Incredibly wholesome and packed with so much flavor, chicken and rice soup is a wonderful warming soup you can make with ease. With a tasty medley of vegetables and a hearty combination of chicken and rice, you can enjoy chicken rice soup as a main meal or serve it as an appetizer with lighter meals. It's a sensational winter soup to make when the temperatures dip or as a perfect comfort food when you're feeling under the weather, but it's so easy to make and great-tasting, you'll want to make it all year round.
You can freeze chicken and rice soup, but for the best results, make the soup base and add the chicken, let it cool, and freeze it without the rice, making a fresh batch of rice when you're ready to reheat the soup. While freezing chicken soup with rice is an option, the texture of the rice doesn't hold up quite as well with freezing and reheating.
There's nothing like a side of homemade dinner rolls or crusty bread with chicken rice soup. Biscuits and cornbread are tasty options, as well. A side of roasted carrots or squash is another delicious option.
Since it's a fairly hearty soup, think about lighter if you're going to serve chicken rice soup as an appetizer or side. Salads or vegetable stir-fry make fantastic light accompaniments.
If you have leftover rice, you can make the most of it by adding it to your chicken and rice soup. Instead of adding the rice at the same stage as the chicken, wait until the last 5 to 7 minutes to stir it into the soup. This will warm it through without overcooking it.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Cook the onions, carrots, celery, thyme, and bay leaf over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally. Mix in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 45 seconds to 1 minute.
Pour the water and chicken stock into the pot. Bring the broth to a boil, then add the rice, shredded chicken, salt, and pepper.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until the rice is tender.
– You can use a rotisserie chicken for this recipe – it adds great flavor and means less work.
– Brown, white, and wild rice all work in this chicken and rice soup recipe.
– Make this soup as thick as you please. If it gets too thick, just add a splash or two of extra chicken broth.
– This soup lasts 4 days when refrigerated.