Chicken and Rice Soup

Chicken and Rice Soup

A Chicken and Rice Soup that’s comfort food at its best! A simple soup recipe that’s both nourishing and delicious.

The finished soup served in a blue bowl displayed with lime wedges, a spoon, a beige linen all set on a blue table.

 

Forget the canned stuff, if you have a little time on your hands make your own chicken rice soup. Sure, we take a short cut using pre-packaged chicken broth, but fresh vegetables, chicken breast and rice ensure that this soup tastes like it was made from scratch, yet it’s easy to make and doesn’t take all that long.

 

This soup is great for using up leftover rice. It also stretches a pound of chicken, making a wholesome soup with easy to find, affordable ingredients.

 

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound Chicken Breasts (2 pieces), skinless, boneless and trimmed of any fat
  • 8 cups Chicken Broth, divided (2 cups to poach the chicken, plus 6 cups for the soup) You can use low-sodium broth and adjust the salt at the end, if desired.
  • 2 Thyme Sprigs
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 small Onion, finely diced
  • 2 Carrots, sliced into rounds (about 1 cup)
  • 1 Celery Rib, sliced or diced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • Salt, to taste if needed at the end
  • 1½ – 2 cups Cooked White Rice
  • Parsley for garnish
  • Lime Wedges for serving, optional
  • Hot Sauce for serving, optional

The ingredients for the chicken and rice soup displayed on a white cutting board set on a blue table.

 

Prep Work

The prep work for this simple chicken rice soup is quick and easy. Start the rice first and let it steam while you poach the chicken and prepare the rest of the ingredients.

  • Make the white rice if you’re not using leftovers. If you don’t have a good white rice recipe read this post on how to make white rice including tips for perfect rice every time.
  • Set the chicken to poach (instructions below)
  • Dice the onions. Do a small dice so they practically dissolve in the soup.
  • Cut the carrots into thin rounds or half rounds, depending on their size.
  • Slice the celery but not too thin so they hold their shape in the soup.
  • The onions, carrots and celery are going in the pot at the same time, so put them in the same bowl. I like using glass nesting bowls for my prep work. They keep my ingredients organized so cooking is easy and stress free.
  • Mince the garlic.
  • Measure out the remaining ingredients.

 

That’s it for the prep work. Let’s make some soup!

The soup being served into a blue bowl with a ladle.

 

Poach the Chicken

Poaching is cooking food in liquid on relatively low heat until cooked through. The liquid used is usually water, broth or stock and it’s flavored with aromatics, herbs and spices. For more information check out this poached chicken post that includes more great recipes to try.

 

Place the chicken in a medium saucepan that’s large enough so that they fit side by side without overlapping. Cover the chicken with broth, 2 cups should do it, then place the thyme sprigs on top.

Two raw chicken breasts in a saucepan covered with chicken broth and thyme sprigs.

 

Start the chicken on high heat and bring the broth to a boil. As soon as it starts boiling, lower the heat to medium-low and cover. Gently simmer the chicken breasts for 15-20 minutes or until fully cooked through. The internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken breast should be least 165°F. Use an instant read thermometer to make sure.

 

Remove the chicken from the poaching liquid and set it on a cutting board to cool. Don’t discard the chicken broth; we are going to use it for the soup. That’s concentrated chicken broth gold you have there! Strain the cooking liquid using a fine mesh strainer and reserve it for the soup.

 

When the chicken has cooled enough to handle, shred it using two forks or your hands. You can also dice it if you prefer.

Poached chicken being shredded on a wood cutting board.

 

How to make chicken rice soup

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. When the oil is hot, but nowhere near smoking, add the onion, carrots and celery. Gently cook the vegetables for 5 minutes until the onions start to soften, stir frequently.
  • Add the garlic and black pepper to the pot and cook for 1 minute, stirring almost constantly.
  • Slowly add in the reserved poaching liquid and the 6 cups of chicken broth. Stir until combined. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring the broth to a boil. It will take about 5-7 minutes for the liquid to start boiling.
  • Lower the heat to medium-low, cover the pot and simmer the soup for 10 minutes. Simmering the broth for a little while allows the flavors to develop and come together, giving it a homemade taste.
  • Add the shredded chicken and cooked white rice to the pot. Raise the heat and let it come back up to a simmer. Cover the pot and lower the heat to medium-low. Cook the chicken and rice soup for another 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally and keep it at a simmer; if the liquid starts boiling too vigorously lower the heat a bit.
  • Taste the soup and add salt if needed. We want to wait until the end to add extra salt to the soup because packaged chicken broth contains a good amount already. Taste it at the end and add if needed. As a reference, we did not add extra salt to ours.

 

Garnish the chicken and rice soup with chopped parsley and serve with lime wedges and hot sauce if desired. Enjoy!

The chicken rice soup served in a blue bowl with lime wedges and hot sauce in the background. All served on a blue table with a beige linen.

 

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The finished soup served in a blue bowl displayed with lime wedges, a spoon, a beige linen all set on a blue table.
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Chicken and Rice Soup

A Chicken and Rice Soup that is comfort food at its best! A simple soup recipe that’s both nourishing and delicious.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken soup, white rice
Servings: 4
Calories: 392kcal
Author: Elizabeth

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Chicken Breasts 2 pieces, skinless, boneless and trimmed of any fat
  • 8 cups Chicken Broth divided (2 cups to poach the chicken, plus 6 cups for the soup)
  • 2 Thyme Sprigs
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 small Onion finely diced
  • 2 Carrots sliced into rounds (about 1 cup)
  • 1 Celery Rib sliced or diced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves minced
  • ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1½ - 2 cups Cooked White Rice
  • Salt to taste if needed at the end
  • Parsley for garnish optional
  • Lime Wedges for serving optional
  • Hot Sauce for serving optional

Instructions

Poach the Chicken

  • Place the chicken in a medium saucepan that’s large enough so that they fit side by side without overlapping. Cover the chicken with broth and place the thyme sprigs on top.
  • Start the chicken on high heat and bring the broth to a boil. As soon as it starts boiling, lower the heat to medium-low and cover.
  • Gently simmer the chicken breasts for 15-20 minutes or until fully cooked through (at least 165°F at its thickest part).
  • Remove the chicken from the poaching liquid and set it on a cutting board to cool. When the chicken has cooled enough to handle, shred it using two forks or your hands. You can also dice it if you prefer.
  • Don’t discard the chicken broth; strain using a fine mesh strainer and reserve it for the soup.

Make the Soup

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. When the oil is hot, but nowhere near smoking, add the onion, carrots and celery. Gently cook the vegetables for 5 minutes until the onions start to soften, stir frequently.
  • Add the garlic and black pepper to the pot and cook for 1 minute, stirring almost constantly.
  • Slowly add in the strained, reserved poaching liquid and the 6 cups of chicken broth. Stir until combined. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring the broth to a boil.
  • Lower the heat to medium-low, cover the pot and simmer the soup for 10 minutes.
  • Add the shredded chicken and cooked white rice to the pot. Raise the heat and let it come back up to a simmer. Cover the pot and lower the heat to medium-low. Cook for another 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally and keep it at a simmer; lower the heat if necessary.
  • Taste the soup and add salt if needed. As a reference, we did not add extra salt to ours.

Notes

Use low sodium broth and adjust the salt at the end, if desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 392kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 1884mg | Potassium: 1008mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 5198IU | Vitamin C: 40mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 2mg
The nutritional information above is computer generated and is only an estimate. There is no guarantee that it is accurate.This data is provided as a courtesy for informational purposes only.

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