Tender, fresh chunks of veggies, rich broth, juicy pieces of chicken— these are what our chicken and rice soup is all about. This hearty, comforting staple is not only good on its own, but also makes a perfect dip for bread too.
Let’s look at the elements of this awesome dish.
What Kind of Rice do you Use in Chicken and Rice Soup Recipe?
For the sake of convenience and simplicity, we used medium-grain white rice. Although, it’s not the only choice.
Other options include wild rice or brown rice, and they can make just the same hearty soup. What’s more special about them is that they add a decent amount of fiber as well as vitamins and minerals.
For example, one cup of cooked medium-grain brown rice yields 216 calories (about the same compared to that of cooked medium-grain white rice) while giving about 6-15% RDIs of some vitamin Bs and a decent amount of an additional 7 minerals.
If you do use brown or wild rice, keep in mind that they’d demand a longer cooking time. We suggest you chew the rice to check its texture after simmering for 40 minutes, and every 10 minutes after that. It takes time, but the nutrients you get can be worth the wait, don’t you think?
Can I Cook the Rice before Adding it to the Soup?
If time-saving is what you’re looking for, then yes, you can use cooked rice in this chicken and rice soup recipe. But keep in mind there will be a few adjustments on the cooking time and when to put what into the soup pot.
There is one step in our recipe which instructs you to add raw rice with the veggies and stir-frying everything in butter for 2 minutes. This chars the rice a little bit, which adds depth to the soup’s overall flavor. If you use cooked rice, it’s fine to skip this step.
After that, since the rice is already cooked, you can add 9 instead of 10 cups of chicken stock. The same applies to brown or wild rice. You can add some water if it’s thicker than you would like.
One last thing to remember, although our original recipe requires you to simmer the veggies and raw rice for 30 minutes, doing this to cooked rice will make the overall soup texture mushy. Unless it’s your thing, you need to cover and simmer the veggies for 15 minutes first, and after they’re partially cooked, it’s time to add the cooked rice. Set the pot on low heat and after 15 minutes of simmering, continue with the remaining steps of the recipe.
Can You Freeze Chicken and Rice Soup?
It’s not necessary to freeze the soup if you want it the next morning, but other than that, yes, totally.
First, you need to completely cool the soup down to room temperature before freezing. A sudden shift in temperature can negatively affect your food.
After letting it cool, you can put the soup in either a freezer container or a ziplock bag. We found a ziplock bag to be more useful, as it’s physically flexible and you can take the “soup block” out with less force and effort.
Then, simply place it in a pot and start simmering. We’d usually put 1-2 tablespoons of water to defrost the soup faster (and to make up for the loss water due to evaporation). Keep in mind that the reheat should also follow the temperature shifting rule, which means you should never go straight to high heat immediately, but rather start with medium-low, and work up to medium.
What to Serve with Chicken and Rice Soup
Although toasted bread is a nice complement to this chicken and rice soup, it’s not the one and only choice. We thought it’d be fun to have a bowl of broccoli salad on the side, with bits of different textures and various tastes. Most importantly, it’s packed with a lot of nutrients.
|Recipes||Course||Calories (kcal)||Saturated Fat (g)||Sodium (mg)|
|Chicken and Rice Soup||Main Course||504||9||562|
|Broccoli Salad||Side Dish||243||3||254|
Chicken And Rice Soup Recipe
- 8 oz onion chopped
- 12 oz carrot chopped
- 4 oz celery stalk chopped
- 1 cup uncooked medium-grain rice
- 12 oz skinless boneless chicken thigh
- 1 tsp parsley minced
- 1 tsp garlic minced
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme divided
- 1 tsp black pepper divided
- 1/2 tsp salt divided
- 10 cup unsalted chicken broth
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- In a soup pot, cook chicken thighs in oil on medium heat, for 5 minutes. Season the chicken with half the amount of salt, black pepper and dried thyme.
- Take the chicken out. Add butter, carrots, and onion into the same pot and cook for 4 minutes. Then add the rice, celery, and garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Add chicken broth, cover and let simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add the cooked chicken and the remaining salt and thyme. Cook for another 2 minutes.
- Use an immersion blender and blend for 5 seconds. Don’t overblend. It helps to thicken the soup and naturally turns the soup colorful.
- Add cream and mix well. Sprinkle parsley and pepper on top to decorate.
- You can bring leftover chicken to this soup or cook a whole new batch of chicken, all up to you. But cooking the chicken may take about 10 minutes or so (which hasn’t been included in the cooking time mentioned above), so consider this to your time limit, and better not let your table await their meal.
- Chicken broth is available both regular and low-sodium, so please be noted when taking a tour through grocery stores. Also, my recipes have always been with Kosher salt, which has much less saltiness in comparison to common sea salt. So the bottom line is, no matter what kind of broth you’re going for, please keep an eye on the amount of salt when seasoning and be careful not to over-salt your soup.