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Chicken & Rice Soup

['low-sodium chicken broth 4 cups (32 fl oz/1 l)', 'long-grain white rice 1/3 cup (21/2 oz/75 g)', 'skinless, boneless chicken breast halves 2', 'carrot 1, peeled and diced', 'celery 1 stalk, diced', 'frozen peas 1 cup (5 oz/155 g)', 'garlic 1 clove, sliced', 'thyme, dill, or parsley 1/2 teaspoon dried or 1 teaspoon minced fresh', 'salt and ground pepper', 'fresh lemon juice (optional)']

Combine the broth, rice, and 2 cups (16 fl oz/500 ml) water in a saucepan. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil. Add the chicken to the saucepan and reduce the heat to low. Simmer the chicken, uncovered, until cooked through, 10-12 minutes. Using tongs, lift the chicken pieces out of the broth and put them on a plate. Set aside to cool.
Stir the carrot, celery, peas, garlic, and thyme into the saucepan. Raise the heat to medium and cook until the vegetables are softened and the rice is tender but not mushy, about 10 minutes. Taste the broth and season with salt and pepper to taste and a squeeze or two of lemon juice, if using.
Shred the chicken or cut it into bite-sized pieces and add it back to the simmering soup. Cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.
Ladle servings of the soup into insulated containers as needed and close tightly to keep warm. Don't forget to pack a spoon! (Let any remaining soup cool, then cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze in individual portions for up to 4 months.)

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