Creamy, nourishing Chicken & Rice Chili Soup. This soup is hearty and satisfying, making it perfect for a comforting winter dinner.
Nothing feels quite as cozy to me as a slow day with the outside world blanketed in snow, a clean home, and the scent of a pot of soup simmering on the stove. If home could always feel like that, it would be a dream. Thankfully, we are right in the midst of the winter season and I have plenty of soup simmering, snow blanketed days ahead.
I am not much of a recipe person. I love to scour through cookbooks for ideas, but it is rare I actually follow a recipe when it comes to cooking. Especially with soups. Soup is born out of what I have in the fridge and maybe a flavour I am craving, and it just spirals from there. It is also rare that I make a recipe as is more than once. I have made this Creamy Chicken & Rice Chili Soup several times now, and it is beyond satisfying. The best part yet is that it is packed full of gut healthy bone broth, protein, and easily digestible vegetables.
Before I share the recipe, let’s talk a little bit about rice, and why you might want to choose one way or another.
Is White Rice or Brown Rice Healthier?
There seems to always be a debate between brown rice and white rice. So, what is the difference between the two?
Brown rice is a whole grain. It has the bran, germ, and endosperm. Brown rice contains antinutrients, phytic acid or phytate, which reduce your bodies ability to absorb certain nutrients. Some will argue that brown rice is healthier due to the higher mineral and fibre content, while deeming white rice an unhealthy alternative because it is void of nutrients. Something else that is worth considering, is that brown rice tends to contain higher levels of arsenic.
White rice has the husk, bran, and germ removed. By removing the bran and germ, white rice is left with a lot less nutrients and fiber. Some will argue that white rice is the better choice as brown rice contains high levels of phytic acid, an antinutrient that makes it harder to digest.
When buying rice, choosing rice grown in California is a good way to reduce the arsenic content. I often go for white rice as an easy carbohydrate source that is easier to digest.
Why Do You Have To Soak Rice?
Regardless of whether I choose white or brown rice, I always soak it. I like to prepare a batch for a few days to have on hand for quick and easy meals. Properly preparing grains takes very little effort, and just a bit of thinking ahead. I add however much rice I plan to cook to a large jar and top it up with plenty of water and a splash of apple cider vinegar. Leave it sitting for 12 hours or overnight, rinse well, and cook as you normally would.
By soaking rice, phytic acid has a chance to break down. Phytic acid is an anti-nutrient, it essentially blocks the use of nutrients from a food, especially minerals. Soaking also helps to removes toxins like arsenic. Thoroughly soaking, draining, and rinsing rice will help to remove a substantial amount of arsenic.
How Do You Cook Rice After Soaking?
During the soaking process, the rice will absorb some liquid. If you don’t adjust the amount of cooking liquid used after soaking, draining, and rinsing the rice, your rice will turn out mushy after cooking. The general ratio of rice to cooking liquid is 1 part rice to 2 parts cooking liquid. After soaking rice, I typically cut the cooking liquid back by about 1/6th to account for the liquid the rice absorbed while soaking.
How To Make Creamy Chicken and Rice Chili Soup
This recipe is beyond simple, especially if you have some leftover rice in the fridge waiting to be used up! We have even made this recipe several times with peeled and cubed potatoes in place of rice.
Start by sauteeing your vegetables over medium low heat. I use onions, carrots, mushrooms, and plenty of garlic in this recipe, but use what you have on hand! Season with your spices. Push the vegetables to the side of the pot, and add the chicken breast. Sear for a few minutes on each side until golden, and hit the mixture with some sea salt and pepper. At this point, the chicken will not be cooked through, that is okay! Add the broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Cook for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. At this point, if you don’t have cooked rice to use up, get your rice going. . Using two forks, shred the chicken. Stir in the coconut milk and allow the soup to simmer for a few more minutes, then add in the rice.
Serve with fresh lime and plenty of cilantro or green onions. I am sure you will love this recipe as much as we have!
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 3 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp butter or coconut oil
- 4 tsp cumin
- 4 tsp chili powder
- sea salt & pepper
- 2 chicken breasts
- 4 cups chicken bone broth
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- 2 cups cooked rice (1 cup uncooked)
- 1 lime quartered
- 1 head cilantro or green onions, chopped
- Heat butter or coconut oil in a large pot over medium low heat.
- Add onions, carrots, mushrooms, and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes until softened.
- Stir in spices and continue to cook for 1 minute.
- Push vegetables to the side, and add chicken breast. Sear 3-5 minutes per side until golden. Season with sea salt and pepper.
- Add bone broth and bring to a boil. Continue cooking 15-20 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Prepare rice now if using uncooked.
- Shred chicken between two forks.
- Reduce heat to medium and stir in coconut milk. Allow to simmer 3 minutes.
- Stir in rice.
- Serve topped with a generous squeeze of fresh lime and chopped cilantro or green onions.
Feel free to use vegetable broth or chicken broth in place of the bone broth. Rice can be replaced with 2 potatoes, peeled and diced. Allow potatoes to simmer in broth as chicken cooks.
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Thank you for stopping by! Comment below if you give this recipe a try.