It’s officially Spring but it’s still a bit chilly here in the Pacific Northwest. In fact, we got a surprise couple inches of snow last night so school is on a two-hour late start this morning. While the kids are out playing in the fluffy white stuff, I’m thinking about what soup I’ll be making today. Here’s a recipe perfect for welcoming the new season: Chicken and Rice Soup with Spinach, Lemon and Dill. While still comforting, the soup is also vibrant and fresh tasting from the addition of lemon and dill.
Make sure you undercook the rice because it will finish cooking once you add it to the soup. Also, you can do some of the prep a day ahead of time like chop the veggies, cook the rice, poach/shred the chicken. This way, the recipe comes together much faster. Mmm, perfect for a snowy Spring day!
Now, outside I go to throw a few snowballs at the boys…
Chicken and Rice Soup with Spinach, Lemon, and Dill
-recipe from Fine Cooking Magazine
A burst of fresh lemon juice, added just before serving, makes this soup sing. Tip: If you made the chicken broth yourself, use the meat from that bird; otherwise you can use the meat from a store-bought rotisserie chicken.
1-1/2 Tbs. olive oil or canola oil
2 cups finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped or diced carrot
1 cup finely chopped or diced celery
1 large or 2 small bay leaves
3 quarts Homemade Chicken Broth or lower-salt chicken broth
3-1/2 to 4 cups shredded, cooked chicken
3 cups cooked-until-barely-tender white rice
10 oz. spinach, well washed and dried, tough stems removed, and chopped into 2-inch piece
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1 to 4 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions for serving (optional)
Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large (at least 8-quart), heavy-duty pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and 1/2 Tbs. salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and lightly browned in places, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the bay leaf or leaves and cook, stirring, about 30 seconds.
Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are completely tender, 20 to 30 minutes.
Stir in the shredded chicken, the rice, and spinach. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until all are tender and the flavors meld, 5 to 10 minutes.
Stir in the dill and 1 Tbs. of the lemon juice. Taste, and add more lemon juice, 1 Tbs. at a time, if needed, up to 4 Tbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish each bowl with 1 Tbs. sliced scallion, if you like.