It's tricky to think of Chicken Soup With Rice without thinking of Maurice Sendak's "Chicken Soup With Rice," a sadly under-read and yet fabulous children's book that starts with this immortal line:
In January it's so nice, while slipping on the sliding ice, to sip hot chicken soup with rice.
Read it outloud. It's so fun to say those words in that order. And he's absolutely right. There is great warmth and comfort to be found in a hot bowl of rice-laden chicken soup. And if the said soup is made with fresh, local ingredients, all the better.
Some recipes may call for cooking the rice in the soup, but if you cook it separately the broth will stay clear. If clear broth doesn't interest you (and neither does having to clean the extra rice-cooking pot), simply add another 2 cups broth or water to the pot, add the rice along with all the vegetables, and cook 15 to 20 minutes until the rice is wonderfully tender to the bite.
Tip: If you use Homemade Chicken Broth, pull the chicken out of the simmering broth after it's cooked through, remove the meat to use in this soup, and return the bones to continue flavoring the broth.
You may also like Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup or these other Warming Winter Soups.
- In a medium pot bring 2 cups water to a boil. Add the rice and salt. Bring to a boil again.
- As soon as it boils, cover, reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook undisturbed for 15 minutes. Without removing the cover, take the pot off the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes. Remove the cover, fluff the rice with a fork, and set the rice aside.
- Meanwhile, trim the celery stalks and slice them thinly. If they are particularly thick, cut them in half lengthwise before slicing them. Trim the leek, discard the root end and save the dark green sections for another use. Cut the white and light green part lengthwise into quarters, then thinly slice them. Put the sliced leeks in a colander and rinse completely clean and free of grit. Peel and dice the carrot.
- in a large soup pot over medium-high heat, warm 1/4 cup of the chicken broth. Add the sliced and diced celery, leeks, and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining broth and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, undisturbed, until the vegetables are very tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add the chicken to the soup and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Add the cooked rice and cook until it's heated through as well, about 1 minute. Add salt to taste. Serve hot.