This soup was a part of my collective food memories well before I had even worked behind a stove. Both my Brazilian and Sicilian ancestors believed in the power of chicken and rice soup, so as a kid, if I was feeling punkish, this is what I got. If I was REALLY sick, I had this soup without the veggies and chicken – just broth and either rice or pastina (itty bitty italian pasta as small as grains of rice). To this day, if I need a comforting meal, I make a pot of this recipe for canja or some Italian Chicken Soup.
The beauty of this soup is that it’s 100% made from scratch, all with ingredients lying around the kitchen. Sure, it takes a little longer than cracking a can of Progresso, but the resulting soup is like a giant hug. Last time I checked, canned soups weren’t passing out hugs. I’ve detailed the recipe below as if you were making it without any leftovers, but know that I rarely actually make it this way. Typically, I save the bones and leftover meat from a Roast Chicken night and use that as the basis of my stock. Also, rather than simmering uncooked rice in the stock, I toss in a carton of leftover steamed white rice from Chinese/Thai/Vietnamese takeout. If you want to learn more about my perfect tricks for stock, take a look at this. Continue reading Chicken and Rice Soup (Canja)