Slurp worthy deliciousness that will nourish your soul… This Chicken and Rice Soup is made by cooking chicken pieces in the broth which yields a beautiful savoury, golden, flavour infused broth without having to man handle a whole chicken. High returns for minimal effort!
I’m having this Chicken and Rice soup for dinner tonight. I literally just decided while I was editing the photos. I was thinking about what I was going to say about this soup, and I talked myself into wanting it. 😂
OK, so I know there are tons of super quick and easy Chicken soups “out there” that will have you using pre cooked chicken or poaching chicken breast quickly then stirring it into the soup. And if that’s what your time constraints require, please see note 1 in the recipe because I’ve given the shortcut steps for this, and you’ll have this soup on the table in 30 minutes. (And it will still be totally slurp worthy).
But for a smidgen of extra effort and 30 minutes of hands off cook time simmering chicken pieces, you can have this Chicken and Rice soup with an incredible savoury, golden soup broth with flavour that money can’t buy.
Let’s talk rice
I like making my Chicken and Rice Soup using long grain white rice, but there are plenty of other rices that can be used. Medium grain, short grain, sushi rice, basmati and jasmine rice – although these last two will add a bit of extra fragrance to the soup, totally delish!
Brown and wild rice will also work, but will take longer to cook. I’ve included the cook times for all these rice types in the recipe notes.
Just be sure not to overcook the rice! Overly soft mushy rice in any form is not a pleasant experience. And especially not in Chicken and Rice Soup!
Which brings me to my next point:
HOW TO STORE CHICKEN AND RICE SOUP
Leave the rice in the soup, and you’ll be horrified by the block of jelly-like sludge that you’re faced with the next morning, caused by the rice absorbing all the liquid.
To avoid this, there’s no option other than to use a slotted spoon or colander to separate the broth from the rice, chicken and vegetables and to refrigerate or freeze them separately.
If you’re making the Chicken and Rice Soup to take elsewhere, please see the recipe notes for the best way to do this (it involves using some of the broth + water to cook the rice separately, after which it’s added into the soup when ready to serve 🙂 ).
This Chicken and Rice Soup recipe is a terrific base for adding your own touch. It’s slurp-worthy delicious as it is, but can take more veggies, more herbs, a squeeze of fresh lemon, or even other cooked proteins. I’ve added some notes in the recipe for optional add ins, and I’ve love to hear any suggestions you have too.
Tell us, tell us! We wanna know! 🙂 – Nagi x
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter (or more oil)
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 1 onion , chopped
- 3 carrots , halved then cut into 1cm / 2/5" slices (quarter if really thick)
- 3 celery ribs , cut into 1 cm / 2/5" slices
- 3 tsp Vegeta stock powder , or 2 x vegetable or chicken bouillon cube, or 2 tsp powder (Note 2)
- 1/2 tsp dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme, optional
- 1/4 tsp black pepper , finely ground
- 4 cups / 1 litre chicken broth , low sodium
- 4 cups / 1 litre water
- 600 g / 1.2 lb bone in , skinless chicken thighs, 4 x 150g/5oz (Note 1)
- 1 cup / 180g long grain white rice (Note 3)
- Salt, adjust to taste
- 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley (optional)
Place oil and butter in a large pot over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic, cook for 5 minutes until onion is translucent.
Add carrots and celery, stir for 1 minute.
Add stock powder, dried parsley, thyme (if using), pepper, chicken broth, water. Stir, then add chicken.
Cover with lid, simmer on medium low for 30 minutes. Adjust heat so it's bubbling a nice amount, but not crazy energetically or super slowly. Skim off excess foam build up once or twice (not critical, just makes broth clearer).
Remove lid, add rice. Stir, cover, simmer 15 minutes.
Remove soup from stove.
Remove chicken into large bowl. Shred with 2 forks, discard bones then stir into soup.
Stir in half the parsley, taste for salt and add if required. Serve, then garnish with extra parsley.
1. CHICKEN: Fat is where all the flavour is, so I use bone in thigh for this recipe. I remove the skin otherwise the soup is a bit too greasy - just pull it off, it comes off easily. Skinless bone in thighs are sold in packets at Woolies in Australia - they are great value.
Alternative cuts: drumsticks will also work, no need to remove skin, use 1 kg/2lb. Skinless boneless thighs are the next best - but only cook for 15 minutes then add the rice, cook for further 15 minutes then take the chicken out, shred then return to soup, serve.
My next choice is store bought rotisserie chicken. Follow recipe except reduce water by 1 cup, use 2 1/2 cups of chopped or shredded chicken. Then add the broth and water, bring to simmer, add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes, then add rice, cook for 15 minutes, then serve.
Breast is so lean, it simply doesn't infuse the broth with enough flavour so I can't recommend it BUT in the event of an emergency, it can be used. Simmer 500g/1lb of breast gently for 10 minutes, then add rice and cook both for 15 minutes, remove breast, shred, return to soup, serve.
2. VEGETA STOCK POWDER (vegetable stock powder):
This is just a type of stock powder / bouillon cube in powder form. It's my favourite for clear soups like this for both flavour and also because it gives it that yellowish tinge that I associate with this soup. It's sold at supermarkets here in Australia alongside other stock powders & liquid broth, and here it is on Amazon. It's quite popular in European recipes, from what I've seen.
However, any vegetable or chicken bouillon cube (crumbled) or powder is perfectly fine to substitute.
3. RICE: Long grain is my first choice because it's my "go to" rice I always have. Other rices that can be used with no change to cook time: Jasmine and basmati but note they will add a slight fragrance to the soup, medium and short grain white rice, sushi rice and quinoa could also be used. Paella and risotto rice are not suitable. Brown and wild rice needs to be added 5 minutes after the chicken is added (it needs 40 minutes to cook).
4. STORAGE: Use a slotted spoon to separate the rice and all soup contents from the broth. Store in separate containers, otherwise you'll end up with a stodgy mushy rice block! Refrigerate then reheat soup first, then add the rice and stuff.
Taking it somewhere? Here is what I do: Cook it all the way to the end but do not add rice. Cook the rice separately as follows: Place 1 cup rice in a saucepan with 1 cup of finished soup liquid plus 1/2 cup of water. Cover with lid then bring to simmer on medium, then cook for 12 - 15 minutes until water is all absorbed (tilt to check). Remove from stove, leave covered and stand for 10 minutes. Remove lid, fluff rice, then put rice in a separate container to the rest of the soup. To assemble, heat the soup, then add the rice.
5. Add Ins: Zest and squeeze of fresh lemon is a beautiful touch of freshness. More veggies (chopped zucchini, stir in chopped kale or spinach, bell peppers), sub chicken with other cooked protein (500g/1lb cooked weight), add 1/2 tsp dried thyme or 2 sprigs, or a touch of other dried herbs. Try adding a can or two of crushed tomato for a light tomato based soup.
For low carb, skip the rice and load up on more veggies. I like to fill it out with meaty veggies like broccoli and cauliflower.
6. Nutrition per serving, assuming 5 servings (it's a generous bowl). Reduces to 380 calories if made using 500g/1lb breast.
WATCH HOW TO MAKE IT
LIFE OF DOZER
Nowhere in sight while I was chopping carrots and sautéing onion, then he thunders inside the minute chicken makes an appearance.
Thunders. Not loping or trotting. Thunders.🐎🐎🐎