Tis the season for colds and flu. This Toasted Rice and Chicken Soup with Lemon comes together so easily that even if you’re the sick one, you can prepare it. Just toast up some rice and vegetables, dump in the chicken and broth, then let the Instant Pot do the work. No Instant Pot? No problem! I’ve provided you with stove top instructions.
Even if you aren’t sick, this soup is a light and hearty meal to break up the indulgences this time of year. Lemon and spinach always make me feel leaner and lighter. Their natural detoxifying properties help with water weight gain and feelings of bloat.
Make sure you read the recipe notes on rice for this one.
The rice drives the cooking time. If you want this to be a one pot meal, you have to be aware of the cooking time. Toasting the rice brings out a nice nutty flavor. It really enhances the flavor of this soup. It’s not a required step, it’s just recommended.
Add this recipe to your regular rotation to lighten up or to warm up when you’re feeling under the weather. It really does it all. If you make this Toasted Rice and Chicken Soup with Lemon tag me on Instagram @FreshFitKitchen. I love to see what you’re cooking!
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Toasted Rice and Chicken Soup with Lemon
- 5 cups Chicken Broth
- 1 large Chicken Breast boneless, skinless
- 2 large Carrots finely diced
- 2 large Celery Stalks finely diced
- 1/2 cup onion finely diced
- 2 cups Baby Spinach roughly chopped
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup Quick Cooking Brown Rice not INSTANT RICE
Turn your Instant Pot to the saute function. Add 1 tbsp. of olive oil to the bottom of the Instant Pot. When it's heated add the rice, carrots, onions, and celery. Saute until the rice starts to lightly toast. You will smell it. It takes 4-5 minutes. Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
When the rice is toasted and the vegetables are translucent add the chicken breast. Be sure to salt and pepper both sides of the chicken breast.
Pour in the 5 cups of chicken broth. Cook on manual high pressure for 7 minutes. Allow a natural release to happen for 5 minutes. This just means allow the Instant Pot to switch to warm for 5 minutes. You'll probably still have to manually release the rest of the steam so you can open the lid.
Remove the chicken and shred it. Add it back into the pot. Stir in the 2 cups of chopped baby spinach. Allow the spinach to wilt and then squeeze in the lemon juice. Garnish with 1/4 cup of parsley and serve.
ON THE STOVE TOP- Follow all of the same saute instructions for the vegetables and rice, but cook the chicken and broth on a low simmer for 15 minutes then shred. These are instructions for a large chicken breast about 1.5 inches thick. The varying sizes of chicken breast will vary the cooking time so use your best judgement.
A note on rice- You will notice in the instructions I say NOT INSTANT RICE. In order to successfully cook the brown rice with the broth and ingredients and have everything be done together, you need quick cook brown rice. It will say on the package that it cooks in 15-20 minutes. Do not buy instant rice or minute rice to cook in the Instant Pot. There are 3 kinds of brown rice- Instant (takes about 10 minutes), Quick Cook (Takes about 15 minutes) and Regular (35-40 minutes). I find quick cook rice at Aldi regularly. If you can't find it, you can use white which cooks in the same amount of time or cook some minute rice separately and then add your soup over top of it when you serve it. You can still toast it in some olive oil before you make it.