Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Curry Chicken Rice Soup

I just made a huge batch of this soup to take over to my parents for dinner.  I find it to be more filling than regular chicken rice soup, and the curry gives it a whole new flavor entirely.  The fresh herbs and lemon juice at the end add brightness and dimension to the dish and really cannot be skipped.  This recipe makes enough for 8-10 but you could easily cut it in half if you aren't cooking for a group.  Or, freeze the leftovers in a gallon zip lock and save for later.  Thank you Food Network for the recipe! (slightly altered)
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
8 cups low sodium chicken broth, 2 cups water
2 bay leaves
2 onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 carrots, sliced
4 celery stalks, sliced
2 T madras curry powder (depending on where your curry powder is from it may be more or less potent... if you are worried about too much curry flavor, add half of it first and then add more at the end to your taste)
2 t kosher salt
ground black pepper
1 cup jasmine rice
1 bunch of fresh dill (about 1/2 a cup, chopped)
1 bunch of fresh mint (about 1/2 a cup, chopped)
2 Lemons

Start by boiling the chicken breasts.  Combine the three breasts into a medium pot with 4 cups of broth and one cup of water.  Add the bay leaves, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
Half way through, add about 3/4 of the sliced carrots to the pot with the chicken.  When the chicken is done, remove it from the pot to let it cool.  Set the broth with carrots to the side to use later.

Meanwhile, heat 2 T butter in a large soup pot over medium.  When it is melted, add the onion, celery, remainder of carrots, and garlic and some kosher salt.  Saute for about 5-7 minutes or until vegetables have softened.  Then add the curry powder and stir.

Next, add the jasmine rice to the pot.  Stir to combine, and then pour in the remaining chicken broth, 1 t salt, and water.  
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes or until rice is done.  When the rice is cooked through, use your immersion blender to blend the soup to your desired consistency.  
This step can be skipped if you don't have an immersion blender, but using one thickens the soup nicely.  I blend the soup about 50%, to where it is thick but not completely smooth.

While the rice is cooking, shred your chicken into bite-size pieces, discarding any fatty bits.  Add the chicken along with the carrots and broth to the thickened rice mixture.  Taste for more salt, and add some freshly cracked black pepper.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes longer.
Finally, squeeze the juice from half a lemon into the soup and stir.  If you are serving the entire pot of soup, add the freshly chopped mint and dill to the whole pot.  If you are only serving part of the soup, sprinkle some herbs into each bowl, and save the remaining herbs for the next time you eat the soup.  They are better when freshly added before serving. Add an additional squeeze of lemon juice to each bowl. Enjoy!

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