In Which We Make Soup

In our week after finishing the intensive cooking that was the Bon Appetit Food Lover’s Cleanse (ok, not that intensive, but intensive for two newly out-of-the-nest apartment renters with long-hour jobs), we cheated a bunch and used Trader Joe’s a lot to make up our week of meals.

It worked out all right, but by the weekend I was ready to get cooking again! This time, however, we were determined to return to our tried-and-true plan of cooking a bunch on Sunday so we don’t have much to do after work during the week.

With that as our goal, we set to work, which resulted in the use of THREE stove burners simultaneously – something that had never before occurred:

Sunday cooking on the stove.

Look at all that cooking. We felt very accomplished.

The best part was that, chopping and veggie prep aside (isn’t that always the case?), the recipes were pretty much super easy!

I’ll start with the one we ate first – a hearty chicken and rice soup. You cook your chopped onions:

Cooking chopped onions.

Making those onions tender and sweet!

Then you add in the garlic and the celery and the carrots and keep on cooking:

Adding carrots and celery for chicken soup.

With the carrots and the celery added in.

And then you add the rest of the stuff (recipe below, don’t worry). And at the end – voila! A bowl of soup. And really, really good soup. Full of chicken and rice, it’s a real meal, not just an appetizer, and it has really good flavor (which was surprising because it’s basically store bought chicken broth).

Oh, one final piece of advice, people – get a rice cooker. It’s the best.

Classic chicken and rice soup.

Homemade soup!

Classic Chicken and Rice Soup
From picky-palate.com

I will say, until I started writing this post I totally forgot that you toss some Dijon mustard into this soup, which perhaps is the secret to its homemade taste despite being made largely of canned chicken broth (not that I dislike canned chicken broth). I also procured a pre-cooked chicken from Ralph’s (I opted for lemon pepper) and hand-shredded it, cutting down on any cooking time needed for the chicken and probably lending a kick of extra flavor (due to the lemon-peppery-ness). However you do it, this is easy, good, and makes a big old pot o’ soup.

Yield: 8 Servings

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
7 cups chicken broth
2 cups cooked white rice
1 tablespoon whole grain Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil in large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add onions, and cook stirring until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add celery and carrots, cooking and stirring until tender, about 5 minutes. Add chicken, chicken broth, rice, Dijon, salt, pepper and parsley. Stir and reduce heat to low. Let simmer until ready to serve.

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