Q: I’ve enjoyed this column for many years and now have a request that I believe is worthy of inclusion. My husband and son discovered Cantaberry Restaurant in downtown Ellijay a few years ago and raved about it. The next time my daughter and I were in the area with them, we made a point to stop in for lunch. We all agreed that their Chicken and Wild Rice Soup was hands down the “best soup we’d ever eaten.” It is rich and creamy, but not overly so, as the broth is still fairly thin. They’ve now opened a second (more convenient for us) location in downtown Blue Ridge and we make sure to get by there every time we’re in town. It is rare for all four of us to deem something “the best we’ve ever had.” I will no doubt attain “hero” status in the eyes of my family if you’re able to get Chef Case to share this recipe. Thank you! — Rebecca Long, Sandy Springs
A: Jessica Bruner of Cantaberry’s was happy to supply this recipe, which required a little tweaking to go from restaurant version to home cook-friendly. We’ve cut this recipe down quite a bit from the large batch they make each day.
Cantaberry’s uses a restaurant product, Sysco’s Long Grain and Wild Rice Blend, to make this soup. For home cooks, they suggest using Uncle Ben’s Country Inn Chicken and Wild Rice instead. The cooked chicken in the soup is from their slow-roasted chicken.
Bruner credits the former owners of Cantaberry’s for the original recipe and says the diners there are responsible for its continued place on the menu. “The Chicken and Wild Rice Soup was always a customer favorite, so we decided to put it on the menu every day.”
Cantaberry’s Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
4 cups hot water
1 (5-ounce) package Uncle Ben’s Country Inn Chicken and Wild Rice, with seasoning packet
1 3/4 cups heavy cream
6 teaspoons chicken bouillon powder
1 cup shredded cooked chicken
In a large saucepan, combine hot water and wild rice mix and its seasoning packet. Add heavy cream and bouillon powder. Bring to a boil and cook until thickened. Stir in chicken and serve hot. Makes: 7 cups
Per 1/2-cup serving: 156 calories (percent of calories from fat, 66), 5 grams protein, 8 grams carbohydrates, trace fiber, 12 grams fat (7 grams saturated), 49 milligrams cholesterol, 290 milligrams sodium.