Chicken, Mushroom, and Rice Soup


They say chicken soup is good for the soul, but when you factor in the addition of mushrooms, onions, and garlic, and the always comforting effects of rice, this soup is good for a lot more things than just your soul--like your wallet, for example! Serve topped with sour cream, thyme leaves, and diced red onion.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
2 hrs 30 mins
Additional Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs
6 servings

Besides all the obvious things, what I really love about this chicken, mushroom, and rice soup is that the chicken is only the second most savory thing in it. Since we're slicing the mushrooms nice and thick (and browning them very well), they get very "meaty" in both taste and texture. That makes this already hearty soup even more so. And while chicken noodle will always be the most iconic soup recipe (thanks to a certain canned soup company), I've always been partial to chicken and rice. That comes down to the fact that I enjoy soft, overcooked rice a lot more that soft overcooked pasta. As the rice cooks it continues to thicken the soup, making it even more comforting, whereas the noodles just sort of fall apart.

However, one important thing to know about adding rice to a broth-based soup is that no matter how much liquid you add, eventually the rice will soak it all up. It'll be fine when you first make it, but as it sits, your leftover chicken and rice soup will turn into a chicken and rice stew. This isn't a bad thing, but if you want to relive the first serving, you'll need to thin it out with more broth. So be sure to make plenty. I really do hope you give it a try soon. Enjoy!

Chicken, Mushroom, and Rice Soup
Chicken, Mushroom, and Rice Soup . Chef John

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  • 1 (3 1/2) pound whole chicken

  • 1 large carrot, cut into 2-inch pieces

  • 1 rib celery, cut into 2-inch pieces

  • 1 medium red onion, roughly chopped

  • 1 large bay leaf

  • water to cover

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter

  • 1 pound mushrooms, thickly sliced

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste

  • 1 cup diced red onion

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper

  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 1 cup medium-grain white rice


  1. Place chicken, carrot, celery, onion, and bay leaf in a stockpot. Add 4 quarts of cold water, or enough to cover the chicken. Bring to a simmer on high heat. Reduce heat to low; simmer gently until the meat can be easily pulled off the bones and is no longer pink in the center, about 1 1/2 hours.

  2. Remove the meat and bones to a bowl and allow to cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Leave the stockpot over low heat. Separate the meat from the bones and skin and break it up into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.

  3. Transfer the bones and skin back to the stockpot and continue to simmer on low until needed.

  4. Melt butter in a soup pot over medium-high heat until it starts to brown. Add mushrooms and salt; saute until mushrooms are well browned. Add garlic and diced onion and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Strain in 4 cups of the chicken broth from the stockpot and bring to a simmer. Add black pepper, cayenne, and thyme. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes.

  5. Add rice and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed; remove thyme stems. Stir in the chicken meat and a few more cups of the chicken broth to achieve the desired texture. The soup will continue to thicken as the rice swells, so more may be needed if you want a thinner soup.

  6. Let simmer until chicken is heated through and has absorbed the flavors, and rice is fully cooked, about 15 minutes. Taste one last time for seasoning. Adjust with more broth as needed. Serve immediately.


Chef's Notes:

You can use red or yellow onion in this soup, and any type of rice.

For a quick-pickled red onion, combine diced red onion with red wine vinegar, cover, and let sit in the refrigerator until they turn red, 6 to 12 hours. Drain and serve.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

513 Calories
19g Fat
35g Carbs
49g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 513
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 19g 25%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 153mg 51%
Sodium 472mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 35g 13%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 49g
Vitamin C 7mg 36%
Calcium 54mg 4%
Iron 4mg 22%
Potassium 778mg 17%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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