This soup is really adaptable, as well as easy to make and to eat. All you need is an hour to cook but it tastes like it’s simmered all day. Plus, it’s a perfect... freezer-friendly meal to pull out for those down days. Using chicken bones is what gives the soup its depth of flavor, and then it’s up to you to choose whether you want leaner and more delicate chicken breast, more rich chicken thighs, or a mix of the two.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, carrots, dill, rice, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and the onions are translucent, about 8 minutes.
Add the chicken and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 1 hour, adding more water if too much evaporates.
Remove the chicken and transfer to a colander. Once cool enough to handle, shred the chicken meat off the bone and return to the broth to heat through. Discard the bones. Taste the soup for seasonings, add parsley if using, and serve.
If you are on a bland or low-fiber diet, here’s a way to transform this soup to fit your needs.
1) Discard the onion, and saute the remaining veggies until tender in a couple tablespoons of stock instead of oil. Stir in a pinch of asafetida, if you can find it, with the veggies just as they start to get soft, before you add the chicken and water. This spice adds oniony taste without the digestive problems.
2) Use white rice instead of brown. White rice cooks in 20 minutes, so if you like it al dente, add it about 20 minutes after you add the chicken in step 2. Cook for another 20 minutes. If you like your rice softer and starchier, add it in at the same time as the chicken.