chicken & brown rice soup

video password: soup [case sensitive]

(note: in the video I say to add 1 cup of cooked rice but I’ve actually added 2 cups – the written recipe reflects the correct amount)
chicken soup

[5 ingredients | 10 minutes]
chicken & brown rice soup

serves 2

This is a brilliant short-cut recipe. Instead of simmering a whole chicken for hours we’re just browning some ground (minced) chicken to get the same lovely flavour and provide a wonderful meaty texture to the soup. I also love how the rice adds a subtle nuttiness to the soup.

I’ve served it with spinach on the top this time but it’s also delicious with baby spinach wilted into the soup. Or for a more austere version skip the greens all together.

If you don’t have miso paste, substitute in 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce OR use chicken broth in place of the water.

300g (10oz) ground (minced) chicken
2 cups cooked brown rice (250g / 8oz)
2 tablespoons miso paste
4 tablespoons lemon juice
2 handfuls baby spinach, optional

1. Heat a few tablespoons olive oil over a very high heat in a large saucepan.

2. Add chicken and stir fry for a few minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink.

3. Add 3 cups water and the rice and bring to a simmer. Cook for a few minutes.

4. Stir in miso paste and lemon juice. Taste and season.

5. Serve with spinach leaves on top, if using.

quantities for different serving sizes:

You can easily double or triple this recipe. The cooking time will be about the same, maybe slightly longer.

prepare ahead?

Fine, although the rice may thicken the soup as it stands.

variations for dietary requirements:

vegetarian / vegan option 1 – Skip the chicken and replace the water with a well flavoured vegetable stock.

vegetarian / vegan option 2 If you’d like more protein in the soup, you could replace the chicken with crumbled tofu and increase the amount of miso paste

vegetarian / vegan option 3 Replace the chicken with 450g (1lb) finely chopped mushrooms (step 2) – it will probably take longer for the mushrooms to cook than the chicken but don’t add the water until they are starting to brown.

troubleshooting guide:

too bland – Season more generously with salt, soy sauce or more miso paste. Also, think about trying a different source of chicken – it’s amazing how much the flavour can vary.

no miso paste? Substitute in 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce OR use chicken or vegetable stock in place of the water.

no fresh spinach?
– Skip the greens OR use a packet of frozen spinach, defrosted and warmed through the soup would be great.

gluey texture?
– Ick. I’ve had this problem with overcooking rice in soups but it was where I was simmering for a few hours. There’s not much you can do once this happens but next time only simmer for a few minutes.

watery texture – Sounds like too much water or not enough rice. A little more cooked rice can help if you have it, otherwise a handful of couscous can help.

no cooked rice? – Replace the cooked rice with 1/2 cup uncooked couscous and increase the simmering time in step 3 to 5-6 minutes.

serving suggestions

A meal in a bowl.

leftover potential:

Will keep in the fridge for a week or so. The rice will soak up the broth as it sits there, which might make a nice change but you could always thin it out with a little more water.

related links:

on stonesoup – 7 tips for full-flavoured vegetable stock.
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