Tis’ the season where colds and flus were particularly bad this year. And if you’re lucky enough to have missed out on the bug, allergy season is rapidly approaching. Grandma’s chicken soup is always the magic cure when you’re feeling under the weather and want something comforting. Freshen up and elevate the classic by adding Vitamin C rich lemon. Make this big batch in no time with a slow cooker and you’ll have enough to last you through the end of your cold.
- 2 ½ lb. bone in chicken thighs, skinned (about 6 large thighs)
- 2 carrots diced
- 2 celery ribs diced
- 2 leeks, white and pale green part, trimmed and quartered lengthwise thinly
- 2 springs fresh thyme
- 7 to 8 cups low sodium chicken broth or bone broth
- sea salt
- Juice of a lemon
- 1 cup brown rice
- mushrooms (optional, almost any will do)
Combine chicken, carrots, celery, leeks, thyme, 7 cups of broth, and 2 teaspoons salt and stir to mix well. Cover and cook on low heat for 4 hours. While the soup cooks, steam the rice. (Or you can do what I do which is to just add the rice in. It does soak up a lot of the liquid but it still tastes great.)
Take the chicken out of the slow cooker and chop or shred into bite-size pieces, discarding bones. Place the chicken back into the slow cooker, add lemon and stir. Add more broth or water if desired, add cooked rice, and cook on low heat for 20 minutes to rewarm.
I often freeze this soup. The rice does really soak a lot of the broth up but it is still yummy. I often do top it off with a little more lemon to brighten the soup up after reheating. You can also make this soup much more quickly in an instant pot using the pressure cooking setting. You just need the rice to be cooked. I do prefer the slow cook method but if life is just too busy then use the slow cooker version.