Fall Flavors – Wild Rice Soup

WOW! What a difference a week makes. Last Monday, November 10, we were still combining. When I took dinner out at noon it was 63 degrees. Grandpa enjoyed his dinner outside. A week later it was 12 degrees and Grandpa thought it was a good day to go to town with Grandma!

Grandpa Van Lunch

See Grandpa sitting in the tire eating dinner on a beautiful fall day!

Last Wednesday was an exciting day as we finished harvest,IMG_5198 (2) weaned calves,IMG_4334 (2) and emptied the hog barn.292939_352200121524625_736696426_n (2) All good milestones! Now on to the next phase. The hog building must be cleaned and ready for pigs to arrive two weeks from today, Dec. 2nd (Happy Birthday Emily!). At the end of that process it is probably cleaner than my kitchen floor!

According to numbers from the weekly update from the dairy, calves could arrive as soon as this weekend. So, today we will finish selling a group of cattle in order to make room for a group that must be moved out of a barn before the calves from the calf barn can be moved to that barn. Then the calf barn needs to be cleaned up and ready for new calves this weekend.

The ground here in central Iowa is frozen now. We tried to get some field work done before that happened so there were a few late nights/early mornings last week. Kevin even gave me an early birthday present.


I am so excited to have an early birthday present! In the background you can see the corn stalk bales being used as a windbreak for our cattle.

Putting bales in place

Building a windbreak for the cattle using corn stalk bales.

Kevin was also trying to get large round bales of corn stalks baled for cattle bedding before the snow arrived.

On these cold fall days I like to make soup. Chili is an easy one and I make it quite a bit, but I do like to add a little variety. Following is one of my favorites. (Kevin even likes it and he doesn’t like rice!)

Wild Rice Soup

½ C. wild rice
2 C. water
1 tsp. salt
9 slices bacon
1 medium onion (chopped)
2 can cream of potato soup
1 qt. Half and Half
1 ½ C. milk
2 C. Velveeta cheese (cut in small chunks)
Cook rice in water and salt for 45-60 minutes. Fry bacon until crispy; then sauté onion in bacon drippings. Put drained rice, crumbled bacon, and drained onion in a large, heavy saucepan. Add remaining ingredients. Heat until cheese melts, but do not boil. Makes a large batch, but leftovers freeze well.

Last week when I made this the leftovers were not enough to feed a crew. I was hungry for a baked potato. So, I threw some potatoes in the oven, cooked a little broccoli, and used the wild rice soup as a topping for the baked potatoes! I love it when a last minute thought using leftovers turns into a “new” dish!

Stay warm!