garnish of fresh herbs and a sprinkle of snipped dried cranberries. 

Tips for Making Wild Rice Cranberry Soup

  • Prepare all ingredients before beginning. This makes for a more enjoyable cooking experience.
  • For smaller bites of cranberry throughout, I snip the cranberries two to three times with kitchen scissors. 
  • I provide the option to thicken the soup.  Depending on the brand of wild rice sometimes the rice itself lends enough starch to thicken the broth but if you find the broth too thin, you can add a slurry of butter and flour to thicken. Instructions below. 
  • Before you add the milk and cream, check that the carrots and rice grains are cooked and tender. 
  • Once you’ve added the milk and cream ensure to not let the soup reach a boil again. If the dairy gets too hot it will separate. 
  • For a beautiful presentation when serving, sprinkle fresh herbs and a few dried cranberries on each soup bowl.

More Recipes to Enjoy Around the Table

Cauliflower Mushroom soup is all the best of a creamy cauliflower soup plus the depth of flavour from a mushroom soup combined. A perfect soup for fall on a cold day when you want a bowl of pure comfort with flavours of sage, thyme and mushrooms.

Butternut Squash Soup made with Apple Cider will fill your home with the aromas of fall. The combination of apple cider and butternut squash with the addition of warming spices makes this soup the definition of fall flavours.

You need this easy recipe in your life! Chana Masala is a flavour-packed, delicious and nutritious meal. Chana Masala is actually my favourite inexpensive, convenient and easy weekday dinner recipe to make.

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Wild Rice Cranberry Soup Recipe

Cranberry Wild Rice Chicken Soup

Cranberry Wild Rice Soup is like Christmas dinner in a bowl. It’s deliciously creamy, herby, and hearty.  It’s made with lots of vegetables, whole milk and cream but the special ingredient is small bites of sweet and tart dried cranberries.  It’s also the perfect way to use leftover turkey after Thanksgiving or Christmas.
5 from 3 votes

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 cups carrot diced
  • 1 cup celery diced
  • 2 cups onion diced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup wild rice
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tsp rosemary dried
  • 1 tsp ground sage dried
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 2 bay leaves optional
  • 1 lb chicken cubed
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups half n half cream

To Thicken The Soup

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup flour

Instructions
 

  • Before beginning, chop all your vegetables and set out all the ingredients. Cook the cubed chicken in a separate frying pan until lightly browned and fully cooked. Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, set a large, heavy bottomed soup pot or Dutch oven on the stove top and melt 2 tbsp of butter. Add the chopped onions and cook for several minutes until softened.
  • Add the diced carrots and celery and cook for several more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the chicken broth, wild rice and bay leaves.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes or until the carrots and rice grains are tender.
  • Reduce the heat, remove the bay leaves and add the remaining spices, dried cranberries (snip each cranberry two or three times with kitchen scissors for smaller bites), milk and cream.
  • Stir in the cooked chicken and taste the soup. Take your time to carefully adjust for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper as needed.
  • If the broth requires thickening, make a slurry by melting ¼ cup of butter in a separate small saucepan and whisking  ¼ cup of flour into it.  Stir for several minutes. Add the slurry to the soup to thicken. Bring the soup back to temperature, stirring constantly.
  • Taste again for seasoning. Serve the soup with a garnish of fresh herbs and a sprinkle of snipped dried cranberries.

Notes

  • For smaller bites of cranberry throughout, I snip the cranberries two to three times with kitchen scissors. 
  • Before you add the milk and cream, check that the carrots and rice grains are cooked and tender. 
  • Once you’ve added the milk and cream, make sure the  soup doesn’t reach a boil again.  If the dairy gets too hot, it will separate. 
 

‘Til next time,

Christy

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Hi! I’m Christy, a happy wife and mother to three boys, a nutritionist, a food lover and a Canadian. Creating and experimenting in the kitchen is my idea of an afternoon well spent. To me, a clean kitchen is an empty canvas of possibility and that means my kitchen never stays clean for long. My dream is that one or more of the recipes I share here will inspire you, perhaps even becoming a cherished family favourite.

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