chicken, veggie and rice soup/stoup

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chicken, veggie & rice soup/stoup | movita beaucoup

I’ve been meaning to give you a baking school update, but going to school full time whilst still working part time is a combination that makes you feel like crud. I’m up at about 5 am each morning, and then I’m at school for the day (sweating, crying, etc.). In the afternoon, I head home to do homework/study, or I’m off to work. Saturday is spent at the studio teaching, which means the list of things to accomplish on Sundays is absolutely ridiculous. I’m totally wiped. Chores have been neglected, lists have been made and left untouched. I wear the same four outfits repeatedly, and all involve yoga pants. Our house looks like a biker gang has moved in.

But since it’s been weeks, I will give you a little really long update. I didn’t want you to think I’d been sucked into a 60 quart mixer and maimed by a dough hook. So, here’s how things are going down at school: we work in teams, and we rotate through different stations – or, areas of trauma. When I arrive at school in the morning, I usually feel like barfing. I’m assuming this will go away one day – perhaps the week of graduation. Also, when my chef instructor says, “this is going to be fun,” I know that it will not, in fact, be fun.

chicken, veggie & rice soup/stoup | movita beaucoup

Let’s break down the past few weeks, shall we?

Week 5: a crap-load of stuff made with pumpkin. This was the week leading into Canadian Thanksgiving, so there were apple pies and pumpkin pies – a bazillion of ’em – which meant lots of pie crusts. My first attempt at pie crust in the previous week was so pathetic, that it became the standard for worst pie to beat. But it’s also the first time I can remember my chef instructor laughing that hard, so that’s something. Week 5, combined with 4.5 million blog posts about pumpkin-anything on the interwebs, has created such an aversion to pumpkin that the mere sight of it makes me feel like I’m gunna greet my guts.

Week 6: Bakery Outlet. My program runs a bakery outlet on campus to help us get some real-world experience – the products we make in the kitchen are sold in there. Part of our program is business based – we learn about the basics in customer service, marketing, running a bakery, etc. We also take a course in entrepreneurship, so by the time we leave, we will have a business plan in hand. It’s pretty cool. Week 6 was also my first week with a new team. There are three of us (making us the smallest team in the class). We span three generations – our youngest team member is 20, I am 40, and the oldest is 62. My teammates are both dudes. I like to think of myself as the rose between two thorns. I doubt my teammates would agree.

chicken, veggie & rice soup/stoup | movita beaucoup

Week 7: European Breads. French baguettes, pain de campagne, pain d’epi, Italian loaves, French loaves, fougasse. Turns out baguettes are not easy to roll – baguettes are bastards. There was another batch of dough turned black, but it wasn’t me this time. And there was a disastrous day – a day when we failed as a team, and completely fell apart. This, invariably, happens. As soon as I feel confident about something at school – anything – it is immediately followed by a colossal failure. On the plus side, there was a food drive victory – thanks in part to you. Some of you even called in cash donations! I was amazed by your generosity, and will be forever grateful. We got some people fed – people who hadn’t been fed in days. In fact, I’m still collecting food – because there are still hungry people, and because when you’ve had a bad day in the kitchen, it’s nice to remember that things could be worse.

Week 8: North American Breads. Whole wheat, raisin, cheese, and kaiser. Kaiser doesn’t sound very North American to me, but I’ve learned to stop questioning these things. This was supposed to be the easy station, because we’ve got the most experience in this area. And for the most part, my team did well. This was the week that I learned that there are “no dumb questions.” And also, “that’s a dumb question, you should know that by now.” So… there was confusion.

chicken, veggie & rice soup/stoup | movita beaucoup

Week 9: Quick Breads. Cinnamon rolls, country tea biscuits, morning glory muffins and French apple pies. One of the most dreaded stations in the rotation – and not just because morning glory muffins have raisins and pineapple in ’em. I know what you’re thinking: what’s so hard about muffins and stuff? Well, let me tell you: when you go to baking school, your ability to think for yourself, utilize common sense, and draw on past experience completely leaves your body. You lack confidence, and you start second guessing everything. So, a country tea biscuit could be on fire, and you might find yourself standing beside your chef instructor asking, “do you think that biscuit is done?” But I guess that’s okay because there are no dumb questions. (Unless your question is dumb.)

So, there you have it. An update. And now, some soup. Because soup is basically what I’m living on these days. This chicken soup might be considered a stoup – because there’s lots in it, and it’s quite hearty as a result. There are veggies in there to make you smarter. Chicken to release the serotonin you so desperately need. And it is easily adapted to help you get rid of whatever that bike gang left in your veggie crisper.

This week I hit the final station in our first rotation: cakes. The most feared station of all. Wish me luck…

chicken, veggie & rice soup/stoup | movita beaucoup

. . .

Chicken, Veggie and Rice Soup/Stoup – print and make

Serves 6-8 people, depending on serving size.

  • 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil (for cooking the chicken)
  • 2-3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 2-3 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 medium sized zucchini, chopped
  • 2 x 900 ml. boxes (roughly 7.5 cups) sodium reduced chicken broth
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 3/4 cup rice
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1-2 cups frozen cauliflower pieces

NOTES: this recipe adapts easily to fresh or frozen vegetables. Put fresh veggies of your choice in at the beginning of the cooking process (as indicated below), and add any frozen veggies in the last 20-30 minutes of cooking time. This recipe requires a large Dutch oven or soup pot. 

In a large Dutch oven, over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil and begin to cook the chicken pieces. After about 3-4 minutes, add the celery, onions, carrots, garlic, tomatoes and zucchini. Cook until the veggies have softened a little (about 5-7 minutes).

Add the chicken broth, wine, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and thyme. Reduce the heat to low, cover and let simmer for at least an hour.

After at least an hour of simmering, add the rice, frozen corn, peas and cauliflower. Allow to cook for an additional 20-30 minutes – the cooking time will vary depending on the sort of rice you are using. For example, I like to use brown rice, and this takes longer to cook than white rice. Be sure to check the doneness of the rice before serving.


  1. juanitascocina on November 5, 2012 at 8:02 am

    You’re right. Kaiser doesn’t really sound North American.

    You could ask about that one, but maybe it’s a dumb question? I’ll ask for you and get back to you.

    • movita beaucoup on November 10, 2012 at 11:01 pm

      Um, I’m pretty sure it would be considered a dumb question.


      But lemme know what you find out…

  2. musingmar on November 5, 2012 at 8:25 am

    Your soup sounds and looks so hearty and delicious.

    School and working … No wonder there’s not a lot of time for blogging. Even so, l think of you often and turn to your blog frequently when I’m looking for ideas. Baking school sounds gruelling, but know that you have devoted blog groupies cheering you on!

    • movita beaucoup on November 10, 2012 at 11:03 pm

      I’m feeling the love! And whenever I think, hells no, I can’t do that – I remember that you’ll all kick my butt if I give up…

  3. Molly @WonderlandK on November 5, 2012 at 8:58 am

    Keep brave and hold tight to your rockin’ sense of humor. I still get nauseous when I walk into a music school, and I haven’t actually studied anything or taken an audition in a decade. The fact that you’re out there doing this in spite of all the crap is very inspiring.

    • movita beaucoup on November 12, 2012 at 8:46 am

      Thanks, Molly! One day, when I open my bakery, I will put you in charge of all the music. Please don’t barf on any of my products.

  4. Stephanie Barnhart on November 5, 2012 at 9:57 am

    If it makes you feel better, I once burned up powdered soap instead of whatever chemical we were supposed to burn in chemistry class. I became the laughing stock of not only my class, but of all of the classes that particular teacher taught. It sucks being the worst standard. Hang in there, and know that we’re all rooting for you!!!!!

    • movita beaucoup on November 12, 2012 at 8:46 am

      Stephanie, chemical disasters seem way worse than anything I could do with a little flour, so thanks for that!! xox

  5. mellissa@ibreatheimhungry on November 5, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    I can’t believe you are going into your 10th week already – it feels like you just started! To me anyway… To you it probably feels like an eternity of torment! Go rock the cakes!

    • movita beaucoup on November 10, 2012 at 11:03 pm

      I rocked the cakes.

      Because you told me to.

  6. Lan | angry asian on November 5, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    how are you even able to maintain?! you are amazing to update us on what is going on with you, take care of you!

    i do hope you take instagram pix of your week with cakes!

    • movita beaucoup on November 12, 2012 at 8:49 am

      Thanks, Lan! Our house looks worse every day, but I’m going with “blogging is more important.” We’re starting gingerbread structures this week, so I’ll try to instagram the crap outta them…

  7. spree on November 5, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Sweet pea, how could you possibly fear cake?! You’ve already attained star status in that department! you rock at cakes and cakelets and such! (well you rock at just about everything.) and i’m starting to feel just the teeniest bit of hostility towards any school that could take Movita’s well-deserved confidence away. thinking of you, wishing you such goodness, and wishing i could clean your house and make you some soup. xx

    • movita beaucoup on November 12, 2012 at 8:52 am

      Oddly enough, despite the stress, I still LOVE BAKING SCHOOL! And guess what? The cakes went amazingly well. I hardly looked like a doofus at all… Thanks for the well wishes – they must have worked!

  8. Juls on November 5, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    “let me tell you: when you go to baking school, your ability to think for yourself, utilize common sense, and draw on past experience completely leaves your body. You lack confidence, and you start second guessing everything.”
    Oh I hear you, I have never ever, ever stressed over making a goddamn stock before and now I am basically crying over them because, apparently, I suck at stocks. And I’m exhausted despite not having a part time job and living with my parents for the time being (so no cleaning up after Vinnie/cats!) so you must be SHATTERED. HOW THE HELL DID YOU MANAGE TO RUN A PUMPKIN COMPETITION IN AMID THIS CHAOS?!
    I really look forward to your posts, I like to read your across the pond experiences and feel like a team. A team that has never met, but a team with a mutual appreciation for cats and food that both have a phobia of peeing infront of others. Both of us by the end of our school years will be totally awesomely awesome. (I hope…)

    • movita beaucoup on November 12, 2012 at 8:56 am

      Why does culinary school make us so damn stupid? Sigh.

      We would make an AWESOME team. One day, when I open my bakery, you and Vinnie will come for the grand opening. You can make stock. And double check the locks on the bathroom doors.

      • Juls on November 12, 2012 at 10:22 am

        Vinnie might eat everything (and not put on any weight because he’s a bastard) so you might regret that. I would deck the cats out in all their finery and they would pose with doughnuts

  9. Amy @ Elephant Eats on November 5, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    What a great update! Sounds like you’ve been super busy in school. I’m pretty jealous…I think I’d rather be in baking school than going to my job every day. Even with your “disasters” (which probably weren’t as bad as you think), it sounds fun though stressful at times.

    This soup sounds like a great way to warm up and relax after a day of working hard! Love how chunky it is 🙂

    • movita beaucoup on November 12, 2012 at 8:58 am

      Baking school IS fun! Funny how despite the nausea every morning, I miss it when I’m not there on the weekends. Plus, I figure I’m getting smarter. Even if it doesn’t show yet…


  10. Chocolate Chilli Mango® on November 6, 2012 at 12:38 am

    Oh I’m not standing by, or OK I’m sitting, but I’m not sitting by while you fall apart over this baking school gig you were so excited about!
    Calm down, woman!! Sure, you’ve got a couple of dudes for a team but walk into each class with confidence. You can bake, sweet girl, so go forth and maketh with the yeasting and folding, and whipping and production of the sweet things you love 🙂

    That soup looks lovely and invitingly delicious too … a great post, great recipe

    and maybe take a seat even further back at work so you don’t stress so much <3

  11. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen on November 6, 2012 at 1:11 am

    Wow.. I’m just always impressed when I read about what goes on at your school. I forget it is “school” and not just “fun pretend school” so you have tests?? Or certain skills to demonstrate? You’re so brave and talented, I’m in awe of you!! I get overwhelmed just reading what you are doing!! Take care of yourself, this chicken soup will keep you super healthy, I think!! xx You will Rock.That.Cake.Round!!

    • movita beaucoup on November 12, 2012 at 9:06 am

      We have tests/assignments in our academic classes (baking theory, communications) and practical tests for baking. We get marked on a lot of other stuff too. We get marked for team work, and as individuals on each product we pump out. So far, so good!

      (And I basically rocked the cakes. Yippie!)

  12. emma on November 6, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Hey! I have a business plan in hand!!

    That right there was a clue about New Venture, which I for reals will unveil super soon. Thought I’d throw you a bone since you’re all down on yourself about cakes and stuff. xo.

    • movita beaucoup on November 12, 2012 at 9:03 am

      WHAT?! And: stop teasing me and give me the mother freakin’ deets!!

  13. thursday things | wee eats on November 8, 2012 at 7:47 am

    […] I do get sick, I’m pretty sure this soup from Motiva Beaucoup will easily nurse me back to health.  It looks so good I might just make it […]

  14. wendy@chezchloe on November 12, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    I’m exhausted just reading. You must have a color coded calendar to keep up. Impressive.
    You present so many beautiful things in your blog. You are just having to redefine your natural instincts and abilities. And your effing fantastic sense of humor will get you through. Does school go to the end of June? cheers….w

  15. semiswede on November 12, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    It has taken me a while to get around to reading this, but it was worth the wait. Thanks for the chuckle, as always.

  16. Eggton on November 12, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    I can’t wait until you release your memoir entitled “Do You Think That Biscuit Is Done?” with a photograph of a flaming biscuit underneath. Also, consider naming your bakery “The Flaming Biscuit.” Very catchy.

  17. movita beaucoup on December 27, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    Comments on this post are now closed as it was published in November 2012.