In the heat of summer, hot soup is the last thing most people think of eating, much less cooking…unless you are Russian. This summer, I made pot after pot of homemade soups for seven straight weeks while working as a private chef. My clients were professional hockey players training in Southern California. This soup was their favorite, hands down. Mikhail said it reminded him of his grandmothers in Belarus. That made me smile.
A Meal is Not Complete Without Soup
Cooking for clients from different cultures is one of the fun things about being a personal chef. My Russian clients taught me that no meal is complete without soup. No matter the weather, meals must start with soup – brothy soup made with plenty of homemade broth or stock.
When Mikhail requested chicken rice soup, I needed to find a faster way to make my homemade version. Not a recipe that would take all day, or even overnight, as my mom taught me. It had to be faster, yet still full of home-cooked flavor and nutrition. The solution – use frozen homemade chicken stock and my pressure cooker.
Use a Pressure Cooker for Speed
When the need for speed arises, I turn to my pressure cooker. Using a pressure cooker, I adapted my standard recipe and was able to create fantastic chicken rice soup that tasted like it had simmered all day in under 30 minutes.
The key to the best flavor and nutrition with this soup is using good homemade chicken broth. I make batches and freeze it for soups, stews, sauces and risotto. No boxed or canned broth compares. And with home made, you control the sodium and other ingredents to insure a healthy, nutritious broth.
Great Chicken Rice Soup in Under 30 Minutes
Start by sautéing carrot, onion, celery and garlic until soft. Add your broth, brown rice and 1 large bone-in chicken breast (skin and fat removed) cut in half crosswise. Lock on the lid and bring to high pressure. Cook for 9 minutes at high pressure and allow a 15 minute natural pressure drop. Remove the lid, being careful of the hot steam.
When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred the meat and discard the bones. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley, or fresh dill as the guys preferred, and maybe a squeeze of lemon to add a brightness. That’s it. A tummy-warming, soul-satisfying homemade chicken rice soup anyone’s busy schedule can handle.
Fast and Flavorful Chicken Rice Soup
Yield: about 2 quarts (2 liters), 4-6 servings
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced small
- 1 medium onion, diced small
- 2 ribs of celery, diced small
- 2 garlic cloves, minced fine
- 1/3 cup long grain brown rice (uncooked)
- 6 cups (approximately 1 1/2 liters) chicken broth, preferably homemade
- 1 large bone-in chicken breast, skin and fat discarded
- salt and pepper to taste
- chopped fresh parsley or dill, for garnish
- Lemon wedges, optional
- Heat oil in a 6-8 quart (liter) pressure cooked over medium heat. Add the carrots, onions, and celery. Cook until softened. Add the garlic and cook 1 minutes longer. Add the rice and broth. Cut the chicken breast in half crosswise and add to the pot. Add a little salt and pepper.
- Lock lid on and bring to high pressure. Turn the heat to low, just low enough to maintain high pressure. Cook for 9 minutes at high pressure, then turn off heat and allow pot to stand for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, place the pot in the sink adn run cold water over the top to release the rest of the pressure.
- Remove the lid away from you, careful of the hot steam and remove the chicken breast. When it is cool enough to handle, shred the meat finely and add back to the pot. Discard the bones. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to your taste.
- Serve in warmed bowls and garnish with parsley or dill and lemon wedges if desired.
Other Helpful Links:
I use pressure cookers made by Fagor. If you have a family, an 8-quart )liter) is a good size. If you are single or a couple, the 6-quart is probably fine, unless you plan on making bigger batches of things. Here are the Amazon links. Fagor 6-quart and the Fagor 8-quart.
If you like pressure cooking, here’s a terrific cookbook that’s a great resource. Download The New Fast Food™: The Veggie Queen™ Pressure Cooks Whole Food Meals in Less than 30 Minutes. Click here to view more details
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