Catfish and Wild Rice Soup

As a lifelong fisherman, my first memories are of catching bluegills and catfish. What a great fight those whisker bearing devils put on when my bobber disappeared. Of course sometimes a Red Eared Terrapin or a soft shelled snapper would surprise me, but the catfish were a great memory. Whether its channel, Opelousas, yellows or blues, catfish are fun to catch but are also great table fare. The list of ways to prepare catfish runs the gamut like a Bubba Gump Shrimp story, but when my wife’s parents started raising blue catfish we got busy trying out several ways to cook them. This version of Catfish and Wild Rice Soup originally came from The Catfish Institute website, and I simply made some changes to my liking. It is wonderful and we make it often, feel free to substitute with Tilapia, trout or your favorite type of fish.

Makes 6 servings

1 cup wild rice
4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
5 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon of your favorite Hot Sauce
2 pounds U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish Fillets, blackened and then cut into bite-size pieces
2 cups light cream or milk (whole milk will work fine and has a few less calories)
1/4 cup dry sherry ( have a little bit left to drizzle in the top of each bowl when serving)
3 tablespoons of Texas Gourmet’s Sidewinder Searing Spice
very thin lemon slices
3 tablespoons of freshly cut green onion chives


1. Place rice in a colander and rinse under running water; drain.

2. In a medium saucepan, bring water and salt to a boil; add rice. Return to boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 45 to 55 minutes or until rice is tender. Drain.

3. In a large kettle or Dutch oven, cook onion, celery, and garlic in butter or margarine until tender. Stir in flour. Add chicken broth, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil.

For the catfish, brush the filets with melted butter, then dust the filets with Texas Gourmet’s Sidewinder Searing Spice on both sides. In a seasoned black iron or heavy skillet with med. high heat , cook the filets turning them carefully so they don’t get torn apart (or as little as possible) after they are cooked through and have a good rich color remove them from the pan and allow them to sit for a couple minutes to cool slightly. Now, cut them into bite sized pieces and place them in the pot with the other ingredients. Return to boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily.

4. Stir in cooked wild rice, light cream or milk, and dry sherry. Heat through.

5. Garnish each serving with a slice of lemon and a tablespoon of chopped green onion chive ,(then I like a dash of Sherry on top. )

Bon Appetit!
Bryan Slaven, The Texas Gourmet

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