Carb-free Chicken and Rice Soup
I cannot take the credit here and must give praise where praise is due. This was my daughter's idea. I had made a fresh batch of chicken soup and I kept it free of rice and noodles so that it would be carb-free. I'm really trying to reign in my bread/pasta/carb intake. My body in't metabolizing it the way it used to and I find that when I do omit it from my diet that I feel better. I don't deprive myself and if I want a treat, a good pasta dish for example, I'll allow myself to enjoy such but it's no longer a part of my day to day diet. To do this successfully takes effort and panning. I'm the first person to run to the pantry, aka what I lovingly refer to as The Carb Closet. It's too easy to grab a handful of crackers as a snack, which ends up being two handfuls and then before you know it half the box is gone! At least this is how it works for me. So I make an effort to have healthy foods around that I can graze on. Chicken soup with carrots and celery and some chicken is so satisfying and so easy to make. I always have a roasted chicken from the store, carrots, celery and broth lying around anyhow. It doesn't take much to make this and you won't feel guilty eating it. Make this on a cold rainy or snowy day for an instant mood lift!
So I cheat, sorta... I can never get my chicken broth to be as strong as I like it, so I make a broth using the bones from the rotisserie chicken and good broth, and veg and seasoning... Bear with me. You'll be glad you did.
1 rotisserie chicken with some or all of the meat left on. (Discard excess skin and small bones such as wings)
3 large carrots (I trim ends off) PLUS 4 carrots peeled and sliced
3 stalks of celery PLUS 3 stalks trimmed and sliced
1 medium to large onion, peeled and quartered
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 bay leaves (I prefer fresh)
2 containers of good chicken broth such as College Inn or your favorite
1 1/2 cups of water
salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp Bell's seasoning, or poultry seasoning
Cauliflower rice as desired (See How To below)
In a large pot place your chicken carcass without the skin and wings and add the broth and water so that the chicken is fully covered.
Add the whole carrots, whole celery, onion, garlic, bay leaves and Bell's seasoning and bring to a rolling boil.
Once it reaches a boil turn it down to a simmer and let simmer 45 minutes to an hour.
After an hour, using a pair of tongs, remove the chicken meat from the broth and set aside.
Using a large sieve or colander, strain the liquid. (I usually do this into a smaller pot)
Discard vegetables and bones.
Place the smaller pot on top of the stove and add your SLICED carrots, celery and chicken. (if the chicken is in large pieces I'll shred it or cut it into bite sized pieces for the soup.) Cook on medium high for 20 minutes or so so that the vegetables are fully cooked and slightly soft.
But WAIT! Where's the rice?
It's not really rice... it's cauliflower rice! Hence why this soup is carb-free! You can take your raw cauliflower "rice" and add it at any time. Or you can add your already cooked and seasoned cauliflower rice and add it at any time. We actually added it to individual bowls and not to the stock in case someone wanted some without.
To quickly make cauliflower rice you'll take your pre-packaged "rice" or you can make your own by simply cutting a head of cauliflower into florets and feeding them into your food processor using the grating attachment. It makes a lot! Sometimes I take half and place it in a ziplock and toss it into the freezer for future use. But usually I make a massive batch. The kids adore it and I'll happily snack on it for lunch.
In a saute pan I'll add about 2 tbs of olive oil and salt and pepper and saute until the "rice" is soften and slightly golden. You can add diced onion and carrot to give it even more flavor if you wish.