Homemade Chicken & Rice Soup

Homemade Chicken & Rice Soup

Chicken and rice soup is just an equally delicious and easy-to-make variation of the old classic – chicken noodle soup. You may not have egg noodles on hand for that traditional chicken noodle soup, but it’s much more likely to have some kind of rice. The other ingredients are just as common and come together to make a quick and nutritious meal that can be shared, spread across a few days, or frozen and stored for later.

Ingredients you’ll need

Produce

  • Yellow onion
  • Celery
  • Carrot
  • Fresh garlic or pre-minced garlic
  • Fresh thyme (optional, but recommended)
  • Fresh rosemary (optional, recommended)

Meat/Deli

  • Whole rotisserie chicken

Baking and Pantry Items

  • Olive oil
  • Long-grain rice (brown or white)
  • Low-sodium chicken broth
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Bay leaf

Equipment you’ll need

  • Cutting board and knife
  • Large pot with lid

How to make chicken and rice soup

Chicken noodle soup follows the 5 Steps of Soup-Making.

Step 1: Choose a fat

Oils such as vegetable oil and olive oil are nice neutral bases for the soup. Use duck fat for an additional layer of flavor. Whichever fat you use will be heated and used to cook the rest of the ingredients without them sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Step 2: Add aromatics

Carrot, celery, and onion are aromatic ingredients that are combined and called a mirepoix. Adding aromatics is an important part of building flavor in the soup. Cook these ingredients until they begin to soften, stirring occasionally to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pot and burning. You can season at this point, but only lightly. You should wait until all of the ingredients are added and have cooked down a bit to gauge how much more salt and pepper is needed.

Step 3: Add chicken and herbs

For the chicken, either pick up a rotisserie chicken or roast a whole chicken yourself. Carve meat off the chicken then remove the skin (if possible) and dice into spoon-sized chunks.

Fresh herbs are not required, but they definitely bring something extra to the soup. Dried herbs can be used as a substitute, but the flavor won’t be as pronounced a flavor as fresh herbs will provide.

Step 4 and 5: Add broth + rice

Add chicken broth and bring to a boil before adding the rice. Then reduce the heat and simmer until carrots are tender and rice is cooked.

What if I do have noodles?

If you have noodles, feel free to use those! Just be careful not to overcook them. If you want to add them in right after the broth so they can cook like the rice, keep an eye on them.

You can also cook the noodles in another pot then strain and add them to the soup right before it is finished cooking. This will allow the flavors of the soup to seep into the noodles.

Ways to switch up your chicken and rice soup

  • Add fresh kale, collards, or mustard greens to the mix
  • Use rotisserie chicken with some flare – cajun-roasted chicken or lemon herb chicken
  • Add a cornstarch slurry to thicken the soup then serve in a bread bowl
chicken and rice soup overhead view

Chicken and Rice Soup

Mirepoix, broth, chicken, herbs, and rice combine In a soup that is just as delicious, nutritious, and easy to make as its more traditonal cousin – chicken noodle soup.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Soup
Servings 6 servings

Equipment

  • Cutting board and knife
  • Large pot with lid

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 1 large carrot peeled and diced
  • 1 stalk celery diced
  • 3 medium cloves garlic minced
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme
  • 2-3 cups cooked rotisserie chicken diced into chunks
  • Bay leaf
  • 6 cups 48 fl oz. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 ½ cup uncooked rice

Instructions
 

  • Add oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, and celery. Cook until vegetables are starting to get tender and may develop some color, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with about ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
  • Add chicken, rosemary, thyme, and chicken broth to the pot then gently stir to combine. Cover and bring to a low boil.
  • Add rice and stir to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Reduce to a simmer and continue cooking for 20 to 30 minutes or until rice is cooked.
  • Serve with toasted bread or oyster crackers.

Notes

  • Feel free to use any kind of rice in this recipe. Wild rice is a particularly nice addition.
  • If noodles are going to be used, be careful to not overcook them. They may fall apart if left cooking in the broth for too long. Noodles can be slightly undercooked in another pot then added to the soup right before it’s finished to let the flavors soak into the noodles.
Keyword Chicken, Chicken Noodle, Rice

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