Basil Chicken & Rice Soup

*A quick note as Casey doesn’t give this recipe enough justice.. From all the things we have made, this is definitely in our top 10.  Try it VERY soon as it will definitely be worth it!

Feeling like some good ol’ chicken soup, but with a little Cantonese and Thai influence?  Playing around with a clipped recipe in our ever-growing folder, we arrived at the following variation that makes enough for a small army and is sure to be a hit with just about everyone.  This is an easy way to use up leftover chicken (or turkey) from a previous meal.  Or, if you didn’t plan ahead, simply boil some chicken right out of the freezer while you get everything else rounded up and ready.  You could also try adding small shrimp for a variation that is sure to be tasty as well.

Gather Up:

  • 2 lbs precooked boneless chicken or turkey (about 3 large chicken breast halves), shredded or chopped into hearty pieces
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, riced (about 2 cups – see our instructions here)
  • 1-1/2 quarts chicken broth (we ran out of home made)
  • 1 large shallot, sliced into ~1/8″ thick slices
  • 3 large garlic cloves, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 red jalapeno pepper, split lengthwise and sliced across (for color, and it seems a touch milder and sweeter than the usual green jalapeno to me)
  • 3-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, very coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro stems, coarsly chopped (from above leaves)
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, whole (tear any larger than 3″ long in half)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1-1/2 tbsp arrowroot powder
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Get everything rounded up and get the cauliflower into a steamer basket.  While it cooks, you can prep all of your other ingredients.  Separate the shallot slices into individual rings (don’t worry too much about the really small ones) and toss with the arrowroot powder to coat.  Keep everything else separated until needed.  When the cauliflower is done steaming, rice it in the food processor.

Combine the chicken, cauliflower, cilantro stems, ginger, salt, and chicken stock in a large pot.  Add stock or water as needed to completely cover everything.  Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and let cook for about 15~20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat until it reads about 350 degrees with an instant read or frying thermometer.  Toss in the garlic slices and fry until crispy and golden brown while stirring constantly (about 2~3 minutes).  Remove with a slotted spoon or deep-fry ladle and let drain on a paper towel.

Working in batches using the same heated oil, cook the shallot rings until crispy golden brown as well (3~4 minutes per batch).  Drain on a separate paper towel from the garlic.  I found a large serving fork worked best for stirring/turning and removing these from the oil.

When you’ve finished frying all of the shallots, turn the heat off on both the soup pot and the frying oil.  Discard the oil (let it cool first!), and let the soup sit for a minute or two off the burner before stirring in the fresh basil and cilantro.

Ladle a healthy serving of the chicken & rice soup into bowls, then garinsh with some of the fried shallot, fried garlic, and a few jalapeno slices.  Serve warm.  Have seconds if you like, and enjoy the leftovers for lunch the next day!


2 responses to “Basil Chicken & Rice Soup

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