Chicken Soup with Rice and Vegetables
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Dad always started meals with soup. Piping hot soup like this Chicken Soup with Rice and Vegetables with the steam floating from the large bowl was a mainstay at the table. Dad sat at the ‘cabecera’ (say ‘kah-beh-se-rah’), the head of the table, while the soup bowl was on his right, between him and me. Mom sat on Dad’s left. The soup, like the rest of the dishes was served family style. We passed the food around the table and each one spooned their servings on respective plates. Large oval platters of meat, seafood and vegetables, mounds of steamed white rice and the huge bowl of soup were at every breakfast, lunch and dinner.
(Photo of my Nilagang Manok, Filipino Boiled Chicken Stew. I used the leftovers for this recipe.)
We lived in a hot, tropical climate year round in the Philippines. I never asked why we had soup every meal. Mom never ran out of ideas for soup. It was amazing how every big bowl tasted different and delightful.
Back here in my American kitchen, I could not help but think of those days of my growing up years especially when we got a huge snow storm on the east coast this week. Storm “Hercules” left us with a foot of snow and bitter cold temperatures. It was time for soup. I could feel the chill in my bones. My family needed some warm comfort in a bowl. We had many leftovers from the holiday dishes. I knew I had enough to put together a big cauldron of soup. There was boiled chicken from leftover ‘Nilagang Manok’, pork (ham and longanisa sausages), vegetables. There was no exact recipe for this. It is what Filipinos would call “maski-pops” (short for ‘maski papaano’ meaning anything goes).
I sliced everything in uniform bite-sized pieces. Once the broth was simmering, I tossed everything in and watched the chicken float around with the leftover ham, sausages, green beans, bok choy, corn kernels and all. Lastly, I added cupfuls of leftover cooked rice. It made the broth rich and thick. Before long, the savory aromas of ginger and garlic filled the kitchen. I stirred the pot and scooped out a cupful of soup with the large ladle. The shiny, plump rice grains nestled next to the vegetables and meat cubes. The aroma of onions in the broth floated around. I stirred the soup in the pot some more. I just knew that if my Dad were still around, he would have had not just one, but two heaping bowls of my chicken soup with rice. He would have enjoyed it so.
Chicken Soup with Rice and Vegetables
- stockpot, large;
- 1 cup cooked chicken sliced in 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 cup cooked ham sliced in 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 cup cooked pork longanisa sliced in 1/2-inch pieces (or use any cooked sausages preferred)
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 cloves garllic minced
- 1 whole large onion chopped onion
- 1- knob (1-inch) fresh ginger peeled, sliced in thin slivers
- 2 Tablespoons patis (fish sauce)
- 8 cups broth, chicken or vegetable
- 1 cup cooked green beans sliced in 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 cup cooked corn kernels
- 1 cup shredded bok choy
- 2 cups cooked rice
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Prepare ingredients by slicing the chicken, ham, pork, vegetables in uniform bite-sized pieces of about ½ inches.
- Over medium heat, in a large deep stock pot, add the vegetable oil. After 1 to 2 minutes when the oil is hot, saute the garlic, onions, ginger. Stir around and cook for 2 minutes till onions are transparent.
- Add the fish sauce and soup broth (or rice wash). Cover and increase heat to high. When the broth boils in about 8 to 10 minutes, lower heat back to medium. Add the meat pieces : chicken, ham, pork. After 5 to 6 minutes of simmering, throw in the cut up vegetables and cooked rice. Stir the soup. Season with salt and pepper. Keep the soup on a very low simmer till ready to serve.
- Cook’s comments: I used leftover soup broth and chicken from a previous Nilagang Manok (Filipino Boiled Chicken Stew with Vegetables). If you do not have soup broth on hand, use rice wash for the broth. In the Philippines, we call rice wash 'hugas-bigas'. I have shown how to obtain rice wash and keep the broth in a previous blog post – this is an age old cooking tip from Filipino mothers and generations before them.
This looks wonderful. It’s a soup I could eat again and again.
Thanks, Maureen. Same here, I love to make this over and over again for the family. What a treat to have you visit 🙂
Loved reading about this and I looove how this is an “anything goes” recipe. These are the best types of recipes!
Thanks, Nelly. You’re right, these are the best recipes. Thanks for the blog-love!
Soup, glorious soup! Growing up our meals never lacked soup, a different one for lunch and for dinner. In fact, it cools the body so perfect for summer too. I’ve come up with the same thing just by scrounging around the fridge. A former nun who went into catering once told me that a good cook knows how to manage leftovers! You’ve done beautifully with this soup. On another topic, saying bye bye here until march when I return from Phil’s. I leave nextwk, jan 14. Take care and hi to everyone. Beth
Thanks, Beth! How nice of you to contribute all that via such heartwarming comments. There was just so much leftovers that were still so good – ham, chicken, veggies but needed a fresh, new spin to make it appealing. Thanks for stopping by. I’ll be in touch before you leave. Safe trip 🙂
Nothing hits the spot like a good bowl of soup! And yes we also had soup often (still do…sinigang, nilaga, tinola, et al) despite it being so hot, and never thought anything about it 🙂 How’s the weather?? Hope you are fine and keeping warm!
Thanks, Joey. Nothing like soup to hit the spot and warm the soul ~ totally agree with you. What a treat to have you visit the blog. Cooking up a storm to warm up the house here 🙂
I love that your dad ate soup every day, Betty Ann, and that each one was different and appealing in its own way. I am a soup lover and I, too, could eat it every day. Chicken soup with rice is a favorite of mine. I, too, make it with leftovers but with an Italian, rather than Philippine accent. THis sounds absolutely delicious, something I know my kids will enjoy as well. Thanks for sharing the recipe, and Happy New Year to you!
Thanks, Domenica. So sweet of you to stop by. Your heartwarming comments are such a treat. It also reaffirms what I knew all along – our parents knew what was best. Happy New Year, too 🙂
This soup must be so good! I love eating rice and soup together. When my mom wasn’t around I loved pouring miso soup over rice… but it’s considered bad manner (forgot what was the reason). Isn’t rice taste so good with the good broth? I would love this on a cold day… probably better than chicken soup with pasta. 🙂
Thanks, Nami. I agree with you ~ rice and soup are an ultimate comfort food for me. I never knew it was not polite to pour miso soup on rice. I’ll try to remember that all the time. Glad you came by to the blog 🙂
We were taught this recipe using chicken only, by our high school Home Economics teacher, from the Philippines. Way back in the 1980s. I still remember this soup and love it. I agree, cold weather is the best time for this soup. It is so warm and filling.
Thanks, Indira. Like I mentioned in the blog post, I used whatever leftovers I had — meat and vegetables. I don’t want food going to waste, thus I put them all in a pot and make soup like this one.