After having pizza the night before I wanted to come up with a lighter dinner yesterday. So I scoured around in the kitchen for what seemed like an hour before I finally pulled enough odds ends together to make a meal. I made lentil soup not that long ago, so I still had some of the essentials for an average soup: Chicken stock, carrots, onions, and celery. Now while that makes a nice beginning, it does help to add to that whatever you have in the house, in my case that was a lot of things I wouldn’t normally throw into my soups: fennel, rice, asparagus… And so I came up with this yummy meal!
Italian Chicken and Rice Soup
Coming from Minnesota I would be used to a creamy and hearty Chicken and Wild Rice Soup, but not this time. This broth based Italian Chicken and Rice Soup is light and healthy. The Chicken and Rice add a nice bit of protein and fiber to this bowl that will fill you up and keep you warm. I served it with sourdough bread to make it a meal.
1 Cup of uncooked 9 grain Rice ( I used a mixed rice package, but you can create your own with 1/2 cup brown and 1/2 cup wild rice)
2 Chicken Breasts (cooked and cubed)
1 Quart of Chicken Stock or Broth
1 Cup of peeled and diced Carrots
1 Cup of diced Celery
1/2 Cup on diced yellow Onion
1/2 Cup of diced Fennel Bulb
1/2 Cup of Diced Asparagus
1 Can of diced Tomatoes
1 Tbs Herbs De Provence
1 Tbs Thyme
Salt and Pepper to Taste
First, you’ll want to start your rice cooking as prepared on the package in a separate pot or I used my rice cooker. Harder rices like brown and wild rice take longer to cook, I even started this 10 minutes before I did anything else.
Second, fill your soup pot with your broth and set it on medium-high heat. The first veggie to chop and put immediately in the broth are your carrots, they will take the longest to cook depending on how big you dice them. While they are cooking, get your chicken cooking. I cooked mine in a pan with about 1 TBS of olive oil and 3Tbs of broth, and salt and pepper. You could also cook chicken in the microwave. You want to cook it until it’s just the slightest pink in the middle and then throw that into your soup to finish cooking (this way it won’t dry out). And if you haven’t already add the rest your veggies to your soup. I decided to saute my onions and fennel together with a small dab of butter, salt and pepper, until they became translucent. Then I threw in a bit of broth to get all that flavor off the pan and threw that all into the soup. Cover your soup.
Finally your rice should be done cooking. Add that to your soup, and finish seasoning it up. Let it finish cooking until your chicken and veggies and rice are all cooked to your liking. Enjoy!
This recipe makes about 4 full bowls of soup!