Chicken Soup with Rice & Lemon

A Twist on Classic Chicken Soup

With fresh ingredients like jalapeños, herbs & lemon juice this lemon chicken and rice soup will be sure to prevent and fight even the nastiest of colds. Winter is here and if you are lucky enough to have escaped the living hell that is the common cold, your immune system still deserves a big thank you. Not only is this soup seriously delicious, it packs a punch that will provide some much needed energy during these difficult months.

Why Lemon?

The better question would be why not lemon? It gives the soup a hot and sour vibe and the list of health benefits of consuming lemon juice seems like it’s always growing. Here are some benefits specific to fighting/preventing colds:

  • Vitamin C! Lemons are packed with it and it can boost your energy and ease sore throats
  • Lemon juice encourages your stomach to produce more stomach acid which helps with digestion
  • It can help to ease or prevent fevers

When I’m sick I like to add lemon to just about everything. Chicken soup, tea or even a glass of water.

Trader Joe's MirepoixChicken Soup Mise En PlaceLemon Chicken Soup Mirepoix

Shortcuts for the Sick & Tired (Me)

Not all of us have someone who can drop everything to bring us tissues and a fresh pot of soup (shout out to all the amazing moms out there). As a result, I like to take short cuts when possible. Here are some of my favorites for this recipe:

  • Skip the whole process of using raw meat completely and buy a rotisserie chicken. Shred the meat off the bones and add it at the same time as the rice.
  • Use pre-chopped ingredients! Don’t feel bad about this. You are sick! OR you are heaven sent and making food for someone who is. I get this Mirepoix (pictured below) from Trader Joe’s and can’t even begin to tell you how helpful it can be when you’re trying to make something in a hurry.
  • If you can’t find all the fresh herbs for this recipe use dried ones – they will work just fine!
  • Use chicken stock instead of water – your flavor will develop much faster.
  • If you don’t have lemons, use a dash of white vinegar.

Lemon Chicken & Rice Soup

Lemon Chicken & Rice Soup

Salima's Kitchen: Lemon Chicken & Rice Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Print


4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 container Mirepoix OR 1 carrot, 1 stalk of celery, 1 onion diced finely

5 cloves garlic

1 jalapeño

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon flour

6 cups chicken stock

2 tablespoons chopped or dried parsley

1/4 cup chopped cilantro or 4 tablespoons dried cilantro

4 chicken drumsticks, thighs, or breasts (I like having meat on the bone but it’s entirely up to you)

1 cup white rice

2 tablespoons salt

3 tablespoons pepper


In a large pot combine ghee or olive oil, minced jalapeño, celery, carrot and onion and sauté over medium high heat for 5 minutes.

Remove the veggies with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add chicken and cook on all sides just until browned.

Take the chicken out of the pot and set aside to cool. Add veggies back to the pot, toss in flour and mix to coat. When the flour starts to combine with the oil and bubble, begin adding chicken stock slowly, continuing to mix.

Once all the stock is in, toss in parsley, cilantro, salt, pepper and garlic. Bring the soup to a boil. While waiting for it to boil, shred the chicken and add the meat back to the pot.

Measure one cup of rice and when the soup begins to boil add the rice. Turn heat down to low and simmer rice in soup for 15-20 minutes or as instructed on rice packaging.

Add the juice of 1 lemon. Turn off the heat and cover to keep warm or enjoy right away!


Like this recipe? You have to try it with my favorite overnight artisan bread! Click here to get the recipe.


Author: Salima's Kitchen

Salima Benkhalti is a personal chef in Portland, Oregon. Contact with inquiries about private events, meal plans or taking cooking classes at !

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