January 14, 2012

Chicken, Saffron Rice & Lime Soup

I usually don't make soup this often! I'm surprising myself with back-to-back soup entries.

But there are a couple of things going on behind my soup movement. One is that it has obviously been extremely cold out (it is Winter). The second is that I joined a gym for the first time in my life! Woah!

What does a gym have to do with soup? Well, I will tell you. Let's say I want to attend a spin class and it's at 6:00pm. Usually by 6:00pm I'm already back from my jog and lighting up the stove for dinner. So now, rather than hunkering down in the kitchen, I'm perching atop a bike at the same hour. By the time I get home from the spin class it's closer to 7:30 (okay, maybe I shouldn't stretch so much afterward, or chat so much afterward, but that's neither here nor there.) Then I shower, look in the fridge, and before I know it we're eating dinner at 9:00. I know that's normal for many, but Matt wakes up very early and it's not cool to sit down to dinner during bedtime.

Back to the soup! The moral of the story is that I needed dinner and needed it warm + fast. This soup was ready in just about the 20 minutes it took to boil the rice. It can also be made in a slow cooker. This allowed us to sit down to eat much earlier than we had been.

I know the gym is only supposed to work miracles on the body, but it's working miracles on my "stop-over-thinking-weeknight-dinner-just-make-something-good-and-eat-it!" capabilities. I'm developing major boundaries around evening time management, enjoying my nights more, and possibly even developing some arm muscles while I'm at it.

Chicken, Saffron Rice & Lime Soup
1 (32-oz) carton Organic Reduced-Sodium Chicken Broth
1 onion, chopped
2-3 carrots, peeled and sliced thinly into 1/2" pieces
1 bay leaf
1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 package uncooked Saffron Rice (sold in rice section at grocery store)
1 cup uncooked white rice
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
salt to taste

Stovetop Directions:
Add all ingredients through 'chicken breasts" to a large stock pot and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, add the Saffron and white rice to a small saucepan with 2x as much water as rice and bring to a boil. Reduce both to a simmer. Cover, and cook. When rice is done (10-15 minutes), pour directly into soup pot. Simmer both together for about five minutes. Stir in the lime zest, juice, and pepper. Salt to taste and serve.

Slow Cooker Directions:
Add all ingredients except for lime and pepper to slow cooker. Cook on low 8-9 hours or high 3-4. Stir in lime and pepper and serve.

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