February 6, 2014

Chicken and Wild Rice Reisling Soup With Kale Salad

Let me start by saying that I think this is my all-time favorite soup in the whole history of soup.  Wait, there is that corn chowder from MESA Grill I had once.... and there is that Lobster Bisque from the Grand Rapids Chop House....well,  this is the best soup that I make. This recipe came from a friend, who prepared it for my family upon our return home from vacation.  They turned the heat up in the house and decorated the dining room like a tropical paradise.  And, a pot of soup was  ready and warm, with crusty bread and a nice salad.  What a way to come home from a sunny Florida beach  to a frigid Michigan winter. I have since made this recipe my own, using the ingredients the way I like and omitting a few, like flour as a thickener.  I don't like to thicken soups with flour.  I like CREAM.
  • 3 TBSP butter
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup shallots, minced
  • 1 leek, cleaned and trimmed.  Use half of the  greens and all of whites, finely sliced
  • 2 celery stalks,  thinly sliced
  • 1 cup Riesling wine ( you can use Sherry or other  white wine)
  • 3 carrots, quartered and sliced
  • 2 quarts chicken broth ( I used the boxed stock)
  • 2 tsp. tarragon
  • 3/4 cup wild rice (you can also use the pre-cooked package of Uncle Ben's and add it just at the end of cooking)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • White chicken breast meat from a roasted chicken
  1. Heat butter in soup pot. 
  2. Add garlic, shallots,celery and leeks
  3. Cook until softened about 5 min.
  4. Add wine and reduce liquid  to half, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add carrots, stirring.
  6. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  7. Cook about 10 minutes.
  8. Add tarragon, cream and rice.
  9. Cook until carrots are tender, but still a bit firm
  10. Add chicken.
  11. Salt and pepper to taste.
 Serve Soup with a Delicious Crunchy Kale Salad

This is my new favorite: A Kale Salad.  I had one  at my church potluck late summer and fell in love.  It was perfect timing because I had a ton of kale growing in my backyard garden for its beauty, not because I wanted to eat it. Our neighborhood garden also had a few varieties planted and was being harvested. You can play with the ingredients a bit but I am listing the ones that I think are THE BEST to add.  My pastor's wife is the one who brought the salad to the dinner and she MASSAGES the kale leaves with coconut oil before tossing the salad.  It makes a difference.  Also, this salad is great on day number 2 and 3!  The kale leaves hold up to the dressing and does not become soggy.  Just lightly dress it if you are storing it. NOTE: If you store it, the coconut oil solidifies, so you must bring it  close to room temperature to liquify it.  You may also add a touch of warm water to the salad before tossing it.  

The Ingredients  
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup sugar or 1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon minced dry onion
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon poppyseeds 
Optional: I add 1/4cup raw coconut oil
Large bunch of kale (curley)
2 green onions, slivered
1/2 lb. radishes, thinly sliced
2-3 stalks of celery, thinly sliced
2-3 carrots,  thinly sliced
1/4 cup of red cabbage, chopped
1 cup of quartered raw Brussels sprouts
Dried cherries or cranberries.  
Fresh blueberries.
Chopped crunchy toasted sweet nuts (cashews or almonds) 
A sprinkle of white cheese, your choice. I like swiss for this salad

  1. Rip kale into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Massage with 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil.(see note above)
  3. Add salad ingredients and toss with desired amount of dressing.

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