This soup is such a favorite it has become a tradition in my family. I make it after every Thanksgiving using stock made from the turkey carcass instead of purchased chicken broth. I add leftover turkey meat but otherwise follow the recipe exactly. I tried using 2 packages of rice but preferred using only one (made more of a stew than a soup with my meat addition). We affectionately refer to this soup as the "heart-attack soup" as it certainly isn't healthy but we only have it once a year—oh well. I have substituted fat-free half-n-half and heathier canned soup but, really, what's the point? (There's still the pound of bacon.) My husband and sons absolutely love it and look forward to it yearly—definitely a man-pleaser.
I LOVE this recipe as do my friends and family. As Amanda mentioned, I also double the rice. In addition to that I add chopped water chestnuts to add a another dimension to the texture.
This soup is AMAZING!! I double the rice, cut the mushroom amount in half and chop them up real fine; and, I add rotisserie chicken (shredded). I eat this soup for every meal until it's gone!