Monday, September 20, 2010

Sick Day Chicken Rice Soup

We are coming upon cold and flu season--has it already hit?  It seems like everyone has been sick lately.  With that in mind, I share this recipe.  You can keep it in your back pocket for when the dreaded sicknesses strike (unfortunately, we all know it's not going to if, but when).  This is not Granny's chicken soup.  It hasn't been lovingly tended all day, simmering away.  That said, it is sooo much better than anything coming from a can.  This is the kind of soup recipe that would make Rachael Ray proud.  Quick, efficient, and warming your bones within 30 minutes.  This has become my go-to recipe when illness strikes our house (like last week...thankfully we are all clear and healthy again!).  It's simple enough that it's a cinch to prepare even if you feel under the weather.  If you need something that will sooth a cold or upset tummy and you need it now, here's your soup! 

Sick Day Chicken Rice Soup
4 cups of chicken broth (or 4 cups water plus 4 teaspoons chicken base or bouillon)
1 pound boneless skinless chicken, cut into chunks
1/2 cup white rice (or you can substitute noodles or barley--I'm a big fan of barley)
1-2 carrots, peeled and diced into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup frozen peas
fresh ground black pepper

In a medium pot, bring chicken and broth to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer until chicken is cooked through (5-10 minutes).  Remove chicken from broth and shred into bite-sized pieces.  Return to pot. Add rice and carrots and simmer until rice is cooked through (about 15 minutes--although if you use barley it will certainly be longer and shorter if you use noodles).  Stir in frozen peas right before serving, they'll thaw immediately and keep their bright green color.  Season to taste with pepper and serve. 

p.s. This would be a no-brainer meal to take to someone else who is sick as well!  Throw in a loaf of bread and you've just become the world's best neighbor. For such little effort, it's a BIG way to show someone you care!

Note: I have come to realize that maybe not everyone knows what chicken base might be.  It is one of my favorite products.  There is a brand called "Better than Bouillon" and it is awesome.  It is sold right near the canned broth.  They have different flavors--beef, chicken, vegetable, etc. and it is concentrated flavor that makes great instant broth and gravy.  I also really like adding a teaspoon to sauces as a quick way to deepen the flavor.

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