Oh, hi! I’ve temporarily resurfaced from the depths of my soup pot to share a must-try recipe for Cheesy Chicken & Rice Soup with you!
I started cooking today with every intention of making a big pot of my Grandma’s Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup to have for lunches all week, but slowly I started craving something a bit creamier…and made with rice instead of noodles…and cheese. There had to be cheese!
Cheesy Chicken & Rice Soup is what I came up with, and it is so hearty, creamy, and delicious that I literally had to override control of my right hand with my left to stop eating it spoonful by steamy spoonful straight from the soup pot, and pour myself a dang bowl already. This soup has turned me into a heathen, I tell you!
I’m not sure what I like best. The chewy rice, tender veggies, flavor-packed broth, or the fact that it’s so creamy but has no cream NOR (love when I find myself in “nor” situations) cream of XYZ soups. Squee!
Start the Cheesy Chicken & Rice Soup by prepping the veggie base. I pretty much use 1 stalk celery, 1 large carrot, and 1/4 small onion as the base of all of my soups, and this one is no different.
Add the veggies to a large soup pot over medium heat with 1 Tablespoon each butter and extra virgin olive oil, then saute until they’re nice and soft, about 10 minutes. Add 2 minced garlic cloves then cook for 1 more minute, stirring constantly. I’m always so tickled by how delectable sauteing garlic smells!
After the veggies are soft, add 3/4lbs cooked chicken. I had a ton of chicken leftover from making Bundt Pan Roasted Chicken on KCCI yesterday, so I just shredded one up then used that. This soup is great for making after Thanksgiving because you could just use your leftover turkey in here instead of chicken!
To the chicken and vegetables add 6 cups chicken broth, and 1/3-4 cups skim milk.
Followed by 1 bay leaf and a 2×2″ parmesan cheese rind. The cheese rind is optional, btw, but it adds SO. MUCH. FLAVOR. I can hardly even stand it! I got a big package of ‘em from Whole Foods for like, $1, and just keep them in the freezer to pull out when I’m making soups.
Bring the soup to a boil then stir in 1 cup long grain white rice, place a lid on the pot, and cook for 15 minutes, or until the rice is just barely tender.
When the rice is tender, whisk together 1/4 cup milk with 1/4 cup flour in a small bowl, then stream it into the soup and cook for 5 more minutes to get rid of the raw flour taste. The addition of this milk/flour slurry makes the soup wonderfully thick and creamy, without having to add any heavy cream!
K. Right now the soup is absolutely delicious on its own. You could serve as-is and have one of the best bowls of soup ever – BUT – the addition of 8oz shredded cheese takes this soup straight over the top. Adding it was the best decision I ever made. Well, besides marrying Ben. And giving The Big Bang Theory a chance (anyone want to trade Chocolate Sheet Cake with Peanut Butter Icing for DVDs of seasons 3 and 4?! )
I used a mixture of both smoked and sharp cheddar cheese, and parmesan cheese (aka a gangster mix of what I had in the fridge) which I stirred into the soup until smooth, then served. Whatever you use, just make sure it’s freshly shredded/grated – it will make all the difference in the world!
Cheesy Chicken & Rice Soup
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 small onion, minced
1 carrot, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
salt & pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cooked chicken, shredded or chopped
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups skim milk, divided
1 bay leaf
2×2″ parmesan cheese rind (optional)
1 cup long grain white rice
1/4 cup flour
8oz shredded cheese (I used a mix of smoked cheddar, sharp cheddar, and fresh grated parmesan)
- Melt butter and oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, and celery, season with salt and pepper, then saute for 10 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Add garlic cloves then cook for 1 more minute, stirring constantly. Add chicken, season with more salt and pepper (if chicken is unseasoned) then stir to combine.
- Add chicken broth, 1-3/4 cups milk, bay leaf, and parmesan cheese rind, if using, to the pot. Turn heat up to bring to a boil then add rice and stir to combine. Place a lid on top then turn heat down to medium-low and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender.
- In a small bowl whisk together remaining 1/4 cup milk with flour. Stream into soup, stir to combine, then cook uncovered for 5 more minutes. Turn off heat and remove pot from burner then add cheese and stir until smooth. Let soup sit and thicken for 10 minutes then serve.
See how thick and creamy this soup is?! All from a little skim milk and flour, and a modest amount of cheese – especially when you consider how many servings a big ol’ pot of Cheesy Chicken & Rice Soup feeds. Such a winner, this one. Hope you love it!
Workout of the day: 35 Minute, 3.5 Mile Treadmill Workout