If you are in Florida right now, I don’t have to tell you that it’s been raining for about 37 days straight. If you aren’t in Florida, don’t come here. It’s been raining for 37 days straight.
For that reason, I have been craving a good hearty chicken soup, with a lemony summer twang to it. Yesterday, I made roast chicken. It was so warm and comforting, especially for Sunday night dinner. The best part about roast chicken with veggies is that it makes a lot of leftovers. I saved all the extra meat (even the wings), the vegetables and the pan sauce and decided to use all of it to make this soup!
If you don’t have any chicken leftovers, feel free to use any kind of shredded chicken that you like. Sometimes I will shred up a store bought rotisserie chicken, or roast some chicken in the oven at 350 for 40 min. This soup works with whatever you have on hand.
Above you can see the container I saved of veggie and chicken leftovers. Instead of adding just the chicken, I added everything along with the brown rice and some extra potatoes right before letting it simmer for a while in a lemony thyme broth.
I set this soup on the stove to simmer while The Cheese and I went to an hour workout class. Of course, as we walked in our house it began pouring rain. Knowing this soup was on the stove made us feel just a tad better about the 37 days of rain.
This soup is so straightforward and simple it doesn’t need much explanation. So let’s get started.
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 -3 stalks of celery, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, smashed but not chopped
10 small baby dutch potatoes, rinsed
1/4 head of white cabbage, thinly sliced
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 lemon, halved
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
4 cups good quality chicken stock (I used Kitchen Basics)
4 cups water
2 cups shredded chicken or leftover chicken with skin removed
1/2 cup brown rice
Handful of chopped Italian parsley, plus more for garnishing
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Prep-time: 20 minutes
Cook-time: 30 min – 60 min
Heat a soup pot or pasta pot to medium heat. Add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the chopped veggies. Sprinkle a good pinch of Kosher salt and black pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the smashed garlic cloves, thyme and bay leaf. Cook for a minute or two longer. Add the cabbage and another pinch of salt and stir everything together.
Add the chicken stock, water and squeeze the juice of the lemon making sure to cup your hand under the lemon so no seeds go into the soup. Remove any extra seeds from the lemon and put both halves of the lemon into the soup. Bring the soup to a boil.
Once the soup comes to a boil, turn down the heat to medium low and add the chicken, brown rice, potatoes and a good handful of chopped parsley. Cover and allow the soup to cook for 30 minutes to 1 hour. The soup should be ready to serve after 30 minutes, but if you have the time it will just get better the longer it cooks.
Right before serving, pull out the lemon halves, and any bones that may have been in the chicken you used. Carefully taste the hot soup for seasonings and add any Kosher salt or black pepper if necessary.
Garnish with extra parsley.
**Note: At the point in the recipe where it calls for the chicken to be added, I added the entire container of roast chicken leftovers I had, including all the cooked vegetables and pan juices. If you do have leftovers from roast chicken, I would suggest doing this. It gave the soup a wonderful flavor.