December 9, 2010: Chicken Wild Rice Soup Quest

One of my favorite things about all the lakes in Minnesota is the wild rice that come out of them! In fact, I love it so much that my husband and I gave bags of it as favors at our Pennsylvania wedding. Hey, you can't get it out East, and we were supporting local business!

I love wild rice plain, in casseroles, but especially in chicken wild rice soup. I'm on a quest to find the best chicken wild rice soup in the state of Minnesota:

1. Black Bear Lodge & Saloon, Brainerd, MN: This restaurant described its chicken wild rice soup as "legendary" and I was prepared to put it to the test! It surpassed all my expectations, and sits at the top of my list. My husband agrees - it's amazing. Great flavor, a perfect balance between thick and thin, all around fabulous!

2. Dakota Harvest Bakers, Grand Forks, ND: Okay, so the restaurant is in North Dakota, and the soup is actually turkey wild rice, but on both counts close enough because this soup is fantastic!

3. The Great American Bar & Grill, Duluth, MN: This restaurant describes their chicken wild rice soup as "award winning" and it certainly receives the bronze medal on my list! Added bonus - you can buy this soup frozen at your local grocery store!

4. Bixby's Cafe, Grand Rapids, MN: I love their homemade soup - it's very thick and has a great flavor. It's so good, I've eaten it for breakfast!

5. Schroeder's Fine Food & Spirits, St. Paul, MN: My husband and I agree that this soup is excellent!

6. The Timberwolf Inn, Marcell, MN: A hearty and delicious soup that is perfect after a day of snowshoeing. Sometimes they put corn in the soup though - not my style.

7. Panera, Minneapolis, MN: My Panera in Pennsylvania never had chicken wild rice soup, but thankfully the chain caters to regional tastes!

8. Brewed Awakenings, Grand Rapids, MN: A thinner soup with a mild flavor and locally grown rice!

9. Forest Lake Restaurant, Grand Rapids, MN: This soup is mediocre, and there is corn in it - not a fan!

10. Grizzlies Grill N Saloon, Duluth, MN: Another mediocre, corn-filled soup.

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