Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice Soup – Warming, comforting chicken and rice soup with a salsa verde twist! This is the perfect meal for cold days or when you’re feeling under the weather.
Perhaps the best part (other than getting to tuck into a sweater or blanket at the end of the day) is that it’s really, finally, truly soup season.
This salsa verde chicken and rice soup is such a glorious way to celebrate. It’s soothing, smells amazing, and is packed with flavor.
This is a great way to clean out the fridge a little bit. For instance..
- We picked up a rotisserie chicken and used half the meat for dinner one night with roasted sweet potatoes and I tossed the other half into this soup.
- You can also easily use leftover rice if you’ve already got some cooked.
- I made homemade salsa for this batch, but store-bought salsa verde works really well.
- Canned beans keep things simple and easy and fill the soup out a bit more. (I got the Sprouts brand ones)
- This is a great way to use up the last of a bunch of cilantro and the last of the bag of spinach I had in my refrigerator (super greens or kale would also work well).
The soup is full-bodied enough that I don’t think it particularly needs an extra dipper, but I’ll happily include one if it means my kids will try the soup!
Notes on the Recipe:
Adapting for your dietary needs. This could easily be a paleo soup. Simple omit the rice and beans and add a bit more chicken and an extra handful of spinach and top it with diced avocado (so good!). You could also skip the chicken and add extra beans for a vegan version!
Make your own salsa! I made my own salsa for the batch I photographed. I drained two 15oz cans tomatillos, added 1 jalapeño (it was a mild one), 3/4 cup cilantro, half an onion, 2 cloves garlic, and a hefty pinch of salt. Pureed until smooth in a blender. It was amazing and added so much flavor to the soup.
Or not. Storebought is great! Storebought works great for this as well, so don’t feel like you have to complicate things unnecessarily if you’re strapped for time. The salsa adds a lot of the flavor for the soup, so do try to use a yummy one!
Kick up the nutrients! You can substitute cooked quinoa or brown rice in place of the white rice in this soup without any trouble at all for some added protein and fiber.
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- 4-6 cups chicken broth (or water)
- 3 cups cooked chicken
- 2 cups salsa verde (see notes for a homemade version)
- 2 cups spinach (can also use kale or super greens)
- 1-1/2 cups cooked rice (can sub brown rice or quinoa)
- 1 (14oz) can great northern beans, drained
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/4-1/2 cup cilantro, minced
For optional seasoned tortilla strips:
- 6 corn tortillas
- olive oil
- optional: 1 tsp taco seasoning or 1/4 tsp each cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, and chipotle chili powder
- Place all ingredients except cilantro in a large soup pot and bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer 10-15 minutes, or until greens are wilted and soup is cooked through. Add cilantro just before serving.
To make tortilla strips:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush one side of the tortillas with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and taco seasoning/spices (if using). Slice into thin strips and place on a baking sheet.
- Bake 10-20 minutes, or until crispy. Enjoy!
For a simple homemade salsa verde (this makes just as much as you need):
2 (15oz) cans tomatillos, drained
2 cloves garlic
1/2-1 cup cilantro
hefty pinch salt
Directions: Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.