Creamy Chicken & Rice Soup
It's raining buckets in Chicagoland this weekend, which means it's perfect soup weather! Fall food is the best, isn't it? I'm throwing together one of our cool weather favorites today, Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup. It's hearty, it's simply, and it's the perfect meal to warm up to this season.
I work full-time outside of our home and am crazy about large and simple recipes. When I'm on the hunt, I'm looking for options that not only give me several solid meals for our family of five, but recipes that are also feasible to make after work. For us, that means a meal that can be prepared and ready to go in an hour (or less!). This soup recipe fits that timeline, and it also makes fantastic left-overs. This means we get easy lunches and dinners for a few nights, and that makes me a very happy momma!
You'll find the ingredient list below, but I'd say this recipe is extremely flexible. Today I'm subbing out the rice for a butternut squash pasta, and if you really want to add other veggies, I think you can give that a try, too. You can easily make this gluten-free by ensuring your chicken stock and grain or pasta choice are GF approved. You can also skip the chicken and add a few extra veggies if you're looking for a meat-less option. I could go on, but you get the idea!
Also, this is a super soup! It's really hearty! That's the way we roll. You can adjust as you like.
Let's get to it. You'll need:
- One very large stockpot
- One bag of carrots, chopped
- One bag of celery, chopped
- Half of a large onion, chopped
- One stick of butter
- Salt, pepper & seasonings, to taste (I use garlic powder and an everyday seasoning.)
- One box of chicken broth, 32 oz.
- 3 cups of half-n-half, more or less to taste (You can also use full cream.)
- 2.5 lbs of chicken, cooked and cut into small pieces
- 2-3 cups of rice, cooked (You can decide what kind of rice you want to use. I really like to use wild rice, but I've also had great success with a brown rice and quinoa mix. Also, with regard to the amount of rice: more rice means more meals, but you may need to add a bit more broth, cream or milk.)
You can, of course, cut the recipe to make less. Remember, I'm cooking for a hungry tribe, and the Music Man eats for three. Or, consider making the entire recipe and freeze half. You'll thank yourself later. Now, let's start cookin' things up!
Start with your chopped veggies. I chop ours into pretty small pieces so that I can serve it immediately to the kids. No extra chopping for the littles, and that's a bonus! Also, you have your name on your knives, too, right? Thought so! :)
Toss the carrots, celery and onion into your pot with the stick of butter (yep, a whole stick, and I use salted butter). Give everything a good mix, cover and cook down until tender.
Meanwhile, cook up your chicken and start your rice -- or, in our case tonight, butternut squash pasta.
When the chicken is finished, cut it up and add it to the pot. Pour in the chicken stock and cream, and then add the cooked rice or pasta. I add some salt, pepper, everyday seasoning (and sometimes garlic) on top, give it a good stir and consider it done!
It's that easy! This is hearty enough to serve on it's own, but we're doing toasted garlic naan and sliced apples with cinnamon and sugar tonight. Extremely simple, but delicious compliments to the soup's flavor and kid-friendly.
What's your favorite cool weather recipe? Do share!
xo, all the love.