Everything I do revolves around eating.

Happy? Eat. Sad? Eat. Hungry? Well, yes I eat, but hungry for me is an emotion. It’s feels like sad and happy mixed together: Stomach empty = sad, but I get to eat soon, so = happy. My life always leads me back to the table.

So when I get sick, of course, something delicious always makes me feel better. My husband was digging through some old cook books, and found a recipe for Canja de Gallina, which is a Spanish chicken and rice soup flavored with lemon and mint. Canja is known for its curative properties, and is many time served to children and families when they feel poorly.  I thought this was a great recipe to share with you, especially during these chilly pre-Spring months.

Congee is a rice porridge that has been popular in Asia since time immemorial. The starchy rice makes it easily digestible, therefore it is served to children, and many times served as breakfast. The Spanish word canja is derived from the word congee, so you know this recipe originated in the Orient, and made its way westward to the Iberian Peninsula centuries ago. But in every country, both congee and canja are touted for their ability to restore vitality and good health.

Canja de Gallina Will Do Your Body Good

Our Canja de Gallina recipe is a bit more fortified that a simple congee rice gruel. Onions (prevents infections), garlic (anti-fungal, anti-bacterial), mint (promotes good digestion) and lemon (Vitamin C) deliver not only soothing flavors, but each ingredient is credited with its own homeopathic benefit. And by including the cold-clobbering component of chicken broth, Canja de Gallina may be your best weapon of choice against the common cold.

Hopefully, a bowlful of hot soup will lead you back to health, but happily, Canja de Gallina will definitely lead you back to the table.


Canja de Gallina (Chicken & Rice Soup Flavored with Mint & Lemon)

  • Yield: 2


  • 1 quart chicken stock (1lt)
  • ¼ cup uncooked white rice (46gr)
  • ½ cup shredded cooked chicken (2oz / 62gr)
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh mint, minced
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges


  1. Pour the chicken stock into a 2qt/2lt saucepan, and bring to a simmer.
  2. Add the uncooked rice, cover, and allow to cook for 20 minutes, until the rice is tender.
  3. Add the cooked chicken, and allow to heat through, about 2 minutes.
  4. Serve the soup immediately, garnished with fresh mint, with lemon wedges on the side.



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