Classic, comforting chicken & rice soup made even better, with vegetables of your choice, turmeric, fresh lemon juice, and lots of garlic flavor.
It is always soup season, especially when immunity is a hot topic, as it is right now. I was talking about immunity at this time last year and despite an unprecedented number of unprecedented events since then, it seems things haven't changed very much. Anyways, this healing lemon garlic chicken & rice soup is what we're talking about today and it's a really delicious discussion. Let's get into the details.
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Is Chicken Soup Medicinal?
So many cultures around the world have versions of chicken soup and they are generally associated with comfort and even healing. So what makes my lemon garlic chicken & rice soup special and particularly healing? It's the ingredients, some of which are in the title. This is chicken and rice soup with turmeric, fresh lemon, and loads of garlic. So it's full of flavor as well as anti-inflammatory and immune supporting ingredients.
How to Add Flavor to Chicken Soup
The flavor of this chicken soup comes from several cloves of garlic, lemon juice, turmeric, and crushed red pepper. You can add lots of different herbs and aromatics to chicken soup for flavor, including dill and rosemary. Ginger also works really well in chicken soup. To make this garlicky chicken soup you will, of course, need lots of garlic. But there's an art to incorporating it for maximum flavor. To get the most flavor out of garlic, you want to cut it as small as possible so that more of the surface of it is exposed to the food and increase the chances of having garlic in every bite. Dicing or mincing garlic is my go to but you can also use a food processor if you like.
You should definitely check out these popular soup recipes, while you're here.
What Vegetables to Add to Chicken Soup
I am the queen of stuffing veggies in sauces, soups--really any dish I can. Carrots and celery are a chicken soup staple and spinach in chicken soup is really good, too. I prefer to use fresh spinach and recommend adding it in at the very end, even off heat. Stir until it's wilted and serve. You'll get tender spinach that still has all it's flavor. You can also use other greens like kale and swiss chard. The sky is really the limit. Toss in chopped frozen broccoli or cauliflower, peas, squash or sweet potato.
Do You Cook Rice Before Adding to Soup?
The answer is that it depends on your preference. In this recipe, I briefly fry the rice with the carrots and aromatics then add the broth and other soup ingredients. This yields the perfect fluffy texture of rice in a freshly-made pot of healing lemon garlic chicken & rice soup but it does tend to get mushier over time. I don't mind that but if you do, I recommend cooking the rice separately then stirring it into your finished pot or even just adding a bit to each bowl as it's eaten, especially if you intend to freeze or otherwise save the soup for later. I like to prep a big pot of this chicken soup with turmeric at the beginning of the week and enjoy for lunch each day.
How to Freeze Chicken Soup for Later
Chicken soup freezes and reheats quite well. I like using souper cubes for freezing chicken soup and really recommend them because they work for so many other things as well. If you don't have access to souper cubes, freeze portions of soup in small containers (1-2 cups) that seal airtight. A few other tools you'll want to have on hand for this quick chicken soup recipe include a sharp knife, an enameled dutch oven, and a good ole wooden spoon.
I hope you enjoy a pot of healing lemon garlic chicken & rice soup very soon. And sharing is caring so be sure pin this lemon chicken soup with rice recipe on Pinterest. Thanks for reading!
How to Make Healing Chicken Soup
Classic comforting chicken & rice soup with fresh lemon juice, lots of garlic, vegetables and turmeric
- 1 ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 1 ½ pound chicken breast or thighs
- sea salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup matchstick carrots
- ½ onion
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 cup rice
- 8 cups chicken broth
- ¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Juice of 1 ½ lemon
- 2 handfuls fresh baby spinach
Add olive oil to a heated dutch oven or large sauce pan over medium high heat. Cut up chicken breast into bite-sized pieces and add to pot.
Season chicken with sea salt, black pepper, and turmeric. Cook through (about 6 minutes). Meanwhile, chop onion, mince garlic, and rough cut carrots.
Remove chicken from pan and add butter to pan to melt. Add in carrots, onion, garlic, and rice and cook until slightly softened and fragrant (about 4 minutes).
Pour in chicken stock, stir, and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low, add cooked chicken, crushed red pepper, and lemon juice. Stir and cover then allow to simmer for about 7 minutes.
Remove soup from heat and stir in spinach until wilted. Serve warm and enjoy carefully.