The Pyle family is embarking on a Whole 30 for 28 days! We’ve cut it to 28 so that we don’t run right over Jacob’s birthday. While we are firm believers in the power of a clean diet, we still enjoy our sweets and delicacies when we celebrate a person or event (once in a while!). So we’re cutting the program two days short so we can celebrate Jacob with an amazing cake of some sort (yet to be determined).
One of the first things I think about whenever I consider a new eating plan is how I will adjust some of our family’s favorite recipes. My traditional chicken and rice soup is one of those recipes. We cannot live without it in some form or fashion, so it was the first one I looked at updating. In terms of making it Whole30 compliant, all I had to do was remove the rice or noodles and cut the veggies a little bigger to compensate for the lack of chew brought in by the grain. If you want to convert this back into the traditional version, add 2/3 cup of uncooked rice towards the end and let it simmer until done. Or egg noodles. Whatever you prefer. But let’s not dream too much about that as we head into the Whole30.
Just a tip: the lemon juice at the end MAKES it! So don’t leave it out. Different people like different amounts of acidity. So while it’s essential to add the acidity, how much you like is a personal preference. I call for 1/2 a lemon’s worth, but you may want to start with a 1/4 lemon and work up to a whole lemon if you like it that way. Let me know what you think!
- 2 Tbl olive oil, divided
- 1 pound chicken breasts
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 6-8 ribs of celery, roughly chopped
- 4-6 medium carrots, roughly chopped
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- sea salt and pepper, to taste
- juice of half a lemon
- 1 Tbl freshly chopped parsley
- Place a heavy bottomed, large pot over medium heat and add 1 Tbl of olive oil.
- Salt and pepper chicken breasts on both sides.
- Place chicken breasts in the pan with heated oil and cook until the chicken is just cooked through.
- While the chicken is cooking, peel and chop the onion, carrots and celery. Mince the garlic.
- When the chicken is done cooking, remove it from the pot and place it on a cutting board to cool.
- Add the remaining 1 Tbl of olive oil to the pot and turn the heat to medium-high.
- Add the veggies and then the garlic, stirring as they cook for about three to five minutes.
- Add some salt and pepper to the veggies and add the thyme.
- Add the chicken stock.
- While the stock is coming to a simmer, chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
- Once the soup is simmering, add the chopped chicken.
- Allow the soup to simmer uncovered for about twenty minutes so that the veggies get softer and the flavors start to come together.
- Chop the parsley and juice the lemon.
- Turn off the heat and add parsley and lemon juice. Add more salt and pepper and lemon juice, to taste.
- Let the soup sit for another ten or twenty minutes if you want the flavors to come together a little more.
- If you like a more traditional shredded chicken in your soup, consider getting bone-in chicken pieces and placing the pieces into the stock as you simmer the soup for 20-30 minutes. You can then remove the pieces, discard the skin and shred the chicken. Then just return to the pot. I've done it this way and it's just as good! Just a little time consuming and my sister has to come over to take the chicken off the bone for me. But that's a story for another day . . .