March has come in like a lion. The weather today makes me feel like I should be putting up Christmas decor instead of looking towards spring. But hey, on the positive side, I have a day off of work, and am not even going to think about having to make up this day when it is actually nice outside. Wait. . .I’m staying positive, right? I digress.
Another positive about this weather is it is still time for fill-up-your-belly-with-warmth-and-goodness food. Luckily for me, I had some leftover soup that I could quickly warm up for a delicious lunch.
I’ve decided to start making our Sundays easier. We’re starting Soup Sundays so we can eat and clean up earlier, or whenever anyone is available. With a family of six, we are often moving in various directions, especially on the weekends. This way, I make a pot of soup early that we can leave warm on the stove. Earlier clean-up makes for a better nightly pre-start to our work/school week ahead, and that makes for a more peaceful momma and family. All good things.
This past Sunday I made this soup to satisfy a lil’ craving. Namely, one belonging to creamy chicken and rice soup. Now, let me tell you. . .I am definitely a creamy vs. brothy soup girl. I like broth-based soups, but I LOVE cream-based soups. Rich food, for the win. Am I right? You would think this would be a problem since I am mid way into my second round of Whole 30. . .but it isn’t. I would have never thought that I could sub in coconut milk for cream in a savory concoction other than a Thai or Indian dish. I had to try it to believe. It is not coconutty tasting, and not overly heavy, but it gives a velvety consistency that echos comforting cream. Don’t believe me? My dairy loving family (who is not anything remotely dairy-free or paleo) gobble up these dishes, including this soup. Have I told you I have teenagers? If you think toddlers are honest. . .
Anyway, this soup is hearty with roasted chicken, herbs, and veggies. Cauli-rice stands in to give it even more body and healthy goodness. I pre-roast the chicken and the rice, so this soup is a snap to put together. I hope you try it and love.
Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup (Click on title for printable recipe)
2 Tablespoons ghee, or butter
1 large onion, diced
4 large carrots, peeled and diced
3 stalks celery, peeled and diced
8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
3 Tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
1 ½ Tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
¼ cup arrowroot powder
8 cups chicken stock
2 cans (14.5 ounces) coconut milk
3 cups of cauliflower “rice”*
Shredded chicken from 2 breasts**
½ teaspoon paprika
Salt & pepper to taste
A couple shakes of hot sauce
In a large stockpot, melt ghee or butter over medium-low heat. Add onion, carrot, and celery, and sweat (cook until tender without browning) in pan for 10-15 min, or until onion is translucent and vegetables are tender and completely cooked. Add mushrooms and herbs, turn heat up to medium-high, stir and continue to cook until mushrooms are tender. Place arrowroot in a small bowl and whisk in about 1 cup of chicken stock. Whisk until smooth. Add arrowroot stock mixture to pot, and additional broth, Allow soup to come to a slow boil and let boil for 1 minute. Add coconut milk and turn down heat to a simmer. Add in shredded chicken and cauli-rice. Stir in paprika, hot sauce, and salt & pepper to taste.
*To make cauliflower rice: Pre-heat oven to 400*. Wash and cut 1 large head of cauliflower into florets. Place florets in food processor and pulse until cauliflower resembles grains of rice. Spread out onto a parchment lined baking sheet and place in oven. Stir occasionally, and bake until cauliflower is slightly toasted and tender.
**Perfect roasted chicken: Preheat oven to 400*. Place skin-on, bone-in breasts on parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Roast in oven 45 min. Remove, and let cool until cool enough to handle. Discard skin and bones, shred meat.