Maurice Sendak gave me joy when I was a child. I loved the adventures on the pages of those magical books. I’m not alone in wanting to escape with Max in “Where the Wild Things Are” and make some noise with those bakers from “In The Night Kitchen.” Just last month, I attended a baby shower for which guests were asked to bring a beloved children’s book for the baby-to-be and I gave “In The Night Kitchen.” What tremendous gifts Sendak gave us with his books.
After I heard of his passing this morning, I knew we had to make chicken soup with rice for dinner — a nod to his delightful “Chicken Soup With Rice.” When it came to making the soup, I knew it had to be made with wild rice. (Let the wild rumpus begin!) While we chopped veggies, I played the Carole King song version of the story.
Chicken Soup with Wild Rice
4 cups chicken stock
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 fennel bulb
4 heads of bok choy
1 tsp. Herbs de Provence
Roughly chop the carrots, fennel, and onion and set aside. (This recipe replaces the traditional celery in the mirepoix with fennel, simply because we didn’t have any celery on hand… and we love fennel.)
Chop bok choy, keeping it separate from the mirepoix.
Prepare wild rice with vegetable stock in a large pot. When rice is a few minutes from being done, add 1 quart of chicken stock and bring to a rolling boil.
Add the mirepoix and simmer until vegetables are tender but firm.
Season with Herbs de Provence and salt and pepper (we used black salt and white pepper — wild!).
Add pulled pieces of meat from a roasted chicken (except for the pieces you eat while preparing the soup…) and reduce heat to low.
Stir in the bok choy a few minutes before serving.
Top each bowl of soup with a squirt or two of fresh squeezed lemon juice.