Cheesy Chicken and Rice Soup

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Cheesy Chicken & Rice Soup is a hearty, creamy, and delicious soup recipe. The ultimate in comfort food!

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

Print this recipe!

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:
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
3/4lb 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)

Directions:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

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Comments

  1. This looks awesome – I love that it’s gluten-free, too! Soup is my favorite winter meal, I’ll need to add this to the to-do list.

  2. This reminds me of a soup I used to eat growing up – sounds delicious! =)

  3. Clau S. 11.20.2012

    that sounds delicious!

    Id love to exchange those dvds for some chocolate cake!!!

    send me an email!

  4. JennyV 11.20.2012

    I love Panera’s creamy chicken and wild rice soup… so I can only imagine this additive/preservative free soup is delicious! PLUS, there’s cheese!

  5. My husband is getting sick and I think this will be perfect to brighten his immune system back up!

  6. Hannah 11.20.2012

    this looks so yummy and EASY! definitely making this for a cozy night :)

  7. Stefanie 11.20.2012

    This looks amazing, times like these I wish I wasn’t lactose intolerant! I can eat in moderation, maybe I should save up a weeks worth of avoidance in order to make this soup! Season 4 of BBT is the best, I was laughing so hard I was crying 5 minutes into the first episode of season 4. I’m getting the boyfriend the Bazinga PJ pant’s from Amazon.com for Christmas. Sorry, I won’t trade, not even for sheet cake ;)

  8. Yummo….this looks super comforting! Too bad it’s still in the 80′s here in Texas.

  9. This looks great! I think that I may try to make a vegetarian version of this soup. :)

  10. julia 11.20.2012

    this looks wonderful, thanks!

    xo julesinflats.com

  11. Marie B. 11.20.2012

    I would trade for Chocolate cake, but I don’t have the DVD’s (& I’m in Fl !) This looks wonderful and I am going to try it! I told my husband how tiny you are and what wonderful recipes you come up with and he said you cook and Ben eats! Must be it! Going to make the Lava Cakes tomorrow and if they come out good I will take some with my fudge, Ham & Stuffing to my daughter’s for Thanksgiving!

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, Ben, and your entire family!

  12. Looks like the ideal “winter cold” soup. I think snow is just around the corner for us so this will absolutely be made soon.

  13. This looks wonderful! Love that it doesn’t have added creamed soup in it!

  14. Erin 11.21.2012

    I would TOTALLY trade you DVDs for a sheet cake! Let me know! And I can’t wait to make this soup – it looks amazing.

  15. Tricia 11.21.2012

    AWESOME!!!

  16. I love that it is so thick a spoon can stand in it! This looks creamy and delicious and it will definately be added my list of comfort foods – yum!

  17. Allison S. 11.21.2012

    YUMMY! Any ideas of how to make this vegetarian friendly? I was thinking of adding broccoli and taking out the chicken??

    • Iowa Girl Eats 11.25.2012

      You could definitely do that, or just leave the chicken out all together!

  18. Carly 11.21.2012

    You’re my hero. And this is going to be my dinner on Sunday night. Thanks!

  19. Brenda 11.21.2012

    I am thinking Thanksgiving turkey leftover: Cheesy Turkey & Rice Soup!

  20. I love how deceivingly creamy this looks! I love adding a parm rind. I prefer rice to noodles when it comes to soup…this sounds PERFECT!

    Question: do you take the parm rind out? I love the flavor it gives but it’s so yucky by the time it melts down, haha. So I usually take it out after a bit.

    • Iowa Girl Eats 11.25.2012

      Haha I agree it is very limp and weird by the end, but I leave it in the whole time!

  21. Thank you for sharing!

    The last picture you posted is my favorite – very artsy.

  22. Amanda O. 11.23.2012

    I made this with leftover turkey tonight…delicious! My boys ate it up and my husband wants more to take for lunch on Monday!

  23. Tricia H 11.24.2012

    I made this tonight with leftover turkey tonight and it was SO GOOD!! My husband said it was the best soup he ever ate!! Loved it! Thank you!

  24. Kristina 11.27.2012

    This soup is fantastic! The only thing I did differently was use brown rice instead of white and I used 3 large frozen chicken breasts that I had cooked before and just shredded. Definitely my new favorite comfort food! I have tried so many chicken soup recipes in search of the perfect one and this is it!

  25. Debbie Zeman 11.28.2012

    This was so amazing, thank you so much! My family all loves your recipes and I get to cook! My husband has always been the cook so I think he is enjoying me cooking :). Also, I believe when you print out the recipe, it says use chicken broth and flour and in your blog, it says to use flour and milk. I did the flour and milk and it was awesome! Thanks again!

  26. Michelle 12.04.2012

    Made this soup the other day. DELICIOUS!! Thanks for the great recipe.

  27. Chandra 12.09.2012

    Made this for dinner tonight, Awesome!!!! Big hit at my house!

  28. Caitlin 12.11.2012

    I totally tried to make this tonight and it didn’t thicken up!! What did I do wrong? :(

    • Iowa Girl Eats 12.12.2012

      Oh no! Is it possible you left out the flour?

      • Caitlin 12.12.2012

        No I definitely did do the flour and milk thing but I eyeballed the 1/4 cup of milk and flour. Maybe I didn’t let it cook long enough? I also didn’t cook the rice, I just used the brown rice from Trader Joes that you find already cooked in their freezer section. I also left out the chicken. I can’t imagine that would have a huge effect?

        • Iowa Girl Eats 12.16.2012

          The rice starch released during cooking helps thicken the soup, so that’s probably what it was.

  29. Carol Matheney 01.20.2013

    This could be sacrilege, but this soup is great with 6 to 8 oz of Velveeta. . . .

  30. [...] first, Cheesy Chicken & Rice Soup’s brother from a less-cheesy mother, Chicken & Wild Rice [...]

  31. [...] Substitute turkey in Iowa Girl Eats Cheesy Chicken Rice Soup [...]

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  33. Janet R 09.23.2013

    I skimmed the comments to see if my question was there… is it 3/4 of a chicken or 3/4 CUP shredded chicken? Just clarifying! :)

    • Iowa Girl Eats 09.23.2013

      GREAT question – I totally left off the “lb” in the recipe. It’s 3/4lb chicken!

      • Erin 02.01.2014

        Approximately how many cups of shredded chicken is 3/4 of a lb.? I don’t have a kitchen scale! Thanks:)

  34. Iowa Gator 09.29.2013

    This soup is delicious! Will this freeze well? Not that it will stay around that long, but I’d love to make some in advance. Thanks!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 09.30.2013

      I’ve never tried with this particular soup, but sometimes “creamy” soups don’t thaw very well. Let us know if you try it though!

  35. […] one of my Top 3 soup recipes, Cheesy Chicken & Rice Soup is, you guessed it, cheesy, creamy, and thick. Total comfort food. You will go back for bowl after […]

  36. Adele Aiken 11.12.2013

    Maybe I missed something but I believe this recipe uses flour so how is it gluten free???

  37. Jennifer Goodson 12.15.2013

    I’ll be using my gluten free flour and then it’s Gluten Free. Easy Peasy!

  38. Cayla 01.30.2014

    Delicious recipe!

  39. […] down with something resembling food poisoning on Friday evening. To aide in his recovery, I made soup and stocked up on rice cakes and Gatorade. Oh, and while Jordan rested, I  finally put away our […]

  40. Kari 02.21.2014

    Whoa, this was good, and you weren’t kidding about it being thick! I used brown rice so I simmered for 45-50 minutes. Also, I added the shredded chicken at the end so it wouldn’t get dry.

    Thanks!!

  41. […] Cheesy Chicken & Rice Soup […]

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