Chicken soup for the soul

Like a warm hug from mom, is a hot bowl of this soothing chicken rice and veggie soup.
This is all I crave when I’m feeling run down or have a bit of a sore throat and especially when I’m full on sick.

I sooo wish my mom was near to make me this soup every time I was feeling like that! We can’t have it all now can we though. This is perfect for the long cold and flu season wherever and in whatever climate you’re in. It’s very simple to make but the flavour and the ‘healing’ comes from the broth. This is not to be mistaken for a bone broth because it doesn’t cook for that long yet you still get a beautifully flavoured broth.

This is perfect for the long cold and flu season wherever and in whatever climate you’re in

My mom use to always make us avgolemono soup. Which is a basic chicken and rice or noodle soup that finishes off by stirring in a frothy beaten egg and lemon juice sauce. The best addition to your soup!! I don’t always add it to the pot because my hubby isn’t a huge fan of it but if it was up to me it would be in each and every pot I make of this soup. Otherwise I serve it up with some lemon wedges.

Why do I use rice instead of noodles? Well that’s just a personal choice. You really can make this with either or. I stay away from pasta unless its GF due to its affect on me (oddly enough I can eat bread and be fine — I eat sandwiches and toast on the regular. It’s just the pasta). But aside from that I’m a huge rice lover. My dad always use to say that I was born on the wrong continent. I really could have rice daily! I have made this with white rice, brown rice, wild mix rice, and basmati and all of them are delicious. I usually just use what I have on had in the pantry. So feel free to use whatever you like.

Chicken and rice soup

So I will get down to the recipe part in a second but I just wanted to say that I’m happy to have it finally up in a permanent location (the web) where my husband can find and follow it so he can make it for me when I’m too sick to make it for myself. Not so subtle hint!! (Trying to dictate each step while you have a fever and sore throat takes all the goodness out of it somehow) because what’s better than having soup made for you?

One of my friends made soup for me once when I was really sick with the flu and tired of the canned soup my poor husband had bought for me, and I literally cried tears of joy and appreciation. There’s nothing better than the gift of soup when someone is sick.
On to the recipe then..

Chicken and rice soup

Stock ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken cleaned well
  • 1 onion peeled and cut in half
  • 3 cloves of garlic peeled and left whole
  • 2 stalks of celery plus any ends from the portions used for the soup and the fronds
  • 2 carrots washed and chopped (do not need to peel) plus any ends used for the soup plus any peel
  • Large bunch of parsley
  • Small bunch of thyme
  • 1 tsp of oregano
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 bunches of chive or green onions ( or 1 leek if you prefer)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Enough water to fill the pot 3/4 way full when all ingredients are in it.
  • feel free to add other spices and seasoning to taste like peppercorns, lemon pepper, marjoram, rosemary. Add the flavours you like. These are just the basic flavours I like for the broth

Broth directions:

  1. Place whole chicken and all the rest of the ingredients (veggies just chopped roughly) in large soup pot and fill with water until pot is 3/4 full
  2. Bring to a boil, skim off any fat and then cover loosely with lid and let simmer for at least an hour and until chicken is cooked right through
  3. Remove chicken, take off all the meat from the carcass and set aside
  4. Place carcass and any loose bones back into the broth and let it continue to simmer a while longer. I have left it simmer for as little as an extra half hour to an extra 2 hours. (The longer - the more flavourful but a half hour is still really excellent flavour because you cooked the chicken in it)
  5. While the broth is simmering prep your veggies, wash your rice and shred your chicken for the actual soup
  6. Once done pour the stalk into your soup pot through a fine mesh sieve

Soup ingredients:

  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 large carrots chopped
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 1 cup of rice washed
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 1 tsp of thyme
  • 1 tsp of oregano
  • 1 cup of bhaji, spinach or kale chopped finely
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Meat from whole chicken roughly shredded
  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • 2 tbsp butter

Soup directions:

  1. Heat a large soup pot on med/ high and heat oil and melt butter
  2. Add in the onions and sauté for a couple min then add in the rest of the veggies and herbs except for the spinach. Stir well and season with salt and pepper
  3. Add your broth and chicken, bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer covered for 10 min to let the vegetables cook and soften a bit.
  4. Add your rice and cook for another 10 min and then add your spinach and cook until rice is the consistency you like. I like mine to be a little on the firmer side (not mushy) because even after you take the pot off the heat the rice will continue to cook. Once done serve with warm buttery crusty bread and a few slices of lemon on the side.

To make this an avgolemono soup this is what you do when the soup is off the heat:

  1. Ladle some soup broth from the pot of soup into a bowl or mug and set aside
  2. Separate one whole egg.
  3. Beat the white part in a bowl with a fork until nice and frothy and then add the yolk and beat again.
  4. Add into the egg mix the juice of 1/2 to one whole lemon and beat again
  5. Continue beating the sauce while you slowly pour in the soup that you reserved (which is slightly cooler by this point) incorporating it into the sauce. This will temper the egg mixture so that it doesn’t separate in the soup. (Its avgolemono not stracciatella soup)
  6. Now while stirring the soup gently in the pot, add in the sauce slowly. The soup broth will look cloudy and the eggs should not have separated, and the lemon flavour will have infused the whole pot.