Turmeric and Ginger Rice Soup with Chicken

bowl of gluten free turmeric ginger rice soup

we first had rice soup for breakfast in chiang mai, thailand with a lady named we. before starting the day cooking with her, she fed us this beautifully simple and nourishing bowl of rice soup that kept us going for the rest of the afternoon. it made me wonder why I didn’t always have rice soup for breakfast since it’s super easy to make, eat, and heat up again for more than one occasion. toss a few eggs in for some added protein and you’re set for the day. her version had ground pork and chilis, but I’ll recreate that another time.

this version came about when reid called in sick one morning and we had leftover chicken and rice in the fridge. it’s basically a hybrid between chicken noodle soup and rice congee, just without the rice broken down too much. bonus: ginger and turmeric have natural immune boosting and anti-inflammatory properties which will help you fight off that nasty bug! whether for breakfast, lunch or dinner, ailment or not, I could literally eat this any time of day.

Serves 4


canola or avocado oil
1/2 onion, small diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium carrots, small diced
2 celery stalks, small diced
5 cilantro stems, rough chopped
1-inch ginger, sliced into thick pieces
1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tbsp. yellow curry paste (optional)
1/2 of a raw or cooked chicken (1 breast + 1 leg, or 2 legs - see instructions below)
1 L water
1 cup cooked rice
4 boiled eggs, sliced in 1/2 (boiled on high with 1/8 tsp. of baking soda in the water for 7 1/2 minutes, shocked in cold water and peeled)


thai basil, chopped or kept in sprigs
cilantro + green onions (weed), chopped
fried garlic (store bought)


Heat a dutch oven, pressure cooker or instant pot, to medium-high heat. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pot. Add onions, garlic, carrots, celery, cilantro stems, ginger, and turmeric, and sauté for 5 minutes at medium-low heat.

If using already cooked chicken, separate meat from bones. Add bones to the pot and fill with 1 L of water. Set meat aside in a bowl. If using raw chicken, add in whole pieces and fill with 1 L of water.

If cooking conventionally, bring liquid to a boil and turn down to a simmer. Cook for 1 hour. If using a pressure cooker or instant pot, cook at pressure for 20 minutes.

If using leftover chicken, once cooked, remove bones. Add in meat and cooked rice. If using whole chicken pieces from raw, remove chicken from the pot and separate the meat from the bones using 2 forks. Add the meat back into the broth and add cooked rice.

Ladle soup into a bowl and top with egg, thai basil, weed and fried garlic. Serve steaming hot.