This is a winter staple in our house. The concept evokes a rustic notion with its roughly chopped, few in number ingredients and meat-and-rice simplicity. But the french Herbs de Provence add a flavorful elegance that harmonizes the soup with subtle, yet interesting grace.
The original recipe was a gem I stumbled upon from one of my absolute favorite chefs, Giada de Laurentiis. I owe much of my cooking skills to her Everyday Italian show, which I watched during the formative years of my upbringing.
While most kids at 4pm were at sports practice, drama club or just hanging out socializing - I, as a homeschooler, steeped myself in episodes from the Food Network channel when my schoolwork was done. It was there that petite, beautiful Giada captured my heart with her non-Americanized (i.e., red-sauce-and-boxed-pasta), light and bright, exquisite Italian food.
As I’ve tweaked this soup over the years, I now add 3 herb essential oils that are already present in the Herbs de Provence to bring out the flavor even more.
This soup is amazing as leftovers- perfect for a cold fall, winter, or spring day. Keep the rice separate, and even add a little more chicken broth and essential oil drops the next day to stretch the remaining soup.