Weather: 18 degrees, chilly and frosty
What I’m listening to: You In the End, Matt Hires
This year’s cold and flu season has been brutal, one of the worst I remember in years. I feel like one of more of my kids has been sick continuously for the past two months. If they aren’t coughing all night long, the school nurse is calling me to pick them up for a stomach bug. I like to think that I’m the invincible mom who is immune to all of the children’s illnesses, but I myself have even come down with symptoms twice this season, having to call in sick to work or taking a dose of DayQuil just to barely make it through a shift. It’s been months of sleep deprivation, steaming hot baths with essential oils, boxes of tissues, and load after load of germ-eradicating laundry.
A quick pot of healing chicken soup is just what the doctor ordered. Instead of the classic chicken noodle, I’ve opted here for a subtle lemon chicken and rice soup, a variation of Greek Avgolemono. It’s citrus season and the lemon is the perfect thing to sooth a sore throat, tame your tension, and brighten up an otherwise dreary sick day. That little bit of acid awakens the senses and brings you back to life. Both the rice and the egg thicken up the soup, making it heartier and creamier, filling you up. Sometimes all you need is something wholesome and homemade to make you feel nourished and restored.
If you like this recipe, you might also like Curried Chicken & Rice Soup with Apples.
Lemon Chicken & Rice Soup
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 small carrots, chopped
- 2 small celery stalks, chopped
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup rice (like arborio)
- 1 egg
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
- salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- For serving:
- fresh dill, chopped
- fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- lemon slices
- drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Add the olive oil to a dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, carrots, and celery and cook until the onions are translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken to the pot followed by the broth and the rice. Season with salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, turn down the heat, cover the pot and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chicken and rice are both cooked through.
In the meantime, in a small bowl, beat together the egg with the lemon juice. When the soup is done simmering, ladle some of the hot broth into the lemon and egg mixture, stirring constantly to combine (so as not to scramble the eggs), then add the lemon and egg mixture to the pot, stirring until well combined. The soup will thicken slightly and become creamy at this stage. Stir in the fresh dill and generously season the soup with salt and lots of freshly cracked black pepper.
To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and top with fresh dill, chopped parsley, lemon slices, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil as desired.