Chicken-Veg-Rice Soup

8-10 servings

Tip: Try not to get too hung up on the specifics of this recipe. I wrote it down so I’d have something to share, but it’s really just a guideline. When making soup, I think more about what’s on hand and focus on the basics – good broth, good veggies, good protein (meat/beans/tofu), a favorite pasta shape or grains, flavor enhancers – you’ve got it!

2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 yellow onion
2 stalks celery
4 carrots
2 zucchini
4 oz. fresh mushrooms
2 cloves fresh garlic
1 cup fresh or frozen corn (off the cob)
3 cups cooked brown and/or wild rice
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken (8 oz breast; 8 oz. thighs)
1 1/2 quarts high-quality, low-sodium chicken broth
1 tsp dried thyme
1 Tbsp dried sage leaves
Sea salt & freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup white wine, divided
Optional: Steamed asparagus or broccoli cut into bite-sized pieces. (I added asparagus that was leftover from a previous meal.)

Wash and dry all vegetables.
Dice yellow onion.
Use vegetable peeler to remove tough strings from celery stalks. Dice celery.
Peel and dice carrots.
Cut zucchini length-wise into quarters, then cut across strips to get chunks.
Cut mushrooms into quarters or 6ths, depending on size.
Mince fresh garlic cloves.
On separate cutting board, cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. Season lightly with salt & pepper.

Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in large (about 8 qt) Dutch oven-type pan. Sauté onion, celery and carrots for about 2 minutes, stirring as they soften, but do not brown. Add zucchini, mushrooms and garlic and continue to sauté for about 3 minutes. Season lightly with S&P. Add about 2 Tbsp white wine (or water) and simmer for about 1 minute. Remove from pan and hold in a glass or stainless steel bowl while you continue.

Add 1 Tbsp olive oil to the Dutch oven, heat briefly and add the seasoned chicken. Sauté the meat, stirring occasionally until it starts to brown lightly. Add remaining 2 Tbsp wine to deglaze the pan and simmer for about 1 minute. Return the cooked veggies to the Dutch oven; add the corn, rice, asparagus or broccoli (if using). Carefully pour the chicken broth into the pan and gently stir all ingredients together. Crush the dried thyme and the dried sage leaves in your hand before adding to the soup. Heat just to boiling then reduce to a simmer until vegetables are all tender. Taste for seasoning; add S&P as needed. Feel free to use other herbs or spices to your own taste.

Ladle into bowls, garnish with flat leaf parsley and serve with hearty bread and a crisp green salad, or…eat just soup and save room for pie (tomorrow’s recipe). 😀

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