Soups aren't regularly eaten in the Middle East except during the holy month of Ramadan where they are part of the breaking of the fast.Here is a simple Middle Eastern recipe for chicken soup which uses leftover rice.
2 1/2 lbs. skinless chicken strips
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2-3" cinnamon sticks
1 Tbsp. cardamom, ground
2 tsp. salt, more if needed
1/2 tsp. white pepper
2 bay leaves
1 c leftover basmati rice , or any rice
fresh cilantro,finely chopped, for garnish
- Combine chicken, onions,cinnamon sticks,cardamom, salt, pepper, and bay leaves with 9 cups water in a pot and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Reduce heat to medium and cover the pot and keep cooking for another 40 minutes.
- Remove pot from heat.Remove chicken with a slotted spoon and set it aside until cool enough to handle.
- Strain soup into another pot using a mesh strainer.Discard spices and onion mixture.
- Once chicken has cooled, gently tear into shreds and add to soup pot along with the leftover rice.
- Keep cooking for another 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Season with more salt, if desired and garnish with chopped cilantro.