Quick and Easy Chicken and Rice Soup (in 30 Minutes)
This homemade chicken and rice soup is not only quick and easy but it’s packed with rice and veggies for a wholesome, nourishing fuss-free meal for chilly days and when you’re feeling under the weather! If a stick-to-your-ribs, warming soup for the soul is what you’re after, this easy chicken vegetable soup is it!
If you haven’t already, you can pre-make the homemade stock and chicken (note this will obviously increase the overall time taken to prepare the recipe. I like to prepare it in advance and store it in the fridge/freezer for when needed). You can also use other pre-cooked chicken and store-bought stock/broth.
Next, you need to prepare the vegetables. First, rinse them well and then finely dice the celery, chop (I cubed it) the carrot, and halve the tomatoes (or chop into small bite-sized pieces when using larger tomatoes). At the same time, finely chop the parsley.
Next, rinse the rice well under running water, swishing it with your fingers to get rid of excess starch.
Step 2: Simmer the quick chicken soup
In a large soup pot (heavy-based pot), bring the chicken broth to a boil. Then add the rice, carrot, celery, and shredded chicken.For extra depth of flavor: Before adding the stock (or in a separate pan), lightly sauté the vegetables (and optionally chicken) until starting to brown. If you use a separate pan, make sure to deglaze the pan with some broth (or white wine) and add everything to the main soup pot.
Allow it to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. At this point, the rice should be tender but not mushy.
Then, add the tomatoes and parsley, stirring it well, and allow it to simmer for a further 2-3 minutes. Give the quick chicken soup a taste and adjust the seasoning (salt and pepper) to taste.
Remove the chicken and rice soup from the heat and serve warm with a squeeze of lemon juice—enjoy!
How to Store Chicken and Rice Soup?
Make-Ahead: There are several elements of this easy chicken soup with rice that you can make in advance (including the cooked chicken and chicken stock). You can also prepare the entire chicken and rice soup a day in advance – it will taste even better on day two after some time for the flavors to develop.Store: Allow the chicken vegetable soup to cool and then transfer to an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.Freeze: Transfer the cooled soup to an airtight container or Ziplock bags (portioned, with headspace) and freeze for up to 3 months. Allow it to thaw in the refrigerator before reheating or speed up the process by placing the bag/container in a bowl of hot water.If you plan to make soup to freeze/store for several days, it’s best to cook the soup and rice separately. Otherwise, the rice will continue to soak up the broth and become very mushy. Alternatively, you can strain the broth into a separate container, then combine the broth and veg/rice mixture again when reheating.Reheat: You can use a microwave or the stovetop to reheat the soup gently until heated through. If you stored the soup with the rice, you might need an extra splash of stock (or water).
Use high-quality ingredients: Because of the simplicity of this easy chicken soup, use high-quality ingredients (like the stock and the chicken) for the best flavor.
Cut down prep: Several grocery stores sell pre-chopped soup veggies. However, the exact ingredients and ratios differ.
To meal prep the soup: Don’t add the rice directly into the soup pot. It will become mushy when stored. Instead, add fresh grains as needed (luckily, you can make a large batch of rice separately to store in the fridge/freezer.
Don’t skip the acid:
Brown the meat: If you’re making your own chicken stock/meat, brown the meat/bones (method written on my recipe post) to caramelize and add a deeper, more savory flavor.
For a heartier soup: Use an immersion blender to puree some of the vegetables for a thicker, heartier chicken vegetable soup. You could also increase the rice to stock ratio.
If you cook the rice separately: Cook it in chicken broth, so it still has flavor (though not as much as it would if it were cooked directly in the soup).
Optional Add-InsThis easy homemade chicken soup with leftover chicken requires just a handful of simple, pantry-friendly ingredients, including:
Onion: Adding a diced onion is a great way to infuse the clear chicken soup with extra flavor. I recommend using a yellow onion.
Other veggies: This easy chicken vegetable soup can be packed with even more veggies for extra flavor and color. Use fresh or frozen peas (I usually use frozen and add them in the last few minutes). Sliced mushrooms, bell peppers, and leek would also work. If adding spinach or kale, only add towards the end.
Garlic: Not everyone enjoys chicken garlic soup, but add a couple cloves (or more) if you're a fan.
White wine: Use a dry white wine – around ¼ cup should work well and add it at the same time as the vegetables (or use it to deglaze the pan if you sauté the vegetables).
Noodles: This quick chicken soup recipe can easily be adapted to a simple chicken noodle soup instead of rice. Egg noodles work particularly well, but most pasta will work. Read their package instructions and add them to the soup when there are that many minutes left for the soup.
Greek yogurt: If you want a creamier chicken vegetable soup, then serve the soup with a swirl of Greek yogurt. A little heavy cream would also work.
Bay leaves: For extra flavor, add 2 bay leaves to the soup while simmering. Remove them when serving.
Other herbs: rosemary or thyme would work well in this chicken vegetable soup. Add 1-2 sprigs in with the stock to allow them to steep. Chives can also be added (fresh or dry). If you use dry herbs, adjust the amount (around ½ tsp) as they’re usually more potent.
Parmesan rind: Add this to the broth while simmering, and it adds a wonderful nutty, umami-rich flavor. Remove when serving.
READ THE BLOG POST FOR MORE INGREDIENT NOTES AND FAQs!