My son was feeling under the weather the other day, sore throat and all. Poor guy. He doesn’t look like this anymore, but this is about the age I see him when he’s sick. I think it’s a mom thing. Anyway, I had just made a pot of this delicious soup. There’s nothing like a nice hot bowl of homemade soup when you’re not feeling well, don’t you think? He ate a big bowl of it and to my surprise, promptly asked for another. He hadn’t felt much like eating. It not only soothed his throat, he said, but the warmth and heat of the Madras curry made him feel just a little bit better. I think the healing, anti-inflammatory effects of turmeric were doing their thing!
Of course, you don’t have to feel unwell to enjoy this soup.
Like a lot of homemade soups, this can be made a day or two before you need it. In fact, it’s even more flavorful if the seasonings are allowed to set up. Just reheat and serve yourself, your family, or your guests.
A note about the rice: Sometimes I prepare it as I’m making the soup and sometimes I cook it in advance and keep in it a container in the fridge (it’s good for up to 3 days). If you’re lucky enough to have a rice cooker, that makes this especially convenient! If you add cooked rice to this soup (because there is plenty of liquid) it won’t soak up all the broth, unlike a lot of soups, even if it sits in the fridge overnight. If; however, you add uncooked rice, you will wind up with a chicken and rice dish! Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It just won’t be soup. =)
- olive oil (or your choice) - 1 -2 Tablespoons
- minced garlic - 2 Tablespoon
- onion (chopped) - 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cup
- chicken (approximately 2 large chicken breasts - diced or cubed) - 2 lbs
- organic gluten-free chicken broth - 8 (64 oz.) cups
- chick peas/garbanzo beans - 1 can (15 - 16 oz.)
- celery (chopped) - 1 cup
- cooked rice - white or brown (added near the end) - 3 cups
- bay leaf - 1
- curry powder (I prefer a mild madras - which is a blend of spices) - 2 Tablespoons*
- paprika - 1 teaspoon
- ground ginger - 1/4 teaspoon
- ground pepper - 1/4 teaspoon
- sea salt (more to taste...) - 1 teaspoon
- coconut milk (approximately 2 cups) - 1 can
Saute garlic, onions and chicken in a soup pot with 1 or 2 Tablespoons oil until the chicken is cooked and the onions are clear. Add the chicken broth, chopped celery, bay leaf, garbanzo beans, and spices and allow to simmer on a low to medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the flavors are nicely melded and the celery is tender. Add the salt and pepper (to taste). Now would be the time to add the cooked rice and simmer about 15 to 20 minutes longer. Finally, add the canned coconut milk, stir and allow to warm thoroughly over a low heat before serving.
If you like, you may freeze this soup - adding the cooked rice and coconut milk after it has defrosted. Reheat and proceed with the directions - allowing the rice to simmer about 15 to 20 minutes before adding the coconut milk.
*Madras curry is a blend of herbs and spices that originated in the South of India with chili peppers being a fundamental ingredient. In addition to the chili peppers, Madras curry can also contain spices like turmeric, coriander, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaves, fenugreek, allspice, black pepper, and curry leaves.