Savory Chicken and Rice Soup

Savory chicken and rice soup

I spent last weekend with my brother and his wife doing geeky things.  Dan fixed chicken and rice soup for me that was totally delicious.  With the exception of the celery, carrots and peppers, this is his recipe.  It’s not fast but it is dead easy and the tastiest chicken and rice soup I’ve ever had.

If you’ve been following my recipes you know I can’t do soy.  I don’t like using bouillon cubes because most commercial bouillon cubes have way too much salt and don’t taste that great . . . and usually have soy.  That means making soup is problematic because most commercial meat stocks have soy.  That means if I’m going to make tasty soup I have to order soyless stock online or making stock from scratch.  Hello?  Ms. Lazy here . . .

There’s a new product on the market that doesn’t have soy.  It’s called “Better Than Bouillon”, it’s a paste and our local Safeway carries it.  How cool is that!?  I think Dan and Vala do most of their shopping at their local Fred Meyer and the organic meat market, so the product must be available in lots of other stores as well.  I can tell Dan and Vala have been thinking about me because they found a product with NO soy to add to my repertoire.  Isn’t it wonderful to be loved?

For this recipe you’ll need  1¼ cups of rice.  I used long grain white but you can use whatever floats your boat.  I’ve tried rice mixes and I think the flavor of the long grain white is best.  Brown rice adds a discordant flavor.  Adding some wild rice in with the white would probably work.

You’ll need a family pack of boneless skinless chicken thighs.  Dan used whole thighs and I pulled the skin, bone and fat when I cut them up partway through the cooking process while Dan skimmed off the fat.  I’m lazy.  I don’t want to have to do that much work so I’m advocating the lazy man’s way . . . boneless skinless thighs.  There are about 10 thighs in a family pack and that will make 5 quarts of nice meaty chicken and rice soup, enough to eat now, enough to put in the fridge for tomorrow and enough to freeze a couple meals for when you haven’t got the time to cook.  Freezing fractures the cooked rice, so expect that.

You’re going to need three big stalks of celery, half a big onion (I bet a red onion would add color that would be nice – I’ll have to try it next time), three good sized carrots, red and green pepper and a stock pot.

Fill the stock pot ½ full of water.  Stick it on a big burner and turn the burner on medium.  Add the following in any order:

  • half a bottle of low sodium Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base.  Trust me, this soup is so flavorful it doesn’t need the salt . . . and neither do you.
  • half an onion, diced (see the quick dicing instructions at the bottom of the potato soup page here)
  • diced celery – 3 big stalks
  • half a diced red pepper
  • half a diced green pepper
  • chicken thighs

Give it a quick stir.  Put the lid on.

The goal is to get the chicken fall-apart tender so it needs to simmer for a while.  Once you’ve got the pot simmering good turn the heat down just enough to maintain the simmer.  Stir occasionally until the chicken is tender.

Fish the chicken thighs out and set them aside to cool a bit.  Peel and dice the carrot and chuck it in the pot.  Add the 1¼ cups of rice.  Stir.  Dice the thigh meat and chuck that in the pot.  Stir occasionally.  When the rice is done the soup is done.

No kidding, this is THE most awesomely simple and tasty chicken and rice soup.  Serve it with a fresh green salad or some steamed veggies and you’ve got a great healthy low fat meal.  This soup has my mom’s seal of “good.”  I’ll make her a pot of it when she goes in for surgery.   A bit of microwaving and it’s a meal!  She should be able to manage that with one arm!

Note: This recipe was updated 3/10 to reduce water and rice and add peppers.

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