This soup is incredibly hearty and beautiful and completely captures the essence of fall. It is a great way to include pumpkin into your diet in a savory way, and the other vegetables, rice and chicken make it a one-pot meal.
¼ cup olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped (1/8”)
2 large carrots, finely chopped
2 large celery stalks, finely chopped
2 cups white wine
8 cups chicken stock
1 large sugar pumpkin, peeled, seeded, stringy center scraped out and finely chopped (1/8”). This should equal between 5 ½ and 6 cups of chopped pumpkin.
2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup wild rice
1 large sprig thyme, leaves stripped, (or more to taste)
kosher salt and pepper
Heat a medium-large pot over medium heat, add the olive oil. When the olive oil is warmed through but not hot, add the onion. Sprinkle with salt and stir until soft and becoming translucent. Add the carrots and celery.
Cook the vegetables until soft and tender, but do not brown them. Add the 2 cups white wine, and let it cook down. Add the chicken stock and then the chicken breasts. Cover the pot, and turn the heat to low. Simmer the chicken for about 15-20 minutes, or until it is mostly cooked through.
Remove the chicken breasts from the soup, and set them aside to cool. When they have cooled enough to handle, shred the chicken with a fork and reserve in a bowl with juices.
Add the pumpkin to the soup, and again cover the pot and simmer about 20 minutes, or until the pumpkin has softened.
Remove 2-4 cups of the soup and add it to a blender. Puree it until smooth (don’t forget to put a dishtowel over the top and hold it on tight so it doesn’t explode!!), and then add it back to the soup pot.
Add the chicken, thyme and 1 cup of wild rice to the soup pot. Put the cover on the pot and turn the heat to low. Let the soup cook about 30 minutes.
When the rice is tender, season the soup with salt and pepper and serve hot.