6 servings
2 hr 15 min

You know when the weather gets colder? The snow begins to fall? The world is shut tightly…and the fire in the fireplace is wonderful? That’s the time that floods me with memories of home. Homemade soups. Comfort food. I’m not sure that my Mother ever used a recipe. Not a cookbook. I’ve shared that in my  post about her and her meatloaf recipe. But, she could make the most incredible homemade soups in the world. Just from items in the pantry. Whatever she had. So, today, as the snow began to fall, my heart yearned for a soup. Perhaps, chicken and dumplings? or vegetable soup? But, it found it’s way wandering through my pantry, like Mama’s, and became this wonderful chicken rice soup.

I shared that chicken, cooking away to make broth, on Facebook.

And suddenly, people appeared. Cheering me on. Encouraging chicken and dumplings. Rooting for soup. Requesting rice.

And the best homemade chicken rice soup began to evolve.

I started with a whole chicken. Now, this was a large one! And, as my culinary friend, Bob, said: “Looks like you need a bigger pot!” Yep, Bob. This dutch oven was the largest found in my cabinet. I left the larger professional ones when I retired.

So, not quite immersed, this chicken entered the pot of water, along with chopped celery, carrot, and onion; you know, that trinity of vegetables that makes all right with the world.

I salted, and peppered, added seasonings and brought it to simmering in that pot for a couple of hours for this large a chicken…some only take an hour.

Now, you can shorten this version and pick up a rotisserie chicken and chicken broth to begin the process; but, friends! Don’t miss out on the best part of making this soup. The aroma. The health benefits of beginning without commercial processes is sooooo worth it.

When the broth has cooked down and the chicken is falling off of the bone, I remove the chicken, scoop out any bones or pieces that may have been lost and remove skin and debone the chicken. Some people at this point would strain all of the broth to remove cloudiness and impurities. I didn’t do that today. I love the flavor that those bits provide.

Today’s bird was so large that I didn’t have to cut up all of it to add back into the broth to make the soup.

You be the judge of the amount of chicken and broth, adding more if needed.

I added in more diced celery, onions, carrots and potatoes into the broth, along with a can of young green peas (frozen peas are perfect for this, too), along with the chicken cut into bite sized pieces.

I seasoned with salt and pepper to taste and then cooked for another 20 minutes before adding a cup of Jasmine rice. Feel free to use less rice if you like more liquid. Whatever rice you choose or have on hand will work. I just had Jasmine.

Cook until the rice is cooked and vegetables are tender.


You know what the best part of creating this soup was? Giving room for adding what I had. What sounded the best and was on hand went into the pot.

It really reminded me of home. Of Mother adding ingredients that she had into the pantry. And amazingly, it was always wonderful. Flavorful and comforting.

Yep. I felt a bit like that. I began with a chicken. Shared it with those friends reading along. Heard their cheers. Added in memories of homemade soup from the pantry with my Mother…and waa laa! This soup was born!

And when I shared the soup, like a newborn’s photo on social media? EVERYONE messaged, and commented, and called, and asked for the recipe.

So, here you go, friends! If snow is falling in your neighborhood. Maybe cold weather has hit your town…try this chicken rice soup. It reminds me of a chicken pot pie, healthy version.

And if, you don’t have some of the ingredients, listen to my Mother’s voice in your ear saying: use what you have, sweet friend. Make it your own. Own that chicken rice recipe and then share it!

(Even though that favorite  Dutch oven  wasn’t quite large enough for that chicken today, I still highly recommend it! And for your shopping convenience, you can click on the link to find it..through Amazon affiliates. No extra costs to you, but will help with my blogging journey.)

Recipe details
  • 6  servings
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 2 Hours Total time: 2 hr 15 min
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  • 1 whole chicken
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • 1/4 t celery salt to taste
  • 1/4 t. garlic salt to taste
  • 2 C potatoes, peeled, bite sized pieces
  • 1 can green peas, drained
  • 1/2-1 C rice Jasmine, or your favorite rice

Place chicken in Dutch oven or stock pot and cover with water. Add seasonings.
Add diced onion; one stalk of celery, diced; one carrot, diced; and
Cook 1-2 hours until chicken is falling off the bone and broth is reduced.
Remove chicken from the broth and debone and remove skin. Make sure any bones are removed from the broth. Strain broth if you choose. Personal preference here!
Add the remaining 2 diced carrots, potatoes, 2 stalks diced celery, and green peas into the broth.
Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and place into the pot.
Season more, if needed, and cook for about 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
Add in 1/2 to 1 C of rice and continue cooking until the rice is cooked and thickened the broth a bit. TIP: Add more broth, if desired.
  • This is one of those recipes that just was created by the ingredients in my pantry–like my Mother would make– that just seemed to make the best homemade chicken and rice soup!
  • It really tastes like a bit of chicken pot pie in a bowl!
  • We are soup lovers and this one did not disappoint! Take my advice, start with that chicken and feel free to add what you have that sounds amazing to you. Then it truly becomes your own!
Leslie Watkins @ Feet Under My Table
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