Chicken vegetable soup, on its own, or with egg noodles and rice, is one of my favorite, satisfying and fast, “go to” meals. It’s easy to bring to work for lunch or heat up after an evening workout for dinner. When I’m carbo-loading, I often add cooked rice and eat it on several days during the week prior to a race. Chicken vegetable and rice soup was part of my 3:30 am breakfast on the morning of my first Ironman. Unfortunately, that soup came out of a can since I was away from home. Here is the homemade version that I’ve been making and enjoying for years.
- 1 ½ cups or ½ of large white onion (chopped)
- 2 TBS olive oil
- 2 – 32 ounce chicken broth*
- 6 cups cold water
- 1 chicken breast with bone and skin on
- 10 carrots (peeled and sliced about ½ inch thick; I prefer a soup hearty with vegetables so slice the carrots to your thickness preference)
- 8 celery stocks; slice stalks lengthwise into 3rds or 4ths then dice
- celery leaves
- 3 parsley stems with leaves
- 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 5 turns of pepper mill (season to taste)
- ½ tsp salt
- Cooked egg noodle*s or cooked rice (optional)
* NOTE: If you are a gluten-free diet, ensure that the ingredients you are using are gluten-free.
- 12 quart stock pot
Rinse chicken breast and set aside. In stock pot, sauté onion in olive oil until softened (about 10 minutes). Add broth, water and chicken breast to onions. Place lid on pot an bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
While broth is simmering, make a “mirepoix” by placing the celery leaves, parsley stems, thyme and bay leaf in cheesecloth and tie into a bundle.
Add the mirepoix, carrots, celery, salt and pepper to the pot. Continue to simmer for at least 1 more hour however the longer you simmer the more the flavor will develop.
After an hour or more, remove the chicken. Remove and discard the chicken skin. Pull apart meat with a fork and place a few pieces into individual bowls. Ladle soup with vegetables into individual bowls. You can add your favorite cooked egg noodles (I like the no-yolk egg noodles) or cooked rice. If you don’t want the carbs, leave the noodles and rice out.
If you have time to make the soup in advance, chill it in the refrigerator before serving. The fat will rise to the top and solidify making it easy to spoon off and discard. Store the cooked chicken separately from the broth and vegetables. The broth and vegetables freezes well. You can boil a fresh chicken breast when you are ready to defrost and eat the frozen soup.