Subscribe

Greek lemon and rice soup and chive muffins

Serve this from-scratch chicken and rice soup with chive muffins and you'll have a meal that will warm your belly and soul. Freeze some to have on hand for a quick dinner. 

  • close
    Bright lemon and herb flavors liven up this chicken and rice soup.
    The Runaway Spoon
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption
of

My area is sorely lacking in Greek restaurants, but we do have a wonderful Greek festival every year, and they have a lovely roasted chicken with lemon and rosemary on the menu that is a once a year treat. But about a year ago, a restaurant opened up (you may have one in your town too) that serves a Greek lemon and rice soup with the same sunny flavors. It is the reason I go there so I decided I better learn to make it myself.

And this is completely from scratch. I start with plump chicken breasts to make a stock flavored with lemon and herbs, then I pull the tender white meat from the bones. The finished soup has a healthy dose of lemon juice for zing and soft, comforting rice. I love this soup and my family does, too. I’m not saying I’ll never have it at that café again, but I think I’ve hit the nail on the head – and maybe improved it! 

Plus, what could be better beside a bowl of soup than homemade bread? These chive muffins are easy, fluffy and full of flavor. The yeast gives them a light hand while the chives add a slightly onion-y tang. I suppose you could stir in any fresh herb, but the subtle taste of chives complements almost any soup. Serve these warm with a little butter melting into the crevices, and you’ve got a great soup supper.

Recommended: Soup Recipes: Warm up with these soups, stews, chowders, and chilis

Greek lemon and rice soup
Serves 6

For the stock

2 bone-in, skin-on whole chicken breasts
4 cloves garlic
2 celery stalks
2 carrots
1 onion
4 sprigs thyme
4 sprigs oregano
4 sprigs rosemary
1 lemon

 For the soup

8 cups chicken stock
3/4 cup basmati rice
3/4 cup lemon juice (from 5–6 lemons)
2 cups diced, cooked chicken
1 carrot
1 teaspoon chopped oregano
1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
Salt to taste

For the stock

1. Place everything but the lemon is a large stock pot and cover with 12 cups of water. Squeeze the juice from the lemon and reserve for finishing the soup. Drop the juiced lemon skins in the pot and bring the stock to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover the pot and simmer for 4 hours. Remove the chicken and set aside.

2. Strain the stock through a colander lined with damp cheesecloth. Skim any fat from the surface of the stock. The stock can be made up to one day ahead. Cover and refrigerate (if you do this before straining the fat, it will solidify and be easier to remove before proceeding). Pull the chicken meat from the bones, discarding the skin, and refrigerate as well.

For the soup

1. Measure out 1-1/2 cups of the chicken stock and pour it into a small pan. Pour the rice into a small fine mesh sieve and rinse under cold running water until the water runs clear. Add the rice to the stock in the small and bring to a boil. When most of the liquid has cooked away and there are just a few bubbles and air pockets on the rice, remove the pot from the heat, cover with a tea towel and a tight fitting lid. Leave for 15 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

2. Pour the remaining broth into a large soup pot (there should be between 7–8 cups). Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer. Stir in the lemon juice. Add the diced chicken. Peel the carrot and grate it on the large holes of a box grater. Add it to the soup with the oregano, rosemary and cooked rice. Simmer until everything is heated through, taste and add salt as needed.

Chive muffins
Yields 12

1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110° F)
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups sour cream
1 egg
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1 teaspoon salt

1. Combine the yeast and warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer leave for a few minutes until the yeast is foamy.

2. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until well combined and smooth. Pull the dough from the paddle, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk.

3. Turn the oven to 400 degrees F. to preheat and grease 12 muffin cups. Punch down the dough and divide equally among the muffin cups. Cover the pan with a tea towel and let the muffins rise again until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

4. Bake the muffins fro 15 minutes until lightly browned.

Related post on The Runaway Spoon: Cock-a-Leekie Soup

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of food bloggers. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by The Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own and they are responsible for the content of their blogs and their recipes. All readers are free to make ingredient substitutions to satisfy their dietary preferences, including not using wine (or substituting cooking wine) when a recipe calls for it. To contact us about a blogger, click here.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome
 
 
Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
FREE Newsletters
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
 

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK