Hearty homestyle chicken soup with rice to thicken it. Very tasty stuff!
Ever since I started my food blog, my partner has been linking me to all sorts of recipes he thinks I might like to make. Okay, to be fair, he’s been doing that for years, so it’s nothing really new, but now there’s more of a chance I’ll actually make them. Since this is one of those, and he did most of the actual cooking, I’m just going to let him do the writing today!
The internet is chock full of websites, blogs, YouTube channels, and apps full of recipes and very photogenic food. It’s also something of an open secret that most of the photos and videos are faked. We don’t fake any of our photos (if you’re going to follow this blog, it’ll be because of the good food, not the pictures) but it makes me skeptical about a lot of what I see online. I’m sure you’ve all been there; those really pretty golden rolls turn out barely brown, nothing looks as thick or as creamy as it looks, etc.
I say all this because the star of today’s recipe, Chef John of Food Wishes, is exceptionally honest with what he does. He’ll make a recipe, and if it doesn’t work out, he’ll explain why and what went wrong, and sometimes he’ll even publish a video just on a recipe that failed. Thankfully, today’s isn’t one of those.
Now, one thing I have to say before you get too deep in this: Chef John doesn’t worry about listing ingredient amounts in his videos. For that, you have to visit the recipe page, in the description, which he publishes on AllRecipes. In this case, the soup recipe is here.
Making the Recipe
Soup is soup. It’s pretty hard to make a soup wrong, and you can always add stuff to it to make it right as you go. Chicken soup is one of those basic soup recipes everyone should make at some point, and this recipe isn’t a whole lot different from a basic chicken soup.
Step one is making a broth, which is easy, but also probably unnecessary if you’re pressed for time. We might try it with canned broth some time later, but honestly, I like making things from scratch, so taking the extra couple hours to make a broth is just fine.
One thing that I almost missed in Chef John’s recipe is his extra: pickled onions. He diced up some red onions and soaks them in red wine vinegar for 4+ hours, and uses some of those as a garnish for the soup. Chef John doesn’t include that as part of the main recipe, he pulls them out as an optional afterthought. Which, for my linear-focused brain, means I would have gotten to the end of the cooking process and suddenly wanted onions I didn’t have. Luckily, Jessie brought it up just as we were starting the broth, and we got some soaking.
I had never had pickled onions before, but I’m a big fan of onions. I’ve been known to just eat raw onion, maybe with a smidge of salt. Jessie thinks I’m crazy. She likes onions cooked into things, but she doesn’t like raw onions, and she was very skeptical about these pickled onions.
Turns out? Pickled onions are really tasty. They were perfect in this soup, adding bits of sour acidity and some crunch to an otherwise mushy kind of texture. Even Jessie liked them enough to have some, but not many.
Anyways, actually making the soup itself is a breeze. We used a larger chicken than Chef John said, and saved some extra meat on the side for another day. We ended up using all but about a cup or so of the broth, for a relatively thin soup, and that’s fine.
Oh, and we used Jasmine rice, and it was fine. By day two it was a little mushier than I might have liked, but I don’t know if a different rice would have held up better or if it would have had the same problem. I’m not some kind of rice expert, to be honest.
This soup is delicious. Seriously, if any of you want to make a soup that is easy to do from scratch, requires only basic ingredients, and turns out great, this is the way to go.
Chef John’s recipe as written made three days of soup for the two of us, so six servings. It took a bit longer than his recipe says (but then, that’s almost always true when we make something). The pickled onions and sour cream garnish are, IMO, a must-have, but Jessie thought it was fine with just the sour cream. Even that is a bonus since she’s not a huge fan of sour cream in the first place.
If I had any gripe, it’s that I had to synthesize the recipe between the video and the printed version. The printed version is on AllRecipes, and I’m not a fan of their layout. Plus, it has the same issue 80% of online recipes do; it calls one “step” of the recipe a whole lot of different actions at once. I like to break them down more. The video is much more explanatory (and Chef John is great to watch) but you can’t just watch the video and make the recipe, because he doesn’t include quantities.
Seriously, though, this recipe is great. It’s going in our rotation for whenever we need a nice hearty soup, so we’ll be sure to make it again in the future.
Thanks for letting (making?) me write the post today, Jessie! For everyone else, be sure to check out Jessie’s last review (King Arthur Flour’s Japanese Milk Bread) and some of our own recipes throughout the blog. And, if you’ve made this soup, be sure to let both us and Chef John know how it turned out!