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Chicken and Rice Soup with Spinach, Lemon, and Dill


Serves 6-8

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 114

A burst of fresh lemon juice, added just before serving, makes this soup sing.

  • 1-1/2 Tbs. olive oil or canola oil
  • 2 cups finely chopped onion 
  • 1 cup finely chopped or diced carrot
  • 1 cup finely chopped or diced celery
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 large or 2 small bay leaves
  • 3 quarts Homemade Chicken Broth or lower-salt chicken broth
  • 3-1/2 to 4 cups shredded, cooked chicken
  • 3 cups cooked-until-barely-tender white rice
  • 10 oz. spinach, well washed and dried, tough stems removed, and chopped into 2-inch piece
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1 to 4 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions for serving (optional)
If you made the chicken broth yourself, use the meat from that bird; otherwise you can use the meat from a store-bought rotisserie chicken.

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large (at least 8-quart), heavy-duty pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and 1/2 Tbs. salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and lightly browned in places, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the bay leaf or leaves and cook, stirring, about 30 seconds.

Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are completely tender, 20 to 30 minutes.

Stir in the shredded chicken, the rice, and spinach. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until all are tender and the flavors meld, 5 to 10 minutes.

Stir in the dill and 1 Tbs. of the lemon juice. Taste, and add more lemon juice, 1 Tbs. at a time, if needed, up to 4 Tbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish each bowl with 1 Tbs. sliced scallion, if you like.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 200, Fat (kcal): 6, Fat Calories (g): 50, Saturated Fat (g): 1.5, Protein (g): 12, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 3.5, Carbohydrates (mg): 29, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 1, Sodium (g): 1320, Cholesterol (g): 0, Fiber (g): 4,

Photo: Scott Phillips

Excellent. Nice zing with the lemon and dill.

Really enjoyed the flavours of the dill and the lemon at the end and will definitely make this again but won't go to the trouble of making my own chicken stock as you can now purchase good quality chicken stock and the flavour is just as good IMO

This is my new favorite chicken soup recipe. The use of the lemon was a surprise to me, but it tastes amazing.

Very good recipe. Simple, fresh..just complex enough. I had no big itch to change anything and I'm glad I didn't. Homemade broth is well worth it, I used an organic bird. As a main course, we served 6 happy adults perfectly.

Delicious taste, but I would say it makes closer to 16 servings than 6 to 8. Hope it freezes well.

Our family loves, loves, loves soup and I make 3 or 4 pots weekly. This soup is a winner - the lemon and dill flavors really came through - gave it an interesting zing. It's a refreshing change from our old favorite, Chicken Noodle, and I know I will be making this again and again. thanks!

This soup was great!! I decreased the recipe for my family of three, but other than that made no changes. Very tasty!

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