A bonus day, with chicken and brown rice soup.
I'm making myself write a blog post right now because I feel like I was given this extra day in February to make sure I write at least two posts this month.
And what an extra day it's been. I got a text message from Murdo at 7:19 a.m., shortly after he left for work and just as I was swinging my feet out of bed, to tell me how beautiful it was outside. I put on my sunglasses for the morning commute, and rolled the window down halfway, and wore TOMS, not boots. To top it all off, there was free food for breakfast and lunch in the office, and for dinner tonight, we're making BLTs. I'll add avocado to mine. February 29, 2012, you are the very definition of bonus.
And now, in the spirit of bonuses, some photos of cats and light:
(The kitty photos were taken in November. They're so much bigger now!)
I've also got a recipe for you -- one that's been waiting to be shared for weeks now. I took the photos of this chicken and brown rice soup over a month ago, and have been making it nearly every week since. There is a Pyrex container filled with the stuff in my fridge as we speak, right alongside Tupperwares of leftover Sriracha chicken and Italian sausage pasta, all ready for the rest of my and Murdo's lunches for the week. I love when preparing a sack lunch is just that easy.
Here is what I love about this soup: It's healthy (there isn't even oil involved -- just simmer the veggies in a bit of broth to start), it's hearty, it's simple, and it's a different take on the usual chicken noodle soup (the brown rice and kale are really a welcome change). Yes, I'll be eating this soup all through March and well into spring.
Chicken and Brown Rice Soup (from Whole Foods)
I usually halve this recipe. I find that the rice absorbs a lot of the liquid by the end. I like my soup on the chunkier side, but if you like yours more soupy, add more broth or water once the rice is cooked.
8 cups chicken broth, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
3 medium carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cups water
1 cup brown rice
1 chicken breast, cut into cubes
1 bay leaf
1 bunch kale, thick stems removed and leaves torn into bite-sized pieces (spinach works, too)
Bring 1/2 cup broth to a simmer in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots and celery and cook until onion is translucent, 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add remaining broth, water, rice, chicken and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook about 35 minutes or until rice is tender and chicken is cooked through. Remove bay leaf and stir in kale. Continue cooking just until kale is wilted and tender, 3 to 5 minutes.