Like many recipes that we love, the credit for this one belongs to someone else; this time, my mother-in-law. One of the first times we visited my husband’s family after going dairy and soy free, we arrived with nasty head colds. Thankfully my mother-in-law was already prepared with the perfect meal.

She had cooked chicken and rice, and served them with broth. My father-in-law had made a spicy Pico de Gallo to top it, along with sliced avocados. We joked that the Pico was on the extremely hot side, but it ended up being the perfect remedy for our colds. Aside from the fact that spice really cleared us out, the soup was absolutely delicious.


I loved the simplicity and fresh flavor, and that I never felt like it was missing anything like cheese. This is now one of our favorite meals for any occasion from sick days to hosting company for dinner. I think the best part of serving this to a group is that everyone can assemble it based on their specific tastes. Plus, soup is always great food in the winter, but I think this is light enough for a summer meal, too.



Tex-Mex Chicken and Rice Soup (Serves 4-6)

4-6 cups Cooked Rice

Chicken and Broth (see below)

Pico de Gallo (see below)

2 diced fresh avocados



Pico de Gallo

3 plum tomatoes, chopped

1 medium red onion, diced

1 fresh jalapeño, seeds and stem removed, finely chopped

3 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

Juice of 1 fresh lime


  1. Combine tomato, onion, jalapeno, and cilantro.
  2. Squeeze lime juice over mixture and stir.


Serve immediately or store in fridge for a few days.


Note: The spice level of fresh peppers can vary greatly. I recommend testing the spice level of your jalapeño before adding it. We also like to add a moderate amount to the Pico, and reserve some in a separate dish. This allows people to adjust spice to individual taste.



Chicken and Broth

4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts

6 c water

¼ tsp cumin

¼ tsp chili powder

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

2 c chicken broth



  1. Put chicken and water in a large stock pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and boil gently. After a few minutes, a layer of foam will develop on the surface of the water. Skim this off with a spoon and discard.
  2. After removing foam, add cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Stir and continue cooking until chicken is cooked through. Total cooking time should be about 25 minutes.
  3. Remove the chicken to a cutting board and cool slightly so that it can be handled. Chop to desired size and add back to the pot, add broth, and heat through. Taste and adjust spice level to taste.



To serve soup, place a scoop of cooked rice into each bowl. Spoon both and chicken over the rice. Serve with Pico and chopped avocados – we like to have these on the table to allow guests to serve themselves. We call it “soup, some assembly required.”


For storing leftovers, keep avocados and Pico separate so that the soup, rice, and chicken can be heated.




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