I made chicken marenga soup last night for supper; it is soooo cold
here right now, and soup is so good on a bitter cold night. Usually I
make chicken marenga soup out of leftover chicken marenga and leftover
New Orleans dirty rice, but I didn’t have that this time, so I made it
from scratch. It was pronounced better than the leftover kind by my
husband, so here is what I did:
2 c beef broth to a boil ; add 1 c brown rice, stir (I use my dutch
oven for the rice so I can finish the soup in it and have less pots to
wash); turn heat down to simmer and cover, cook for 30-40 minutes until
the liquid is absorbed. Take off heat (if the rice is not yet
completely tender, that is okay.)
While the rice is cooking,
saute 1 c each chopped onion, celery, green pepper, and mushrooms in a
little olive oil with 1-2 cloves minced garlic.
When the rice
is done, add the tender vegetables to the rice with 1 14 oz can crushed
or diced tomatoes, 1/8 t cayenne (or less; 1/8 t makes a very spicy
soup), 2 bay leaves, a sprinkling of tarragon, and salt and pepper.
Stir in 8 oz clam juice with 1 quart chicken broth and several cups
chunked cooked chicken.
(We buy whole chickens on sale; my husband
skins and bones them, and I cook the meat in a stock pot covered
with water until it is done. I strain the broth; chunk the chicken, and
freeze it together: one chicken chunked with 1 quart chicken broth. It
is the base for most of my chicken soups and casseroles.)
the soup until the rice has absorbed some of the liquid and is
completely tender; add more water if necessary while cooking;
salt and pepper to taste.
Usually New Orleans dirty rice is
thickened with flour, but I left the flour out. If you want a thicker
soup, stir a few tablespoons of flour into the vegetables when they
are done cooking and before they are added to the rice. This recipe
makes almost a full dutch oven of soup.