One of my all-time favourite poems is ‘Chicken Soup With Rice‘ by the marvelous Maurice Sendak. I had this book when I was a child and I remember feeling cosy and warm as I read it under the blankets with a flashlight. Sadly it was not amongst my childhood books that had been kept in a Canadian storage container for the past 15+ years. It was most likely sold at a garage sale…or maybe it was lost during one of our many house moves. In any case I still love the poem and am delighted to see the book is still available to purchase….it is currently on my Amazon wish list.
One of my all-time favourite soups is chicken soup with rice. It has been cold and very wet here in the UK this winter (surprise surprise!) and I decided a large bowl of chicken and rice soup was exactly what was needed in order to bring the feeling back into my numb fingers and toes as well as warm my belly! The day before we had a roast chicken dinner, so the chicken carcass was ready to be boiled into a hearty stock. This soup is really simple to make and you can play around with what vegetables, herbs and spices you want to add. I was clearing the fridge so used what I had. Oh and for those of you unfamiliar with Maurice Sendak’s poem I have included it below – read and enjoy…preferably with a large, steaming bowl of chicken soup with rice.
Luna Raye’s Easy Chicken Soup With Rice (serves 4)
For the stock:
1-cooked leftover chicken carcass (mine was from a Sunday roast and had been seasoned with garlic, rosemary and fresh lemon)
3-celery stalks, roughly chopped
2-Spanish onions, peeled and quartered
1-cup shredded white cabbage
3-cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
3-sprigs of sage
1-teaspoon salt (I used M. de Turenne ‘Sel O Vin Blanc’ – white wine flavoured salt)
For the stock:
Add all the ingredients into a large saucepan and cover with 2800 ml (about 3 quarts) of cold water
Bring to boil and then immediately reduce heat
Allow stock to gently simmer, uncovered for 1.5 – 2 hours
Skim off any foam that comes to the surface
Remove the bones and strain the stock into a large bowl
Now here the comes the messy part…. I sift through the mesh strainer and pick out all the meaty chicken bits, including the skin. I also keep an eye out for small bones and tough gristly bits which I discard. Keep the chicken pieces to one side, separate from the stock, and get ready to make some fantastic soup!
Ingredients for Chicken Soup with Rice
1500ml (just over 1.5 quarts) of beautiful homemade chicken stock (of course you can always use store bought to make things easier)
1-cup cooked chicken (this is how much I ended up with, but it may vary depending on how much meat was left on your chicken)
1-Tablespoon olive oil
3-medium leeks, chopped
2-stalks celery, chopped
9-green beans, cut into quarters
2-cloves garlic, minced
1-cup uncooked long-grain white rice
salt and pepper to taste
Directions for Chicken Soup With Rice
Add olive oil to a large saucepan and gently sauté the leeks and celery for about 2-3 minutes
Add minced garlic, a pinch of salt and pepper and give everything a good stir
Add the green beans and chicken pieces and stir to combine
Add all the stock and bring everything to a gentle boil before reducing the heat
Add the rice and allow the soup to simmer for about 25-30 minutes or until the rice is tender
Check your seasoning and add any additional salt if needed
I do recommend giving the soup another crack of fresh black pepper before serving up
Enjoy it once! Enjoy it twice! Enjoy your chicken soup with rice!
Chicken Soup With Rice
In January it’s so nice, while slipping on the sliding ice,
To sip hot chicken soup with rice.
Slipping once, sipping twice, sipping chicken soup with rice.
In February it will be my snowman’s anniversary,
With cake for him and soup for me!
Happy once, happy twice, happy chicken soup with rice.
In March the wind blows down the door and spill my soup upon the floor.
It laps it up and roars for more.
Blowing once, blowing twice, blowing chicken soup with rice.
In April I will go away, to far-off Spain or old Bombay,
And dream about hot soup all day.
Oh my once, oh my twice, oh my chicken soup with rice.
In May I truly think it best to be a robin lightly dressed,
Concocting soup inside my nest.
Mix it once, mix it twice, mix that chicken soup with rice.
In June I saw a charming group of roses all begin to droop.
I pepped them up with chicken soup!
Sprinkle once, sprinkle twice, sprinkle chicken soup with rice.
In July I’ll take a peep into the cool and fishy deep,
Where chicken soup is selling cheap,
Selling once, selling twice, selling chicken soup with rice.
In August it will be so hot, I will become a cooking pot.
Cooking soup of course. Why not?
Cooking once, cooking twice, cooking chicken soup with rice.
In September for a while, I will ride a crocodile
Down the chicken soupy Nile.
Paddle once, paddle twice, paddle chicken soup with rice
In October I’ll be host to witches, goblins, and a ghost.
I’ll serve them chicken soup on toast.
Whoopy once, whoopy twice, whoopy chicken soup with rice.
In November’s gusty gale I will flop my flippy tail
And spout hot soup. I’ll be a whale!
Spouting once, spouting twice, spouting chicken soup with rice.
In December I will be a baubled, bangled Christmas tree
With soup bowls draped all over me.
Merry once, merry twice, merry chicken soup with rice.
Merry chicken soup with merry chicken soup with merry chicken soup with rice.
I told you once, I told you twice all seasons of the year are nice for eating chicken soup, eating chicken soup with rice!
(Chicken soup, chicken soup with rice.)
- Maurice Sendak