Cure-All Chicken Soup
A Simply Made Comfort Food
In the book, "CHEAP. FAST. GOOD!," Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross show readers how to save money while making quick, delicious meals. Packed with over 250 quick and easy recipes, this is the definitive guide to not only cooking smart but shopping smart, too. This is the book you'll want to own if you want to save money in the kitchen.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, $107.70 is the absolute bottom line for a family of four to spend per week and still get a nutritionally balanced diet. This might not sound hard until you consider that's only $14.29 per day -- for four people. Mills and Ross undertook the challenge of feeding their own families of four on $100 a week. Their experiment will show you that this is difficult yet possible, given a little creativity.
The bottom line is you don't have to sacrifice delicious meals while trying to stick to a budget.
Bring two cups lightly salted water to a boil in a two-quart saucepan.
While the water is heating, if the chicken is frozen, run it under hot water so you can remove the packaging. Place the chicken on a microwave-safe plate and microwave, uncovered, on high power for two minutes to partially defrost it.
When the water comes to a boil, add the rice, stir, and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pan and simmer until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a four-quart or larger Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Peel the onion and finely chop it, adding it to the pot as you chop.
Cut the partially defrosted or fresh chicken into bite-size pieces, adding them to the pot as you cut.
When all of the chicken is in the pot, raise the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring, until the chicken is almost cooked through, about four minutes.
Peel and coarsely chop the carrots, adding them to the pot as you chop. Coarsely dice the celery, adding it to the pot as you dice. Add the garlic and ginger to the pot. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the celery is crisp-tender, about two minutes.
Add the broth to the pot, raise the heat to high, and bring the soup to a boil. Then reduce the heat to medium and cook at a moderate boil to combine the flavors, five minutes. Season with black pepper. To serve, spoon some rice into each bowl and top it with the soup.