Chasing Delicious | Chicken and Rice Soup
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Chicken and Rice Soup

Birds sing back and forth; branches dance, their leaves sailing in the wind; squirrels frolic in the grass and clouds perform magic acts as they appear and disappear in the nearly pristine blue sky. Rays of sunshine play peak a boo as they try and dodge filtering leaves. The warm columns of light tempt and tease me, pointing and laughing as I hide deep under my comforter. I cough and sneeze and blow my nose. Glasses of water disappear as soon as they are filled. My couch creaks under my constant turning and jostling, disturbing the nostalgic sound of Jessica Fletcher pondering aloud as she solves yet another convenient murder.

I dramatically struggle to reach for my water sitting just a foot away, grunting and moaning, sighing and gasping, hoping to catch the sympathy of my brother as he merrily skips by void of any infection. No luck. I sit up with little effort, rethinking my ploy to garner attention, and a servant for the day. Being the only foodie in the house, I know what must be done.

I shuffle into the kitchen collecting a few vegetables, arranging them neatly on my counter. I lay the did-this-get-heavier cutting board on my counter with a grunt and begin to julienne, then dice the vegetables. I chop the onion in half, the pungent smell a refreshing wake up call to my sleeping, clogged sinuses, then slice it into a grid leaving small little uniform cubes as I chop through the top of each onion half. With a slide of the knife I arrange the diced onion into a neat pile next to the other nearly-pefect piles of vegetables. I smash the garlic with my knife and chop that too.

Over a pot I let a few glugs of olive oil fall into the pot; I wait for it to heat up. I pull the stock from the fridge and set it near by. As my nose begins to pick up the smell of oil I slide all of the vegetables into the deep pot. I let my ears enjoy the sizzle of raw vegetables in hot oil as I give them a quick stir with my favorite wooden spoon. Soon I add the rice and then pour in the waiting stock. Sweet smells of sweating vegetables meld into the beautiful smells of a slow simmering soup.

Before I know it I am again tucked under my big puffy blanket of solace, holding a large shallow soup bowl with one hand as I sip spoonfuls of savory and sweet stock from the large spoon in my other hand. I save bites of rice, carrot and chicken until I have scooped up nearly all of the stock, forcing myself to return to the pot for another ladle of steaming stock. A smile pierces my achey face; my sinuses begin to clear up and my headache is replaced with a warm comfortable feeling inside.

If there is one thing I believe in, it is the curing power of homemade food, particularly homemade chicken and rice soup when I’m sick. In fact the only thing that will get me out of bed or off of the couch when I’m sick is to make soup–and sometimes photograph it and write about it.

Soup: There are three things that are a soup’s best friend: time, slow simmering and homemade stock. This soup can be made in 45 minutes and is about the fastest soup recipe out there–unless you’re opening a can. I always avoid a rolling boil and really anything over a slow, lazy simmer when making soups–a slow lazy simmer will produce only a few bubbles breaking the surface every minute. As for stock, well that is the base of soup, and the most apparent flavor you will taste, especially in a stock-based soup like this. In fact, I made a post, Ten Reasons to Make Broth from Scratch with a Recipe and Tips, so before I get on a homemade stock/broth rant, I am going to point you there.

Chicken and rice soup is a classic and this is a deliciously savory and slightly sweet homage to our grandmother’s soup. I don’t know what it is in soup, but it always makes me feel better. This is not only my go to soup when I’m sick, but it is my go to soup when I’m looking for a quick and easy lunch or dinner. This rice and chicken soup is delicious with layers of sweet–thanks to the vegetables–and savory–thanks to the chicken.  The rice and large carrot chunks add a nice bite.

Chicken and Rice Soup

Ingredients
1 onion, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 parsnip, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely diced
3 carrots, sliced on a bias
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup white rice
2 quarts chicken stock
1 cooked chicken breast, chopped
olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Instructions
1. Heat a couple tablespoons olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium low heat until the oil is hot.

2. Add all of the vegetables and sweat over medium low heat for 10 to 15 minutes covered until the vegetables are soft and the onions just translucent. Stir occasionally to keep any vegetables from sticking or burning.

3. Add the rice, salt and pepper and stir for a minute.

4. Add the stock and bring to a simmer over medium high heat. The surface will steam and bubbles will break the surface occasionally.

5. Reduce the heat to low (you may want to do this slowly to keep the soup from ceasing its simmer) and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

6. Add the chopped chicken and simmer another 5 minutes until the chicken is heated through, continue to stir occasionally.

7. Taste and add salt and pepper to your taste.

Enjoy! As I bid you adieu I will be dragging me and my big quilt back to bed to hopefully sleep the rest of this slightly-annoying-but-at-least-I-got-soup-out-of-it ailment.

Come join SoupaPalooza at TidyMom and Dine and Dishsponsored by KitchenAidRed Star Yeast and Le Creuset

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AUTHOR - Russell van Kraayenburg

Founder of Chasing Delicious, and author of Haute Dogs, Russell's works have been featured in Southern Living, Men's Fitness, Redbook, TRADHome, and Real Simple magazines and on various sites including Lifehacker, Fast Co., Business Insider, The Kitchn, Live Originally, Quipsologies, Explore, and Fine Cooking. Follow Russell on Twitter @rvank and Instagram. Get more delicious @chasedelicious.

42 Comments

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  • Paula @ Dishing the Divine

    Looks delicious! Hope you feel better soon!

    • Russell

      Thank you very much! The soup helped me rebound quickly.

  • Hester aka The Chef Doc

    This soup looks wonderful :-) I’ll have to read your post on the homemade stock; I’m just too lazy for it these days, haha. I hope you feel better soon!

    • Russell

      Thank you! I’m feeling much better. You should definitely try it at least once. It’s not as time consuming as I first thought and the results are just incredible. Thanks again!

  • Mike@The Culinary Lens

    The ultimate comfort food. Probably a placebo effect but it always makes me feel better when I am feeling poorly. Looks delicious.

  • Holly Henry

    There is nothing like a warm bowl of chicken soup when you’re not feeling well! Wonderful post!!

    Holly

  • Joan Nova

    Glad I didn’t stop at your facebook update because the post is so well-written. Hope you’re feeling better!

    • Russell

      Thank you very much, Joan! I am definitely feeling better now. The soup for sure helped. And thank you for your kind words too!

  • Isabelle @ Crumb

    Chicken soup totally has curative powers… anyone who says otherwise just hasn’t had a good bowl of proper homemade chicken soup. :)
    We have a bit of a struggle in our house, in that The Boy is a chicken-noodle kinda guy and I’m a chicken-rice kinda gal. When I win the battle and get to use rice, I also like to add a handful of canned chickpeas, just like my grandma used to do… they make the soup more substantial, which is just the thing when you’re sick.

    • Russell

      Chickpeas sounds like a scrumptious addition. I always throw them in my salad so I don’t know why I didn’t think to try them in my soup. And lucky for me I love both chicken noodle and chicken rice soups.

  • Karen @ superfinefeline

    Thanks for sharing this recipe and this is such a beautifully written post. I hope you get well soon.

    • Russell

      Thank you very much for the kind wishes. And thank you for the kind words too : )

      • Karen @ superfinefeline

        Hi Russell,

        You’re welcome! Glad you’re well now and baking such a beautiful pie! I love pie crusts too and could eat nothing but pie crusts.

        Have a fabulous weekend!

        Cheerio!
        Karen

  • Michael Toa

    Nothing like a bowl of comforting soup on a sick day. It looks delicious. Get well soon Russell. Rest well.

    • Russell

      Thank you, Michael! I think this soup definitely helped me rebound quickly.

  • Maya

    I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been unwell, Russell. But what a pain in the ass to have to make your own chicken and rice soup! Although you did a really good job of it, I must say. Get better soon!

    • Russell

      Thank you, Maya! It was a bit annoying to think about having to do but it is such a simple soup that when it came to make it, it wasn’t much of an issue at all. Besides, being in the kitchen helped me keep my mind off of being sick. Thank you again!

  • Amee

    Lovely pics as always, lovely post as always – boys are bad patients (always) :-)

  • Brad Theodore

    Great Post! Soup looks Fever reducing & Delicious. I’ve always felt cooking helped me feel better when I’m ill. The aromas, if not too strong, made me feel way better.

  • Curt

    I love soup, and I love all those ingredients. Looks very tasty indeed!

  • Happy When Not Hungry

    This looks so comforting and delicious! What beautiful photos too!

  • GastroStu

    Mmmmmm chicken soup, ultimate comfort food.

  • Elies_Lie

    I gree with u Russel… the only one that would makes us get out of the bed is a Warm Soup , any kind of soup is will do for me but the important thing it’s must be simple & healthy … & I do loves making broth – homemade broth is tastier & healthier :)
    Loves ur recipe & Congratz for the top 9 on Foobuzz! ;)

  • spiceblogger

    I missed the big unveil! Your new site looks FAB!

    I’m finally home from vacay and ready to get back into the groove of things. I’ve missed my blogging buddies. ;)

    • Russell

      Thank you very much, Shelley! I’m glad you like the new look. Welcome back. We’ve missed you too! I’ve been out of it with my allergies or whatever. I’m excited to head on over to your blog to see what you’ll be cooking up.

  • Val

    I hope you’re feeling better. I’m sure the soup you made helped out (if only for the soul). I do actually believe that homemade chicken soup has the power to heal anything. Yours looks perfect.

    • Russell

      Thank you very much for the kind wishes and words. I think the soup definitely helped because my recovery was quick! Thanks again.

  • Lilly

    I love soup! It’s the cure for almost everything. I hope you are feeling much better. If you have a cold I found out that pomegranate juice helps. Or maybe because I think it helps it does. Give it a try.

    • Russell

      Thanks, Lilly! I had no idea about pomegranate juice. I will give that a try next time. Luckily though my recovery was speedy, thanks to the soup.

  • Omeghan

    Kudos on achieving “Top 9″ !

    And…what sort of rice is used to avoid going moooshy in leftovers ?

    • Russell

      Thank you! That is a good question. To tell you the truth I usually eat this soup so quick that it isn’t an issue. I’d assume a whole grain rice might hold up better. You may need to increase the cooking time to accommodate the change in rice.

  • Reem

    What can be more comforting and cozy than a bowl of warm chicken soup…. Yummmm… Hope you are feeling better. :-)

    • Russell

      Thank you very much! I am definitely feeling much better and I think it was all the soup.

  • Kate@Diethood

    The soup sounds delicious!

  • Stephanie

    Your soup looks delicious and I hope you’re feeling better soon. When my boyfriend and I first moved to this city we both got really sick and lived off of a huge pot of homemade chicken soup. Soup = magical healing powers

    • Russell

      Thank you, Stephanie! I’m always amazed at how powerful homemade chicken soup can be.

  • Christine

    Hope you feel better soon. Love the soup!

    • Russell

      Thank you for the well wishes! I am definitely feeling better and the soup helped make it a quick recovery.

  • RChristopher

    A feel good post and feel good recipe. Hope you are feeling better.

    • Russell

      Thank you very much! I am definitely feeling better!

  • William

    Your photos/food look really great!

  • hermes カバン

    hermes 店

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