Note: After making this soup tonight, I think you should lean toward starting with 3 quarts of water, not 4. I think 4 would make it more like broth with chicken and rice, instead of the thick, creamy soup it's supposed to be.
I don't know about where you live, but in my hometown we've had a burst of autumn weather. To me, that means soups, stews, and chili! I love this recipe. It is thick and creamy and hearty enough to be served with a salad and bread, or alongside of sandwiches. I am making this tonight and will serve it with pimento cheese sandwiches and salad. Also, if you're short on time, use a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and skip steps 1-3. Throw in an extra chicken bouillon cube and you're good!
I am going to double this recipe, I think, and freeze the rest for another meal. I just put the leftover soup in a plastic storage bag, lay it flat, and put it in the freezer. When I'm ready to heat it up, I'll either defrost it in the fridge or run the bag under hot water. Then I'll reheat it in a pot and just like that - dinner!
Chicken and Rice Soup
3-4 chicken breasts
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 - 1 1/2 tsp. pepper
2 bay leaves
2 chicken bouillon cubes (or a tsp. of chicken base)
1 c. uncooked rice (I do not use instant rice, so that isn't what I mean here)
1 carrot, grated
1 Tbsp. butter
1 can cream of chicken soup
1. Bring first 6 ingredients to a boil in 3-4 quarts of water. Cook until chicken is cooked through and tender (try 30 minutes?).
2. Remove chicken and bay leaf (throw out bay leaf).
3. Strain broth; add some celery and onion back in, if desired.
4. Bring broth to boil with bouillon cube.
5. Stir in rice, carrot and butter. Cook for 20 min. or until rice is done (time varies for white and brown rice). While rice cooks, shred chicken.
6. Add in cream of chicken and shredded chicken.
7. Salt to taste.