All I could think of when I was going to bed last night was that I really needed to use up some of the leftover ingredients in the fridge soon, lol. So, that’s exactly what I set out to do the moment I opened my eyes this morning and here’s the result – delicious chicken and sausage rice soup! Absolutely perfect for a cold winter day! Enjoy!
Adapted from the Slow-Cooker Turkey and Wild Rice Soup in The Make-Ahead Cook cookbook
2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
1 packet sweet Italian sausage (5 sausages in a pack)
3 (smallish) onions, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, coarsely minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried thyme
8 cups water
3 tablespoons Better Than Bouillon Organic Roasted Chicken Base (Reduced Sodium)
2 carrots, cut into 1/4” pieces
3 celery ribs, cut into 1/4” pieces
2 bay leaves
8 to 9 chicken drumsticks
1 cup long-grain white rice
1/2 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)*
Salt and black pepper to taste
*Fish sauce is my secret ingredient – I find that just a little somehow brings all the flavors together perfectly. You can certainly omit it and just season with salt and pepper.
Place oil and sausages in a large Dutch oven or stockpot (8 quart). Cook over medium to medium-high heat until sausages are browned and cooked through, turning occasionally (there will be a lot of splatter, so keep the pot covered when not turning the sausages). Once cooked, remove sausages to a plate and set aside until needed.
To the remaining oil in the Dutch oven, add onions, garlic, tomato paste, and thyme, and sauté mixture over medium heat until onions are softened, stirring frequently. Then, stir in water, Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base, carrots, celery, bay leaves, and finally, gently add the chicken drumsticks. Increase heat to medium-high and bring the pot to a boil. Then, lower heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and tender. Remove chicken drumsticks to a plate and add rice to the broth. Adjust heat if necessary and simmer soup for another 20 minutes or until rice is cooked through. In the meantime, slice the sausages and shred chicken meat (discard chicken skin and bones) into bite-size pieces/chunks. Once rice is tender, remove bay leaves, stir in sausage and chicken and season soup with fish sauce (if using) and salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot/warm.