Feel Better with Best Ever Chicken and Rice Soup

Nothing seems to taste better and be more comforting than a big bowl full of chicken soup when a cough, congestion and the all-around crud comes on. For generations, the caretakers in my family have sworn by the healing properties of this folksy food remedy, so today I’m sharing a recipe for Best-Ever Chicken and Rice Soup that will have you licking that cold . . . and the bottom of the bowl in no time.

But is it scientifically TRUE that chicken soup is a cure? Untold numbers of researchers have investigated topics from how the hot temperature can unblock stuffy airways to how the zinc found in certain ingredients can lessen the duration of a cold. And, while there is no 100-percent conclusive evidence that chicken soup can cure illnesses, it’s pretty much a sure thing that consuming a hearty serving of soup will help keep you hydrated, chase away chills and reduce certain bothersome symptoms.

That’s why my recipe for Best Ever Chicken and Rice Soup is just what any doctor (or dietician) would order! Ladle into a mug for a nourishing meal when feeling under the weather or whip up a big batch for a light dinner and lunch leftovers to keep your wellness in check every day of the year. Consider doubling the recipe and freezing single serve portions for busy or sick day convenience. No one really wants to be chopping celery while battling sniffles, sneezes and a sinus headache.

One little shortcut I’ve taken with this recipes is using Instantly Fresh Italian Herb Blend to lighten and brighten the broth. It’s infinitely easier and more cost-effective to measure out a portion of this freeze-dried blend of herbs that includes basil, oregano, garlic, red onions, red pepper, marjoram, rosemary and sage than to actually find, purchase and chop up fresh.

Best Ever Chicken and Rice Soup Recipe

Serves 8 servings | Finish in 1 hour 15 minutes
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Soothe your soul and lessen the symptoms of a winter cold with this hearty, healthy chicken and rice soup. Make a double batch and freeze into single serve portions for busy or sick day convenience.

Ingredients

1 cup (dry) white or brown rice (plus water to cook rice)
8 cups additional water
1 lb. boneless skinless
8 chicken bouillon cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large white onion
finely chopped
1 yellow bell pepper
seeded and finely chopped
2 large celery ribs
finely chopped
2 large carrots
finely chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons Instantly Fresh Italian Herb Blend
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Prepare rice according to package instructions. Set aside.

In large stock pot, boil chicken breasts in water for 15 to 20 minutes or until no longer pink inside and internal temperature reaches a minimum of 165 F degrees. Remove chicken breasts from pot, but do not discard water. Skim off any residue not desired in soup.

When chicken is cool enough to handle, pull apart with fingers or fork into large shreds. Add back to pot with water. Add bouillon cubes. Turn heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, add olive oil to large skilled and bring to medium high heat. Add chopped onion, bell pepper, celery, and carrots. Sauté for 5 to 7 minutes or until vegetables are softening. Add garlic and continue to cook for 1 more minute.

Add vegetables to stock pot with chicken. Return skillet to stove top. Add Instantly Fresh Herb Blend to pot with chicken and vegetables, keep simmering and stirring occasionally.

To make thickening roux, melt butter in skillet over medium heat. When butter is beginning to bubble, whisk in flour and stir constantly and quickly for several minutes, or until it has turned a light golden brown. Remove skillet from heat and allow roux to cool a bit.

Once roux is no longer hot (can be warm), scrape into stock pot and stir well to combine. Stir in prepared rice. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Continue to simmer soup for 15 more minutes, or until everything heated through.


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