Not your traditional wild rice soup - this soup has more of a tomato base.
1/2 lb bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/4-inch half-moons
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
16 oz wild rice blend (i use Lundberg Wild Blend - wild & whole grain brown rice)
2 cups cooked and cubed chicken breast (i usually have cooked and saved a couple of extra breasts during the week - it makes the cooking time much faster.)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
3.5 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
In a Dutch oven (or other 5-quart pot with a tight-fitting lid), cook bacon over medium-low heat until browned and crisp. Drain off all but 1 tablespoon fat.
Add onion and carrots; cook until softened. Stir in garlic, and cook until fragrant. Stir in tomato paste.
Add rice, thyme, broth, and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer. Cover; cook until rice is tender, about 50 minutes.
Stir in vinegar, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Serve immediately.
Note: If you prefer to leave out the bacon, skip step 1, and cook the onions and carrots in 1 tablespoon olive oil.
If the soup becomes too thick during cooking, add up to a cup more water.