This flavorful Chicken Rice Soup is loaded with fresh vegetables, long grain rice and chicken in a satisfyingly cream soup.
I’d have to say this is one of my favorite soups. It’s the combination of all these wonderful flavors and the aromatics that start happening the second you being to saute the vegetables in the skillet. It’s just soul satisfying and one of my favorite comfort foods.
You might be wondering right now, how could a simple chicken and rice soup be so good? If you haven’t tried this soup, you absolutely must. And I promise you’ll believe me as soon as you’ve tried it.
I’ve known people to eat multiple bowls of this soup, even when they’re full. It’s just that good. Seriously. Try it.
If you have left over or rotisserie chicken, you can use it in this soup and save time. We often make a whole chicken in the Instant Pot, then use the leftovers to make chicken rice soup.
Ingredients You’ll Need
This is a great recipe to make when you have leftover chicken and/or rice in the refrigerator. Both of those ingredients go into the soup already cooked. If you don’t, no worries. The chicken and the rice cook up at about the same rate so you can finish this soup quickly.
- Vegetables – Onion, celery, carrot, and mushroom.
- Flour – All-purpose flour
- Chicken broth
- Rice – Long grain brown rice or other long grain rice. Cooked.
- Chicken – Skinless, boneless chicken breasts cooked and cubed. You can use leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken.
- Herbs and spices – Salt, parsley, mustard powder, and black pepper
- Sherry – A splash of sherry adds a brightness to cream based soups.
- Half and half
How to Make Chicken Rice Soup
First thing, cook the rice and the chicken. They take about the same time to cook, so you can get them going at the same time. Try this recipe for cooking rice in the Instant Pot. When done, drain the rice and set it aside. Then shred the chicken and set it aside.
One of the most important parts of this soup is the sauteed vegetables, so whatever you do, don’t skip that step. This is where the sweet and nutty flavors of the vegetables come out and meld with each other. It’s a harmony of flavors. Without the sauteing, you just can’t reach that same flavor intensity.
Once the veggies have softened, you can make a quick roux by adding flour to the pan and whisking it all together. Let the roux cook for a minute or two, then add the broth to the pan and whisk, whisk, whisk. The soup will be a bit thin at this point, but it will thicken up as it cooks. Bring it just to a boil, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 20 minutes.
Next, add all the remaining ingredients, except for the half and half. Let the soup heat through. Then add the half and half and simmer for another 10 minutes, do not boil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve.
What Kind of Rice to Use
I use a long grain brown rice in this soup. It has a lot more chew to it than short or medium grain white rice, making it more hearty and firm. You can use any long grain rice, or blend in this soup.
You will cook the rice, according to the package instruction, before adding it to the soup, so the simmer time of the soup doesn’t change based on the rice you use. That makes it very versatile, so you can use whatever you have on hand.
The only type of rice you shouldn’t use is short grain white rice, or instant rice, which tends to disintegrate or fall apart and doesn’t have as good a mouthfeel.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can this soup be frozen?
Yes, you can freeze any left overs that you may have, or cook a batch and freeze it to use later. When you’re ready to reheat it, you can do so in the microwave or on the stove top.
Keep in mind that if you used a less firm rice, it does tend to fall apart more once the soup is reheated. Long grain wild rice or brown rice is the best option for reheating.
What can I substitute in place of the sherry?
If you don’t want to use sherry you can replace it with dry vermouth, dry white wine or chicken stock mixed with lemon juice. You can leave it out all together and the soup will still be delicious.
How do I keep the rice from getting mushy?
Start by using a long grain brown rice in this soup. It has a lot more chew to it than short or medium grain white rice, making it more hearty and firm.
Add the rice at the end of the cooking process. This will keep it from getting too soggy.
Tips and Notes
- Sauté the vegetables before adding for extra flavor.
- Add the half and half just before serving and do not boil, or the soup will curdle.
- This recipe can be made in the crockpot or Instant Pot.
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Chicken Rice Soup
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/4 cup onion finely chopped
- 1/4 cup celery chopped
- 1/4 cup carrots sliced
- 8 mushrooms chopped
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup cooked long grain brown rice (or other long grain rice)
- 1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts cooked and cubed
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon sherry
- 1 cup half-and-half
- Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion, celery and carrots and saute for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and saute for 2 more minutes.
- Add the flour and whisk together.
- Gradually pour in the chicken broth, whisking constantly until combined. Bring just to a boil, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the rice, chicken, salt, parsley, mustard powder, and black pepper. Allow to heat through, then pour in the half-and-half. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Do not boil.
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Laura is a home cook, with 25 years experience behind the stove, who spends an extraordinary amount of time in the kitchen cooking. She loves making new recipes and finding wonderful new things to eat, both at home or abroad. She spends a lot of time researching, crafting, and perfecting her recipes and currently has a cookbook in development.