Hearty Chicken Soup with Rice and Kale

I’ve been going through this thing.

Hearty Chicken Soup with Rice and Kale

It’s called All the Bad Bacteria.

The bad bugs have infiltrated my holy temple like Cary Elwes storming the castle.            ^^^ Not the best reference to Princess Bride ever, but we’ll take what we can get.

Anyhoo, I’ve been sick for like a week. Which never happens. Not ever. Never.

I won’t bore you with the details of being plagued by the cold from hell in July, but I tell ya, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle if I haven’t been sipping on chicken soup with rice to calm my aches. < – Not the best use of the phrase “I’ll be a monkey’s uncle” ever, but we’ll take what we can get.

Hearty Chicken Soup with Rice and Kale

‘Tis true, I’ve been throwing myself sickly sicko pity parties in the form of hearty soup, sweet potato fries, twangy country music, and every single tea under the sun. Yes, I did say sweet potato fries. Which probably won’t make sense as a cold remedy until your hand, foot, chest, and eyeball disease causes you to throw yourself on the floor like a ragdoll and pound the carpet with your fist, moaning “whyyyy life, whyyyyy? I need sweet potato fries.” Not that that happened (it totally happened). But at that point, you’ll understand the sweet tater fry portion of the pity party.

Speaking of tea… this tea, this tea, this tea and this tea. My favorites.

Hearty Chicken Soup with Rice and Kale

This recipe is everything you need to nurse yourself back to health. Or keep yourself full and happy as a lark. It’s thick, cozy, hearty, and filling. It makes enough soup for an army. Or one sick person who has put herself on All the Bad Bacteria House Arrest and has determined the ONLY THING SHE SHALL EAT is chicken soup (and sweet potato fries) until ALL THE BAD BUGS have exited the premises.

Meaning it makes a lot of soup. And all of it is equally delicious.

Hearty Chicken Soup with Rice and Kale

I put hot sauce all up on this cozy train. The hot sauce added a nice little WOOP! and helped clear out the sinuses. I’d recommend you do the same.

Take back your life. Sip on chicken soup with rice in July.

Hearty Chicken Soup with Rice and Kale

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Author: Julia


  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed or olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion chopped
  • 2 large carrots peeled and chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1-1/4 cup brown rice uncooked
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
  • 2 quarts + 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 zucchini squash chopped
  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breast chopped
  • 1 leaves head kale stems removed, roughly chopped


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium high and sauté the onion until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add carrot, garlic, and rice, oregano, basil, cumin and salt. Sauté, stirring occasionally for 8 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken broth and bring to a full boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes.
  4. Add the zucchini, chicken, and chopped kale leaves and cover the pot again. It will be very full, but the kale will cook down. Continue cooking until chicken and veggies are cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  5. Serve heaping bowls of soup with your favorite hot sauce.


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  1. Ann

    I must say thank you for this post. My son has been any mother nightmare. He refused to eat most things his siblings loved. However if I put it in soup he ate it! Today at 20 he isn’t much better! So we eat lots of soup and stew. Spanish, kale, and other dark greens have been snuck in.

    1. Julia Post author

      You’re very welcome, Ann! I love putting kale in all sorts of dishes and I find it goes really well in soup! Good luck injecting the greens into your son, and thanks for the sweet note!

  2. Kelly

    Being sick is no fun, I hope you feel better soon. My son got sick a few days ago too and this soup sounds perfect to try to kick the bug in the butt since nothing else seems to be working.

  3. Julie

    Summer colds suck hind…well, I hate them. That’s all I’ll say about that. I hope you get to feeling better. Better now than when you might make a trip somewhere…just saying. Meanwhile, sippity suppity the soup and healing vibes coming over the Rockies to you. xoxo

  4. Monet

    Summer colds are the worse! Sending healing thoughts your way! Have you tried elderberry before? It’s a lifesaver for me. And of course, there’s nothing like a good pot of soup. Beautiful!

  5. Allison

    Ohhh I’m sorry about your bug. Being sick is the worst… but if you get to eat soup like this, it’s maybe a silver lining? Probably not, but the soup is just so darn gorgeous, I bet it makes you feel better at least momentarily. Sending get well wishes! 🙂

  6. Joanne

    I totally understand the sweet potato fry thing. I mean, those are basically LAST MEAL kind of foods!

    Also, soup. i hope it’s working miracles on your bad bacteria!

  7. Michelle

    Just to clarify…do you cook the chicken in the broth, or cook it beforehand? Going to make this tonight! Thanks for the recipe 🙂

    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Michelle, I’m so glad you’re trying the soup! I chopped up the chicken while it was raw and added it in the soup raw 🙂 Let me know if you have any other questions, and I hope you enjoy! 😀

      1. Michelle

        So delicious, Julia! It was perfect for a cozy evening and full of flavor…a little sriracha made it even better 🙂 Thanks!

  8. Danah

    I found your recipe on Pinterest while on the hunt for a “chicken, kale, rice soup”. I no longer need to look anywhere else! This was absolutely delicious and just what I was looking to make on a cool Autumn night. I didn’t have oregano on hand but it was still incredible and I omitted the hot sauce (although I will definitely add sriracha next time!). I also added white beans for some more heartiness!

    Thank you for posting!

    Danah ❤ Panache Offblast

  9. Karen Wilkins

    Hi there… I’m going to make this for some volunteers. I see that it serves 8 people – how many ounces for each serving? I’m making for 85 people. 🙂 Thank you.

  10. Bonnie M.

    This is 2020 and I just made your Hearty Chicken Soup recipe, which was delicious! Thank you for this yummy and easy dish ?


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