This Chicken and Rice Soup is a hearty, healthy and nourishing meal. With the goodness of vegetables and the addition of rice, this flavour-packed soup will be on the table in just 1 hour! A delicious and simple midweek family dinner.
In winter, chicken soup is the ultimate healthy comfort food.
Chicken Noodle Soup is even considered a home remedy "cure" for the winter aches and sniffles, and is always a popular choice with kids and adults alike.
When the cooler weather sets in, there's nothing more comforting than a big bowl of healthy and nutritious soup.
Serve my Chicken & Rice soup on it's own, or add a side of homemade bread rolls, cheese and bacon muffins or ham and cheese scrolls!
Why You're Going To Love This Recipe
Chicken soup is a staple for many families, and adding rice makes it a more substantial, hearty and nutritious meal!
- Simple! - you only need basic ingredients, and there is very little preparation involved.
- Budget-friendly - with a mixture of vegetables that have varieties available throughout the year, this makes a budget-friendly recipe.
- Family-friendly - a perfect family-friendly, healthy and nutritious lunch or light meal that all the family will enjoy.
- Quick and easy - substitute leftover cooked chicken or a supermarket rotisserie chicken, and this soup will be on the table in no time at all! See the FAQ's below for this time-saving option.
What You Need
Just a handful of basic ingredients (you might already have them in your pantry and fridge):
- Note: Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom for the ingredients, quantities and full detailed method.
- Butter - either salted or unsalted butter will be fine to use in this recipe.
- Olive Oil - I recommend using Extra Virgin Olive Oil as it's high in natural antioxidants and healthy fats which are beneficial to health.
- Minced Garlic - store bought minced or chopped garlic is a great time-saver and can be stored for long periods of time. If I am not using fresh garlic and mincing it myself in a garlic press for the best flavour, I happily use store-bought minced garlic.
- Brown Onion - the most common onions found in supermarkets in Australia, and available all year round. If you're in the US, use a yellow onion.
- Carrots - a budget friendly ingredient and always available.
- Celery - here in Australia, supermarkets usually sell full or halved bunches of celery, or even individual celery stalks. It is usually much cheaper to buy a whole bunch, and if you wrap the bunch in foil and keep it in the crisper drawer, it will stay fresh and crisp much longer!
- Chicken Stock Liquid - if you make your own Thermomix chicken stock paste, you can make your own liquid stock. The ratio is 1 tablespoon of paste for every 500ml of water. A good quality, shop-bought liquid stock will also be perfectly fine to use! You can also use chicken stock powder and add 1 teaspoon of powder to every 1 cup of water.
- Parsley - there are two main varieties of parsley available in Australia; the curly leaf and flat- leaf / Italian / Continental Parsley. I prefer the flat-leaf variety as it has a stronger flavour than the curly leaf.
- Thyme - thyme has a sharp, slightly minty flavour that blends well with other herbs.
- Bay Leaf - usually bought as dried leaves, unless you have a bay leaf tree in your garden! They add a subtle flavour to soups and stews, but should be removed before serving.
- Chicken - this recipes uses chicken breasts instead of other chicken cuts. A lot of recipes use thigh meat, but breast meat stays firmer and is preferable for shredding for a chunky soup. See FAQ's about simple substitutes to save time.
- Rice - the rice I recommend for this recipe is (uncooked) long grain white rice.
How To Make Chicken And Rice Soup
With minimal preparation and a few simple steps, your Chicken and Rice Soup will soon be ready to serve.
Note: Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom for the ingredients, quantities and full detailed method.
Step 1 - Sauté The Herbs And Vegetables
Sauté the diced onion and garlic in the olive oil and butter.
Stir until onions are softened and translucent.
Add the chopped carrots and celery.
Saute for three minutes.
Step 2 - Add The Liquid And Seasoning Ingredients
Add the herbs, chicken stock liquid and water and mix together.
Step 3 - Add The Chicken And Rice
Add the whole chicken breasts and stir, then simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the rice, stir and continue to simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.
Step 4 - Shred The Chicken
Remove the cooked chicken breasts and shred the meat. I find the easiest way is to use two forks to pull the meat apart.
Return the shredded chicken meat to the soup.
Stir the shredded chicken in to the soup to reheat it through.
Step 5 - Serve
Remove and discard the bay leaf.
Season with salt and pepper and serve!
Expert Tips and FAQ
Yes, for a time-saving option, you can substitute leftover cooked chicken or a rotisserie chicken. Simply shred the cooked chicken and add at the same time as the rice.
Yes, you can use dried herbs as a substitute. Dried are much stronger than fresh, so the general rule of thumb is to use ⅓ of the fresh amount.
Croutons are crunchy cubes of toasted bread that add crunch and extra flavour to soups. To make your own, cut day-old, slightly stale bread into small cubes. Toss with olive oil and seasonings of your choice - eg paprika, mixed herbs, garlic powder - and bake in a single layer at 180 degrees Celsius until golden brown. This will take between 15-20 minutes, and I recommend turning them over halfway through the cooking time.
Some serving suggestions are:
* Crusty white bread rolls
* Sourdough bread, rubbed with a garlic clove, and lightly brushed with olive oil before being toasted
* Pizza Scrolls
* Spinach Rolls with Feta and Ricotta
* Savoury Muffins
Yes, it can be frozen. The rice soaks up the liquid as the soup cools, so I recommend using a slotted spoon to remove the chicken, rice and vegetables and freezing in an airtight container and then freezing the chicken stock liquid in another. When you're ready to use the frozen leftovers, defrost the chicken, rice and vegetables and then add the stock liquid. You may find you need to add a little extra water at this stage.
- One Pot Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta - this delicious One Pot Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta is family-friendly, quick and easy; making it the perfect midweek meal.
- Slow Cooker Roast Chicken and Vegetables - it takes just 20 minutes to prepare the chicken and vegetables, and your slow cooker does the rest!
- Easy Chicken Fried Rice - this quick and easy Chicken Fried Rice recipe uses leftover roast chicken, and is a perfect option for a delicious and simple midweek family dinner.
- Slow Cooker Butter Chicken - tender, flavour packed slow cooker butter chicken with a creamy tomato sauce takes just 15 minutes to prepare, and then takes care of cooking itself, to make a perfect midweek family dinner.
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Chicken & Rice Soup
- 1 tbs butter
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 2 tsp minced garlic or 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 brown onion finely diced
- 3 carrots medium, diced into 1cm pieces
- 3 celery sticks diced into 1cm pieces
- ½ tsp dried parsley
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 cups (1.5 lt) chicken stock liquid low salt/low sodium
- 2 cups (500 ml) water
- 600 g chicken breast or chicken thighs
- 1 cup (250 g) long grain white rice
- Add the olive oil and butter to a large pot and saute the onion and garlic over medium heat on the stove-top. Continue stirring until the onion has softened and is translucent (approximately 3 minutes).
- Add the carrot and celery and cook for a further 3 minutes.
- Add the parsley, thyme, bay leaf, chicken stock liquid and water, and stir.
- Add the whole chicken breasts and stir, then cover with a lid and allow to cook, just simmering, for 30 minutes (stirring occasionally).
- Add the rice, stir and cover again. Cook for a further 15 minutes.
- Remove the chicken breasts from the soup and place onto a plate. Using two forks, shred the chicken into pieces. Return the shredded chicken meat to the soup to reheat through.
- Discard the bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper and serve.