It seems that just about everyone I know has been eating soup. And I am pretty certain it’s not because it’s National Soup Month. Whether it’s your grandma’s chicken noodle or not, soup is comforting.
Today’s chicken soup recipe is different from your standard variety. It’s made from leftover roasted chicken and gets a huge flavor boost from roasted lemons. You can think of the citrus in this soup as giving you a dose of vitamin C.
You can make the chicken and roasted lemons or you can use any leftover chicken (store-bought rotisserie chicken works great) and roast the lemons separately.
To roast the lemons: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice the lemons about ¼-inch thick and remove any seeds. Place the lemons on the parchment and roast about 15 minutes or until lightly brown in most spots on one side. Turn over and roast another 5 to 10 minutes on the other side. Remove from the oven.
Roasting lemons (especially regular ones) boosts their flavor and tames their tartness.
I’ve been happy with the lemons and limes in stores now. The Meyer lemons used in this recipe have been particularly tasty.
Meyer lemons are sweeter than traditional lemons, plus they tend to have less acidity.
Today’s recipe is adapted from a recipe in this month’s Martha Stewart Living magazine. The leftover chicken and roasted lemons come from a roast spatchcocked lemon chicken recipe.
Chicken soup with rice and roasted lemons
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
1 cup basmati white rice
1 ¾ cups water
1 lemon, zested and juiced
¼ teaspoon salt
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon canola oil
2 ribs celery, sliced
6 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade or fat-free, less-sodium canned broth
2 cups shredded chicken from roast spatchcocked lemon chicken
Roasted lemons, shallots, and pan juices from roast spatchcocked lemon chicken
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Coarsely chopped fresh parsley or dill, for garnish
Bring rice, water, lemon zest, and ¼ teaspoon salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir once, reduce heat to low, and cover. Simmer until rice is cooked and water evaporates, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork.
In a large saucepan heat the canola oil. Add the celery and saute 2 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook about 5 minutes. Stir in the cooked rice, chicken, lemons, shallots and pan juices, and simmer 3 minutes to heat through. Remove from heat, and season with salt and pepper.
Divide soup among 4 bowls, and season with lemon juice and garnish with fresh herbs if desired.
NOTE: Here’s the basic recipe for roast spatchcocked lemon chicken: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the backbone out of a 3 ½- to 4 -pound chicken and flip it over. Press down on the breastbone to flatten it. Rub chicken with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season all over with 1 tablespoon kosher salt and ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
Brush a rimmed baking sheet with some olive oil. Place lemon slices from one lemon in a single layer on top of oil. Place chicken, skin side up, on lemons. Carefully loosen the skin from flesh of breast and thighs using the end of a wooden spoon. Slide a few lemon slices from another lemon under skin in a single layer.
Roast the chicken about 20 minutes. Toss 6 shallots (peeled and quartered) with some oil and scatter around the chicken. Roast 30 minutes longer or until the thickest part of breast reaches 165 degrees.
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living, January 2013 issue. Tested by Susan M. Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen.
325 calories (11 percent from fat), 4 grams fat (1 gram sat. fat), 39 grams carbohydrates, 31 grams protein, 1,138 mg sodium, 60 mg cholesterol, 1 gram fiber.