Sunday, January 9, 2011

Chicken & Brown Rice Soup

Isn't it pretty?!?

The holiday binge is over and eating habits are getting back to normal….thank goodness!  I got a fabulous present this year – a gorgeous Le Creuset Dutch Oven that I have been wanting for years (thanks again!!), so of course I keep trying to come up with things to make in it.  So far, it’s just been soup (butternut squash was first), but my next endeavor will be the whole wheat bread mentioned in my last post – can’t wait to see how that turns out!

In the meantime, let me tell you about this soup.  Since I’m trying to get back to my normal (relatively) healthy diet I wanted to make something simple and low-cal but still tasty.  I remembered this recipe from an old Women’s Health magazine (Jan/Feb 2010) and thought it would be perfect for this weekend.  It has to simmer for quite a while and I knew I’d be inside most of today taking down Christmas decorations, hauling the tree to the curb (sad!) and getting my apartment back in order.  Everything is done and my dinner was delicious!  Here’s how it’s done:


2 tsp olive oil
1 pound chicken breast, cut in bite-sized pieces (I doubled this recipe and used 3 boneless skinless breasts)
1 large carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
¼ leek or 3 scallions thinly sliced (I used scallions)
cup brown rice
2 tsp dried thyme
1 can (14.5oz) no-salt-added diced tomatoes, including juice
6 cups low-sodium chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of cayenne pepper (my addition, optional)
Pinch of garlic powder (my addition, optional)


Heat olive oil in saucepan.  Add chicken and sauté until just cooked.  Transfer to a dish and set aside.  Add carrots, celery and leeks/scallions and sauté about 3 minutes.  Add rice and thyme and sauté another 5 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.  Add the chicken back to the pot.  Add tomatoes and chicken stock.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer 30-45 minutes until rice is cooked.  I continued to let it simmer for another half hour or so to let all the flavors meld.

As mentioned, I added a little cayenne and garlic.  I think it needs the garlic to mellow out the thyme, and as for the cayenne – well I seem to like everything with a little kick these days.  The result?  Very good.  Hearty and comforting yet still light….just what I needed today.  Enjoy!