I firmly believe soup should be a year round thing. This soup base comes from one of my fave Bon Appétit recipes and I adjust it seasonally and it is always AHHHHMAZING. This version is our new fave, changing up the rice to make it a bit more brothy, bringing a bit of ginger into the mix as the seasonal changes (and allergies) are starting to hit us all, as well as using some of our favorites: homemade crispy garlic chili oil and Alderwood smoked salt.
It is a quickly prepped, super easy weeknight meal that comes together in about 30 minutes and gives you great leftovers throughout the week for lunches… However, seconds ARE a non-negotiable with this soup so you might have less leftover than you think!
Lemony Chicken, Kale and Rice Soup
6-8 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
1 -3 tsp of red chili flakes (I use 3 to make our oil nice and spicy, adjust based on your liking, I also double these amounts as this oil is killer on a LOT of things)
1/3 cup of vegetable oil plus 1 tbsp, divided
1 medium sweet onion, diced
8 cups water
1-1.5lbs of boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2/3 cup long grain white rice, rinsed
1 tbsp ginger paste (Gourmet Garden’s is great for quick soups/stirfrys)
1/2 bunch of fresh, curly kale, cut into ribbons (or chiffonade if you prefer thinner greens)
3 medium sized carrots, sliced thick
Juice of 1 whole lemon
salt to taste
dill, smoked salt and lemon wedge to garnish/finish
- place 1/3 cup vegetable oil in deep pot or dutch oven over med high heat
- when oil is hot, add garlic and cook until fragrant and starting to brown
- when garlic is beginning to brown (not burn!) pour oil mixture into a heat proof container (canning jar or pyrex measuring cup is our go-to) and add chili flakes. Stir and let sit as you prepare the soup
- add 1 tbsp vegetable oil to pot over medium heat, add onion and sauté until translucent
- add water, chicken, ginger and rice to pot and bring to boil
- keep pot at rolling boil until chicken is cooked through (approx 20 min)
- remove chicken and set on plate to cool slightly
- reduce the heat to a simmer (to intensifying flavor) and add carrot
- shred chicken and add back to pot with kale
- stir and cook until kale is bright green and softened
- add in lemon and season with about 1 tsp of kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper
- remove from heat and serve, topped with a pinch of smoked salt, wedge of lemon, baby dill and garlic chili oil to taste.
And when I say its an amazing soup – no joke, ALL variations of this have been amazing.
Short grained rice? More of a congee/porridge which is incredible.
Short grain with corn, mint and lemon? Amazing as a warm or cool summer soup.
Brown rice? Crisping the onion in butter instead and adding spinach, sweet potato, rosemary and a bayleaf? UUUUGH so yum.
I love the long grain rice version with carrot as it is more of a traditional chicken and rice soup…
I adore the Bon Appétit base recipe as it focuses on subtle flavors that combine well… versus an INSANELY intense chicken stock base that is super salty and rich. This feels light and is quite filling and crave-worthy.
Leftovers were amazing with the addition of shaving some of our Farm Fresh Salt Cured Egg Yolks on top for an extra umami punch!
Trust me when I say, when you get this soup down, you will use it frequently (and adjust often to make new amazing flavor combinations.)