This soup will warm you inside and out, and the aroma is to-die-for!
To a large stock pot or dutch oven, add the first 8 ingredients in order as listed. Bring the soup to a boil over medium-high heat.
Add the Spanish rice boxed mix, cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 25 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and let rest, covered, for 30 minutes to let the rice plump and the soup to slightly thicken.
Right before serving, add the half-and-half and bring back up to heat. Serve with tortilla chips.
Optional: Serve with sour cream, shredded cheese, chopped tomato and avocado