CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Tomato Chicken Rice Soup

Another day, another blizzard and below-zero wind chills. That’s the way it’s been this winter. So, there’s no better place to be than in the warmth of the kitchen, where you can create something that will make you forget about the weather, albeit for the time being.

And nothing says warm and fuzzy better than a pot of soup. This is my most recent foray into that realm, a tasty chicken and rice version that’s sure to stick to your ribs. The onion and green pepper give the soup a little extra flavor as does the smoked chicken that I used.

A bowl of this and you’ll be ready to out go and shovel or blow some snow. That is once the wind has died down.

Tomato Chicken Rice Soup
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
2 teaspoons canola oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups water
2 cans (14½ ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 cups cooked brown rice
2 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
1 14½ ounce can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
¾ teaspoon salt
In a small nonstick skillet, brown flour over medium-high heat; set aside. In a Dutch oven, saute the onion, green pepper, celery and green onions in oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in flour until blended. Stir in the remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Discard bay leaf.

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