Chicken and Rice Soup
A simple, vegetable-packed soup to comfort you and your family. Should you choose to make it a day in advance, you may need to add additional chicken broth since the rice will continue to absorb liquid as it sits.
- 1 chicken (3 1/2 pounds), cut into pieces
- 4 quarts water
- 1 onion, halved
- 1 carrot, halved
- 1 rib celery, halved
- 5 peppercorns
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 2 cups assorted chopped fresh vegetables, such has beans, zucchini, yellow squash, or cabbage, small dice
- 1 1/2 cups torn spinach leaves, cleaned and stemmed
- Pinch crushed red pepper
- Scant 2/3 cup long grain white rice, uncooked
In a large soup pot, combine the chicken, water, halved onion, carrot, and celery, the peppercorns, one of the bay leaves, and the smashed garlic. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook until the chicken is very tender and the broth is flavorful, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve and return the broth to a simmer. Season the broth with salt, pepper, and Essence. Set the chicken pieces aside to cool.
Add the chopped onions, chopped celery, and chopped carrots to the simmering broth and cook for 20 minutes. Add the green onions, garlic, parsley, basil, and bay leaves. Season with Essence. Saute the vegetables for 4 minutes. Add the chopped vegetables, spinach, and crushed red pepper and saute for 1 minute. Add the stock and rice, bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Reseason if necessary. Serve hot.
Yield: 8 to 10 servings