¾ cup, uncooked, short grain brown rice, farro or pearled barley
1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
8 cups low-sodium chicken stock
2 bay leaves
2 Tbsp olive oil
½ yellow onion, diced
2 large carrots, diced
2 pieces celery, with leaves, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly cracked pepper
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
3 large eggs
Parsley or dill for serving, optional
Cook the rice, farro or barley according to the instruction on the package, but with ¼ cup less water, so slightly al dente when finished.
In a large soup pot, heat the chicken stock over medium heat. Add the chicken breast and bay leaves and cover. Let simmer (lower heat if needed) for 20 minutes.
Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and cook for about 5 minutes, until softened and starting to turn golden. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper and cook for another minute.
Remove the chicken breast from the chicken stock and let cool slightly.
Add the rice, veggie mixture and the red pepper flakes to the chicken stock and keep covered on low heat.
In a deep measuring cup or bowl, use an emersion blender or electric mixer, with a whisk attachment, to whisk the lemon juice and eggs until frothy.
Add 2 tablespoons of the chicken stock to the lemon and egg mixture and stir by hand. Continue adding 2 tablespoons of chicken stock at a time to this mixture until it is very hot. This step is called “tempering” and will prevent the eggs from scrambling. Adding too much hot liquid at a time to the eggs will cause them to scramble
Once hot, pour this mixture back into the pot with the remaining chicken stock and stir gently to combine.
Shred the chicken with a fork and add to the pot and stir gently to combine. Remove the bay leaves. Adjust any seasoning to taste and serve with fresh parsley or dill sprinkled over the soup.