chicken soup with rice

April 12, 2011 § 9 Comments

i consider this to be one of my all time favorite comfort dishes. it brings me back to my mother’s kitchen, where she would cook and serve it for both my sister and i, in big piping hot bowls. most people might think that soup is best eaten during the colder seasons, but with chicken soup, i feel that one could tuck into a bowl at virtually anytime of the year. and especially with this recipe because it is both light and hearty at the same time.

ingredients:
• extra-virgin olive oil, a few seconds-drizzle into the stockpot
• 1 garlic clove – finely minced {i don’t think my mom used this}
• 1/2 sweet onion – finely chopped
• 3 celery sticks – finely diced into 1/4 inch cubes
• 2 large carrots – peeled and finely diced into 1/4 inch cubes
• 1 russet potato – any kind will do, peeled and finely diced into 1/4 inch cubes
• italian flat-leaf parsley – chopped
• 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
• 4 cups water
• white wine, a splash for deglazing – i use what i have on hand, here i used
a crisp riesling {nor did my mom use this}
• cooked rice – about 1/3 to 1/2 cup per bowl, i like to use brown whenever
possible but any kind of rice is great
• assorted spices – you can play around with this, use your favorites, here i
used herbs de provence; paprika; salt-free mrs. dash and 21 seasonings salute
from trader joe’s – a few classics
• kosher or sea salt and cracked black pepper
• 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast fillet – cut into bite size chunks {you can
omit this if you are a strict vegetarian, which i am not, or you can sub it for something like shrimp even. although, since this is chicken soup, this may
defeat the purpose, and if you are a vegetarian, you are probably not attempting
this recipe to begin with. [smiles]
• crusty baguette or oyster crackers – though i never had this with my soup
when i was younger, i’m sure i am not alone in the thought that soup is always
extra special when served with bread or crackers, or both!

to do:
start by evenly coating the stockpot with olive oil. toss in the onions, garlic, celery, carrots and potatoes. season with your first layer of salt and pepper. note: it’s important to season as you go. allow for the vegetables to cook for a few minutes until you see that the onions are slightly translucent. you can add in your spices intermittently throughout the cooking process. add a splash or three of white wine in order to deglaze the bottom of the pot – use your wooden spoon to scrape the bits from the bottom – all of the flavor comes from deglazing. once the wine is somewhat evaporated, add the stock and water. bring to a boil and let simmer for about 45 minutes or so. at this point you may add the chicken cubes and they will cook right up in the pot along with everything else. or if you’d prefer, you can prepare the chicken beforehand and add it in during the last 5 minutes or so. this way the chicken will not be too dry. remember to season liberally with salt and pepper to taste. spoon cooked rice into serving bowls before adding the soup. i like to keep the rice separate as the soup would become too starchy. sprinkle the parsley atop and serve with french bread and a glass of the white wine that you used. enjoy!

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