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Cheesy Ham 'n' Rice Soup

 Cheesy Ham 'n' Rice Soup
Here's a real gem! After tasting a similar soup at a popular restaurant in the Twin Cities, I came up with my own version. Everyone who tastes it says it's wonderful. Adding the almonds at the end gives the soup a fun crunch. -Nicole Weir, Hager City, Wisconsin
12 ServingsPrep/Total Time: 30 min.

Ingredients

  • 4 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 4 medium carrots, shredded
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups half-and-half cream
  • 8 ounces process cheese (Velveeta), cubed
  • 4 cups cooked wild rice
  • 3 cups cubed fully cooked ham
  • 2-2/3 cups cooked brown rice
  • 3 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
  • 8 cups water
  • Slivered almonds, optional

Directions

  • In a large saucepan, saute celery and onion in butter until tender.
  • Add carrots; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes. In a large kettle or
  • Dutch oven, combine the flour, salt and pepper. Gradually stir in
  • cream. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until
  • thickened.
  • Remove from the heat; stir in cheese until melted. Stir in the wild
  • rice, ham, brown rice, bouillon, celery mixture and water. Return to
  • a boil. Sprinkle with almonds if desired. Yield: 12 servings.

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Cheesy Ham 'n' Rice Soup (continued)

Nutritional Facts: 1 serving (1 cup) equals 341 calories, 16 g fat (9 g saturated fat), 61 mg cholesterol, 1,580 mg sodium, 32 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 16 g protein.