So, the other day? I got my rent bill for August from my landlord. August. The last month of summer, is upon us. And although I'm pretty much done with the humidity and the heat and (I'm sorry to say) the summer tourists (don't worry, summer tourists, I don't hate you or anything), I'm not really ready to let summer go. Yet here I am with the kind of comfort food you might better expect in February. Except, I don't know. There's something really light about this soup, actually, something that makes is acceptable in summer (and winter, and fall and year-round) and not only because it's the chicken soup I grew up with.
It's a soup that just kind of tastes, well, clean. And unmuddled. I personally prefer the rice to noodles hands down. And there's not a lot of competing flavors to weigh it down. It's chicken breasts (or other parts) poached in water and swimming with rice and celery, and a little bouillon (which I use for pretty much nothing else, but it's perfect here) and salt and pepper. It sounds simple because it is. But in my experience, the simple ones are almost always the best. You can tell my mom gave me the recipe, because she always intersperses ingredients with instructions, which is exactly how the recipe is written on her old card. And of course, they always end with 'call mom with any questions.'
My Mother's Chicken and Rice Soup
Chicken Breasts with bones and skin (4-5)
water to fill a dutch oven and cover chicken - not to top, it does simmer
Salt and Pepper
2 onions, chopped
stalks of celery, chopped (6 or so or as many as you like)
cook above until chicken is tender about 1 hour - it will cook some more (below)
remove chicken from pot and remove chicken from bone into pieces
add chicken pieces to pot
add "better than chicken bouillon" about 3-4 tsp
add 1 cup of rice (i use minute rice)
simmer another 1/2 hour
this freezes well - put into smaller containers and take out of freezer as needed
call mom with any questions