Lemon Chicken Soup with Rice

It’s been the kind of week at the Yellow House on the Corner where comfort food became a must.  Hubby sick, migraine for me, a snowstorm that dropped two freaking feet of snow in my yard, and a child who ate cereal for dinner at least twice.  Besides that big glass of wine I poured myself, I craved something warm and familiar.  But I had a fridge full of roasted chicken and veggies on the verge of being no use to me anymore if I didn’t get them cooked soon.  Soup seemed like the best bet and what’s more comforting than chicken and rice soup?  Maurice Sendak knew that, which is why Pierre and Carole King were like magic for my childhood (Google it).

I’ve made chicken noodle soup before, but I wanted something a little different this time so I figured rice was a good substitute.  I’ve never made chicken and rice soup before, so this is an experiment, hopefully a good one.  (By the way, why is it chicken noodle soup and chicken & rice soup? But chicken & noodle soup sounds just as weird as chicken rice soup.)

Because we are eating a low sodium diet in our house these days for health related purposes, I did not add any salt to this.  Please feel free to salt where you need to, but the lemon is so bright in the soup and that you don’t need a lot of salt.  I roasted a chicken last week that I stuffed with lemons and a head of garlic, so I am not actually cooking chicken in the soup – I’m using chicken that I’ve already cooked.  If you don’t have leftover chicken around, use a rotisserie chicken or add the chicken when you add the veggies and cook until no longer pink.

Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2-3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 large zucchini, diced
  • 1 small red pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced or grated
  • 2 lemons
  • 2-3 teaspoons fresh dill
  • 6-8 cups chicken stock or broth (low sodium)
  • 1 cup white rice, uncooked
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2-3 cups cooked chicken, shredded or chopped

Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat in a soup pot.  Add veggies as you chop them, stirring occasionally.  Once veggies are all in the pot and softened, add garlic, zest from two lemons and the fresh dill, along with any salt and pepper you want to use.


Add the juice of two lemons and the white wine.  Stir in the rice.


Start with about 6 cups of chicken stock – you may want to add more later because the rice will really thicken up the soup.  Bring to a boil and let cook until the rice is done – about twenty minutes.

Stir in shredded chicken and add more stock if you feel like your rice has absorbed a lot of the liquid.  Turn heat on low and let simmer until chicken is warmed through (maybe five minutes or so).


The lemon really adds a lot of freshness to the soup and the slight hint of wine is delicious.  Don’t skip the zest part – it really adds a nice zing to the soup.  This is definitely going into my arsenal of go to meals.  It warms you up nicely and keeps you warm (although part of that may be the glass of pinot grigio I’m downing as I type this).




About Kristin

I never thought I would love to cook. I did everything I could to avoid learning to cook. But somewhere along the line, cooking became less of a chore and more of a way to relax and be creative. Not everything I make is a smashing success, but I've had more successes than failures. After months of trading recipes with my friends through Facebook and email, I've decided to collect all my favorites here and also document my attempts at new adventures in cooking, too.
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