Healthier Creamy Chicken & Rice Soup
by Amber Pankonin, Registered Dietitian, Beginning Well, Lincoln, Nebraska
To make classic chicken and rice soup healthier, Registered Dietitian Amber Pankonin replaces a portion of the rice with shaved cauliflower and uses a brown basmati rice and quinoa blend for the rest. Swapping in half and half for heavy cream lowers the fat content, without losing the creamy texture.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup chopped white onion
- 1 cup carrots, chopped into medallions
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons red cooking wine
- 2 tablespoons Wondra quick-mixing flour* (or substitute all-purpose flour)
- 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- ½ cup half and half
- 2 cups roasted Smart Chicken, shredded
- ½ cup light brown basmati rice and red quinoa blend (uncooked)
- 1 cup shaved or grated cauliflower
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon 21 seasoning blend
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- *Wondra flour is an instant flour that dissolves quickly in liquid so you can add it directly to soups, sauces, and gravies to thicken without creating a slurry first. Buy it at your local grocery store or online.
Prepare rice according to package directions and set aside.
In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter and add onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat. Add red cooking wine and sprinkle the flour over the vegetables, stirring in until the flour has coated the vegetables.
Slowly stir in chicken broth and half and half. Stir in roasted chicken and prepared rice/quinoa blend until all ingredients are combined. Add shaved cauliflower, pepper, 21 seasoning blend, and salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Simmer on low to medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes.