Since it's still chilly at night, I recently made this delightful soup recipe, adapted from a good friend's version of soup she had ordered at a local cafe. Full of piquant peppers and onions, hearty red rice, corn and chicken, this soup was one of the best I've tasted in a long while.
Red rice you ask? It was the first time I had used it, as I normally use brown rice. I've since learned that red rice is even more nutritious than brown rice! Red rice gets it's color from an antioxidant called anthrocyanins, which are found in dark purple and red fruits and vegetables. Anthrocyanins are believed to have properties that reduce inflammation and can prevent the risk of cancer. The manganese found in both red and brown rice helps to strengthen metabolism, lower blood pressure as well as lower heart attack risk. And, there is Magnesium in it that can strengthen bones and teeth (if taken along with calcium). Red rice has a delightful nutty flavor.
Garden and yard clean up is taking up a lot of time now that the snow has finally melted. It's wonderful to see things sprouting and growing again!
We also had a all-family gathering recently where we celebrated three family birthdays. It was a delicious event hosted by my daughter and son-in-law. I'd love to share with you the new 'gallery' of artwork my daughter recently installed, all of which were created by my 6-year-old grandson, Dane. It makes me smile knowing that we may have a budding artist in the family :)
Southwestern Chicken and Red Rice SoupPrintable Recipe
1-2 tablespoons neutral-flavor oil, such as canola or grapeseed
1 large yellow onion, diced
4-5 large stalks of fresh celery, diced (about 1-1/2 cups)
7 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large Poblano pepper, seeded and diced
1 large Jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 28-oz can petite iced tomatoes in juice
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and diced (or use rotisserie chicken breast), about 2 cups
1 12-oz bag frozen white corn (use all or as much as you like)
1 cup uncooked red rice
8 cups chicken stock (I like Costco's Organic Chicken Stock or Kitchen Basic Unsalted Chicken Stock)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Tortilla chips and chopped cilantro or parsley for garnish
In a soup or stock pot, saute the onions and celery in oil over medium heat until transparent.
Add the diced peppers and saute a few minutes more. Add the garlic and saute for another minute. Add the petite diced tomatoes, including juice and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and simmer on low for about 45 minutes.
Add the wild rice, bring to a boil and simmer on low for about 40 minutes until the rice is tender but not soft. It should be 'al dente'.
Add the cooked chicken and corn and simmer until heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste (I like lots of pepper) and serve.
Note: Red rice may be slightly more difficult to find than other kinds of rice. You should be able to find it at Whole Foods or a very well-stocked grocery store. Lundberg is a very good brand and grown in California. If you are lucky enough to find it locally, I highly recommend it.
You can find Lundberg red rice on Amazon by clicking here.
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