Since I have children with food allergies, I have to be careful when it comes to soups. Many broths, whether they’re chicken or vegetable or beef, contain some variation of soy protein.
When I’m in a hurry, I will use a store-bought broth. There is a brand that is completely allergen-free, meaning NO eggs, nuts, gluten, soy, dairy, fish, etc. However, most times when I’m preparing a soup for the whole family, I do not use a broth from the store. The only way I can control the food around here is to start from scratch. This also means that I don’t have recipes: I just add seasonings until it tastes good to me.
So, here’s my version of Chicken and Rice Soup:
1. I purchase my favorite pieces of a chicken, some dark and some white meat. Sometimes I buy a whole fryer, but it takes longer to cook, so most of the time I buy the pieces I want.
2. Rinse and pat dry.
3. Put in a big pot of boiling water along with some pieces of celery, onion, and carrot. Add some salt and pepper.
4. Boil it till the chicken is done. Times will vary depending on the chicken.
5. Keep plenty of the broth. Remove chicken from the bones. The meat should fall away from the bone pretty easily. I usually shred the meat. I prefer it shredded, rather than chopped, for a soup, but not finely shredded. Hubby likes big pieces of meat, otherwise he doesn’t consider it a meal.
6. Add chicken to broth. Begin adding other ingredients to complete the soup, such as sliced carrots, diced onion, sliced celery, frozen sweet peas or green beans, mushrooms, fresh rosemary, basil, salt and pepper. Like I said, I just add until it looks and tastes like I want it to.
7. Add the rice. It can take anywhere from 1/2 cup to 1 cup, depending on how much soup I’m making. Another variation is to use cubed potatoes instead of rice. It’s good with potatoes, but they eventually disintegrate after being in the water too long.
8. Serve with wheat toast, rolls, or a sandwich.
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