This has been a good winter for soup recipes for me – although since it’s supposed to be 75 and sunny here on Saturday, it is definitely not winter anymore! I’ll probably still eat soup for a while, though. Just not this Saturday. Saturday you can find me in my backyard with a cold beer and a book.
This was a soup I made for our soup club at work last week. Our club’s membership has grown significantly after a few new folks came on board at Girl Scouts recently. We have more than 20 members eating soup with us every Wednesday! It’s so much fun, and it means I don’t have to bring a lunch on day out of the week, and enjoy my talented colleagues’ culinary exploits. It also means that you have to make a huge amount of soup when it’s your turn! So I made more than double the amount below. I had a few leftovers, but like most soup, this only gets better with age.
Here’s what you need:
1-2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 organic chicken breast, diced (I like to use kitchen shears)
2 carrots, diced
1 ribs celery
1 leek, chopped
1/2 white onion, roughly diced
1 cup Brown rice
4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 quarts veggie broth
1-2 quarts water
1/2 tsp. dried lemongrass
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
Salt to taste (be very generous!)
Start by heating the oil in the bottom of your stock pot or Dutch oven. Sear the diced chicken in the oil, and then remove to a bowl and set aside. You may need to add a little bit more oil.
Next, add the carrots, celery, leek, garlic and onion to the pan. Cook until the onions are translucent, then add the brown rice and cook until the rice also is a bit translucent – just 5 minutes or so should do the trick.
Add the veggie broth, water (the amount of water will depend on how much you need to cook the particular rice that you have – you can always add more later), lemon juice, lemongrass, thyme and bay leaves. If you happen to be using a fresh lemon, it’s nice to zest it and throw the zest in as well. Season with two very heavy pinches of Kosher salt, give a final stir and cover. Bring to a boil, turn the temperature down and keep at a simmer for 40 minutes to an hour.
When the rice is cooked through, remove the thyme stems (the leaves will have fallen off) and the bay leaves. Taste and test for saltiness and lemon flavor – you can add salt and lemon juice to adjust to your liking.