I learned to make a version of this Turmeric-infused Chicken and Wild Rice Soup from my great Indian cooking mentor Noorbanu Nimji. It’s filled with aromatic spices like cinnamon, cloves, pepper, garlic and ginger. We used to joke that it was her cure for the common cold. She served it with just chicken, broth and spices. I’ve added Alberta wild rice and the three crown jewels of flavour – onion, carrots and celery. Plus, a little zucchini because I like it in soups.
I like to make this soup on cool fall days. We eat a bit when I make it. Then, the rest goes in the freezer or to friends. It’s nice to pull out if and when someone in the house gets a cold (which has gone down dramatically since the pandemic – a side benefit from all that hand washing and masking). Isn’t homemade chicken soup the ultimate comfort food?
Maybe it’s just my warm memories of being snuggled around a bowl in Noorbanu’s kitchen, smiling at her with each sippy slurp, that makes it so. But, I think you’ll enjoy it too. The use of spices is quite different than most ho-hum chicken soups. Let me know if you make it and how it is for you. That helps me savour it all.Print
Turmeric-Infused Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
Along with turmeric’s well-documented health benefits this soup adds the heavenly scent of cinnamon and cloves, the kick of a little freshly ground black pepper and the accent of ginger and garlic. While it may not cure colds, I do think it will lift the blues that come with having one.
Tips: Buy a three-pound chicken and cut it into pieces or use bone in chicken pieces to achieve the most flavourful soup. You can add a little more turmeric at the end of the cooking time if you’d like to amplify the soup’s golden hue.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 hours
- Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
- Yield: 8 to 10 servings
- Category: Soups
- Method: stovetop
- Cuisine: Indian
2-3 lb chicken – cut in pieces or whole
Water to cover and a little more
½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
5 small pieces of cinnamon bark
6 whole cloves
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1 teaspoon garlic paste
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 cup wild rice
4 cups water
½ cup finely chopped onion (1 medium)
2 diced carrots
2 stalks diced celery
2 small zucchini, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons finely cut fresh coriander leaves
- Place the chicken, water, whole peppercorns, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, garlic and turmeric in a large soup pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer partially covered for 1 to 2 hours or until the chicken is falling off the bones.
- Meanwhile, place the wild rice and 4 cups of water in another pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes and then turn off heat, keep covered and allow the rest of the water to be absorbed. Set aside.
- Remove the chicken from the soup once cooked, let it cool and then remove the meat from the bones.
- Strain the whole spices from the broth. Set the broth aside and discard the whole spices. Tip: I strain through a cheese cloth to get a clear broth.
- Heat the olive oil on medium heat and add the onion, carrots and celery cooking about 5 minutes or until soft and translucent but not browned. Add the zucchini and cook a few minutes more.
- Add the reserved broth, chicken and wild rice to the pot.
- Taste and season the soup with the salt and pepper. Tip: You may like to add a little more ginger as well.
- Garnish with the cilantro.
- Enjoy by the steaming hot bowl full – cold or no cold.
Keywords: Turmeric-Infused Chicken and Wild Rice Soup