Enjoy the delicious goodness of this Creamy Lemon Chicken Rice Soup—a simple yet tasty dish that's a breeze to whip up. Packed with tender chicken and a burst of lemony flavor, this soup boasts a creamy texture without the need for heavy cream.
Check out this super easy and delicious lemon chicken and rice soup recipe. Packed with tender chicken, a burst of lemony goodness, and that creamy texture. The ingredients are simple, making it a hassle-free dish.
Drawing inspiration from my widely enjoyed Instant Pot Greek Lemon Rice soup and Lemon Pepper Chicken Thighs recipes, this Lemon Chicken Rice Soup is both filling and comforting. It's perfect for cozy meals that bring warmth to both the heart and the belly. Treat yourself to a simple yet delightful bowl, guaranteeing a meal that will satisfy every palate at the table.
Now, let me guide you through the steps, listing the ingredients, and providing easy tips to make this lemon chicken and rice soup the creamiest and tastiest right in your own kitchen.
To make lemon chicken rice soup you'll need the following ingredients. By combining them you create a harmonious blend of textures and flavors.
1. Long Grain White Rice: This type of rice is known for its slender grains and fluffy texture when cooked. It serves as a hearty and comforting base for the soup, absorbing the flavors of the broth.
2. Chicken Thighs: Chicken thighs are used for their tenderness and rich flavor. Dicing or shredding them for the soup ensures that the chicken is juicy and contributes to the overall heartiness of the dish.
3. Lemon Juice and Lemon Zest: Lemon juice adds a bright and tangy flavor to the soup, providing a refreshing contrast to the savory elements. Lemon zest, the outer peel of the lemon, enhances the citrusy aroma and taste, bringing a zesty kick to the dish.
4. Fresh Parsley: Parsley serves as a fresh and herbaceous garnish, adding a burst of color and a mild, complementary flavor to the soup. It enhances the overall freshness of the dish.
5. Onion: Onions provide a savory and slightly sweet base flavor to the soup. When sautéed, they add depth and richness to the broth, creating a flavorful foundation for the entire dish.
6. Garlic: Garlic contributes a robust and aromatic element to the soup. Its savory notes enhance the overall taste, and when minced or crushed, it releases its distinctive flavor throughout the dish.
7. Celery: Celery brings a subtle earthy and crisp texture to the soup. When diced and cooked, it adds a refreshing element and contributes to the overall balance of flavors in the broth.
8. Butter and Olive Oil: To add richness, creaminess, and a well-rounded flavor to the soup.
How to Make Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup
Here's a step-by-step guide on how to make Lemon rice and chicken soup:
Step 1: Preparation
- Pat the chicken dry with paper towels.
- Zest and juice the lemon.
- Dice the onion.
- Mince the garlic.
Step 2: Brown the Chicken
- Season the chicken thighs with salt and black pepper.
- Heat oil in a large Dutch oven; cook the chicken until brown on all sides. Transfer the browned chicken to a plate.
Step 3: Prepare the Aromatic Base
- Remove excess oil from the pot by absorbing it with paper towels.
- Add diced onion and celery to the pot; stir for a minute. Add minced garlic and stir for another minute.
- Pour in the chicken broth, add rice, and return the browned chicken to the pot.
- Gently scrape the bottom of the pot with spatula.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and gently simmer for about 35 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.
Step 4: Shred the Chicken and Season the Soup
- Remove the cooked chicken from the pot and shred it. Add the shredded chicken back to the soup.
- Stir in butter, lemon zest and lemon juice to infuse the soup with citrusy goodness. Season the soup with salt and black pepper.
Step 5: Serve
- Stir in chopped parsley and serve the lemon rice soup immediately.
If the lemon rice and chicken soup thickens as it sits, simply add more broth as needed.
Variations and Substitutions
Here are some variations and substitutions you can try for your Lemon Rice Soup:
1. Chicken Variations:
- You can use skin-on chicken drumsticks or boneless, skinless chicken thighs as alternatives to chicken breasts, especially if you're looking to reduce cooking time.
- Experimenting with different cuts of chicken can add unique flavors to your soup.
2. Extra Protein and Creamier Result:
- After removing the cooked chicken, try this twist for an extra protein boost and creamier consistency: blend about a cup of rice soup with two eggs until smooth. Add the mixture back to the pot to combine.
- Note: This variation may give the soup a Greek-style twist, similar to what you'd find in a popular Greek Rice Soup recipe.
3. Garlic Variation:
- Instead of cooking the garlic as part of the soup base, consider using grated raw garlic for serving. This adds a more intense umami flavor to the finished dish.
- This variation offers a different garlic profile, providing a bold and aromatic kick to the soup.
Here are some tips to ensure success when making Lemon Chicken Rice Soup:
1. Fresh Ingredients:
- Use fresh and high-quality ingredients, especially when it comes to chicken, lemon, and vegetables. This ensures a vibrant and flavorful soup.
2. Patting Chicken Dry:
- Pat the chicken dry with paper towels before cooking. This helps in achieving a better sear and browning when cooking the chicken, enhancing its overall flavor.
3. Balancing Flavors:
- Regularly taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. The balance between salt, pepper, and lemon is crucial for a well-rounded flavor profile.
4. Gradual Lemon Additions:
- When adding lemon juice and zest, start with a bit and adjust to your taste. It's easier to add more later than to correct an overly tangy soup.
5. Chicken Cuts:
- Try different types of chicken for varied textures and flavors. Drumsticks or thighs can give the soup a special touch. Just make sure the chicken thighs are similar in size so they cook evenly.
6. Garnish with Fresh Herbs:
- Finish the soup with a garnish of fresh parsley. This adds a burst of color and a hint of freshness to each bowl.
7. Wash Rice:
- Before using the rice in your lemon chicken rice soup, take a moment to wash it thoroughly under cold running water. This helps remove excess surface starch, preventing the rice from becoming overly sticky during cooking. Additionally, washing the rice contributes to a fluffier texture once it's cooked, enhancing the overall mouthfeel of your soup.
8. Cooking Time:
- Be mindful of cooking times to ensure that the rice is tender, and the chicken is fully cooked. Adjust simmering times as needed based on the specific cuts of chicken used.
Follow these steps to store leftover lemon chicken and rice soup. For additional food safety guidance, please visit this website.
- Cool & Container:
- Allow the soup to cool, then transfer it to an airtight container.
- Label & Date:
- Label with the date and store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
- Freezing (Optional):
- For longer storage, freeze in a freezer-safe container for 2-3 months.
- Thaw & Reheat:
- Thaw in the refrigerator and reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave when ready to enjoy.
Here's how to reheat leftover lemon chicken soup:
- Move the frozen soup to the refrigerator the night before for gradual thawing. This preserves the soup's texture and flavor.
- Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave until the soup reaches a safe and enjoyable temperature. Stir occasionally for even heating.
- Adjust Consistency:
- If needed, add a small amount of water or broth during reheating to achieve your preferred soup consistency.
I hope you'll enjoy this recipe and share it with friends! If you try it and don’t mind, please leave me a comment and/or give this recipe a rating. Be sure to subscribe to receive weekly recipes and follow me on Pinterest.
Creamy Lemon Chicken Rice Soup
- 1¾ pounds skin-on and bone-in chicken thighs, (similar in size, about 4 pieces, pat dry with paper towels)
- 1½ tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- ¾ cup diced celery
- 7 cups chicken stock
- ½ cup long-grain white rice, (uncooked, rinsed, and drained)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice, (or more to taste)
- zest from one large lemon
- ⅓ cup fresh parsley leaves, (chop finely)
- salt and black pepper, (to taste)
- Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper. In a pot, heat the oil on medium-high heat. Cook the chicken thighs until they are browned, then transfer them to a plate.
- Leave about 2 tablespoons of grease in the pot. Stir diced onion, and celery for a minute. Add garlic and stir for another minute.
- Add broth, rice, and return browned chicken. Scrape the bottom of the pot to release any brown bits. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low, simmer, uncovered, for about 35 minutes until chicken is fully cooked.
- Shred cooked chicken. Return shredded chicken to the soup. Stir in butter, lemon zest and juice then season with salt and black pepper.
- Stir in fresh parsley or use it as a garnish when serving the soup.