Last night, BeeBop and I were watching The Taste on television and the theme for the evening’s competition was “guilty pleasures.” It was so interesting to see how differently the contestants interpreted that! Their dishes ranged from greasy pork belly burger sliders to fried chicken with macaroni and cheese to a healthy spring roll. The sliders and fried chicken I got. The spring roll, not so much. I kept pulling for somebody…anybody…to make banana pudding! By the way, the greasy sliders and fried chicken won :-) Guilty pleasures indeed.
I will readily admit to having guilty food pleasures. Though I don’t really feel guilty about them at all. They’re things that I don’t eat often but when I do, I thoroughly enjoy them. Most of them are “trashy” processed things, the number one among my pleasures being Lays’ barbecue potato chips. Don’t let me open a bag of those things because I cannot promise that I won’t finish it off right then and there. Another guilty pleasure? You might not believe this – Rice-a-Roni Spanish Rice mix. It’s just another one of those can’t-stop-eating-it things for me. And it’s the inspiration for this Spanish Rice and Chicken Soup.
Trust me, I don’t buy the Spanish rice mix often. I dare not keep it in my pantry because we’d be eating it three times a week if I did. But every once in a while I start craving those flavors – tender rice, tomatoes, and rich seasonings. When that craving struck recently, I decided to try combining all that deliciousness in a soup and this recipe was the result. It’s a bit more healthy – no preservatives and far less salt – but still has all the flavors I love in one pot. Hope you enjoy it!
I’d love for you to leave me a comment on this post telling me about your guiltiest food pleasures! I just might find something new to crave :-)
Place a deep saucepan or soup pot over medium to medium-high heat. Add the oil and butter. When the butter has melted, add the onion and celery. Cook the mixture, stirring frequently, until the onion has wilted, taking care not to let it brown. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute.
Add the tomatoes and cilantro. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes while you stir and break up the tomatoes with a spoon. Or, if you’re impatient like me, use a potato masher to make quick work of it!
Add the rice, taco seasoning, and cilantro. Stir well. Add the chicken broth, chicken, salt, and pepper. Just a note here – I make my own taco seasoning that I keep in a tightly sealed jar in the pantry. I just spoon out what I need whenever I need it. You can use a purchased taco seasoning or just use chili powder with a bit of oregano and cumin thrown in. Maybe I should post the taco seasoning recipe sometime, huh?
Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 18-20 minutes or until the rice is done. Serve topped with additional cilantro.
- 1 tblsp. butter
- 1 tblsp. olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2-3 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 14.5 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes with their juice
- 1 cup rice
- 2 tblsp. taco seasoning
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups cooked, diced chicken
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- Place a deep saucepan or soup pot over medium high heat. Add the oil and butter. When the butter has melted, add the onion and celery. Cook, stirring frequently until the onion has wilted. Take care not to brown the onion. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute. Add the tomatoes and cilantro. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes while stirring and breaking up the tomatoes with a spoon.
- Add the rice, taco seasoning, and cilantro. Stir well. Add the chicken broth, chicken, salt, and pepper.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 18-20 minutes or until the rice is done.
- Serve topped with additional cilantro.
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More chicken soup recipes you might enjoy from around the internet:
- Chicken or Turkey Soup with Dumplings from Creative Culinary
- Chipotle Chicken Soup from Amanda’s Cookin’
- Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup from Tidy Mom
- Italian Chicken Soup from The Pioneer Woman
- Thai Hot and Sour Chicken Soup from Steamy Kitchen
- Rotisserie Chicken Rice Soup from The Shiksa in the Kitchen
- Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup from Two Peas and Their Pod
What I was up to…