Yield
Serves 6
I find the smell of this soup alone soothing. I love the scent and flavor of thyme, and it is prominent here. I also love to taste the Spanish rice with every bite. Nurture yourself with this soup when you've come down with a cold. It makes you feel nourished, and it's just the right amount of food.

Ingredients

Spanish Rice:
 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped white onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • 3 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Soup:

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped onions
  • 1 cup peeled, cubed carrots
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped celery
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup cubed potatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 whole boneless chicken breast, cubed
  • 3 ears of corn, cut in half

Garnish:

  • 3/4 cup fresh Salsa (recipe follows)
  • 1 ripe avocado, cubed

Salsa:

  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves (about 1 bunch cilantro)
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup cubed red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
Instructions

To make the rice:Heat the olive oil in a big soup pot over low heat, add the onions, celery, carrots, tomatoes, and sauté, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the spices, rice, stock, and salt. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes.

To make the soup: Put the onions, carrots, and celery in the olive oil in a large sauté pan. Cook over low heat until they become limp. Add the stock, potatoes, thyme, bay leaf, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Add the chicken. Cook for 15 more minutes and add the corn. Continue to cook for 5 more minutes.

Put 2 tablespoons of rice into each of 6 soup bowls. Ladle 1-1/2 cups of soup into each bowl along with ½ ear of corn. Garnish with 2 tablespoons of salsa and 1 tablespoon of avocado.

Salsa

To make the salsa: Hold the cilantro under running water, making sure that all the dirt pours off. Pinch the leaves off the stems and put them in a small bowl with the remaining salsa ingredients, mixing with a spoon until everything is thoroughly melded. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until you are ready to use.

Adapted from The Healthy Kitchen: Recipes for a Better Body, Life and Spirit by Andrew Weil, M.D., and Rosie Daley (Alfred A. Knopf, 2002). Copyright 2002 by Andrew Weil, M.D. and Rosie Daley.