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Chicken and rice soup on the cheap

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Warm up with Homemade Chicken and Rice Soup

With the oh-so-cold weather and the abundance of colds and flus this time of year, one of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to whip up some comfort food is to make a nice pot of Homemade Chicken and Rice Soup.

This basic recipe is easily altered to include whatever ingredients you have on hand.  Keep things on the cheap by relying on rice and inexpensive cuts of chicken to get the most flavor for your dollar.

If you have extra veggies that need to be used, add them in.  Diced tomatoes, squash and green beans are all great and cheap ways to bulk up your soup).  Feel free to toss in mushrooms or English peas for another flavor-packed way to stretch your soup.

Homemade Chicken & Rice Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb chicken (buy whatever is the cheapest dark meat produces a richer soup while white meat makes a lighter version, or substitute a large can on precooked chunk chicken)
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 large carrots, diced
  • 2 large stalks celery, finely diced
  • 6 cups water (can substitute premade chicken or vegetable broth or dissolve 3 bouillon cubes into water if desired)
  • 1 cup white or brown rice (can subsitute equal amount of cous cous, barley or millet)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 TBSP minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
  • Optional: 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper for a spicier soup, for a creamier soup, reduce water or broth to 51/2 cups and add in 1/2 cup of reduced fat milk shortly before serving.

Directions:  In a large stock pot or pan, add onions, carrots, celery and garlic to olive oil and 1/4 cup of water or broth and sautee until vegetables start to soften.  Add in remaining water and chicken.  If using chicken with bones, go ahead and add in whole pieces.  Once chicken has cooked thoroughly you can remove bones.  If using boneless chicken, chop into bite sized pieces before adding to water, or let it cook and shred with a fork before serving. 

Add in additional seasoning and spices and cook on medium heat for about 30 minutes or until chicken starts to become fork tender.  Reduce heat and stir in rice and continue cooking for an additional 30 minutes.  When rice is fully cooked, your soup is ready to serve.

Resources: For other comfort food recipes that won't strain your budget try Red Beans and Rice, Beefy Spanish Rice Bake, Super Stuffed Peppers, Tamale Pie, or Better than Mom's Meatloaf.

Have questions, a money saving tip, or want to share your favorite recipe? Email me at memphisbudgetmeals@gmail.com  

For more about champagne tastes on a beer budget, read my blog or follow me on twitter.

Also - please excuse my extended abscence from posting.  I am recovering from two foot surgeries and managed to squeeze a wedding into December.

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