lemony chicken and orzo soup

November 25, 2013 § 79 Comments

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I am here to tell you this is the best chicken “noodle” soup I have ever had the pleasure of eating.  I actually made this soup twice last week.  Twice because after we finished the leftovers for lunch I could not stop thinking about it.  Three days later I set out to make a second batch.  And why not make it with your leftover turkey?

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This recipe came from Bon Appétit Magazine.  In my usual fashion I slightly modified the recipe.  Honestly, I never set out to change what appears to be an already perfected recipe.  It just so happens I am usually without a particular ingredient and it is easier to use an alternative rather than run out to the market.  In this case, the recipe called for a medium leek.  I had plenty of yellow onions on hand and knowing the end flavor would be different it was not enough to convince me to run out for leeks.    This soup is Mediterranean in flavor and as you would expect from this blog, very simple to prepare.  Remarkably delicious.

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For round two of the lemony chicken soup I decided to add carrots to the pot.  The carrots were wholesome, however, I preferred the soup to be somewhat sour from the lemon without the sweetness of the carrots.  Nevertheless, the flavor and comfort level was heavenly.  You cannot go wrong with either version.  And perhaps even top it with a little shaved Manchego cheese.

I n g r e d i e n t s

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil + a little for drizzling on top
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 3 celery stalks, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 pound boneless & skinless chicken thighs
  • 8 cups stock
  • sea salt & pepper
  • 3/4 cup orzo
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • Lemon halves (for serving)

M e t h o d

Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat.  Add onion and celery and cook, stirring often, until vegetables are soft, 5-8 minutes. Add chicken and stock.   Season with salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer until chicken is fully cooked, 15-20 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate.  Allow it cool enough to handle.   Shred chicken into bite-size pieces.
Meanwhile, return soup to a boil.  Add orzo and cook for 15-20 minutes.  Ladle into serving bowls.  Top with fresh dill, a drizzle of olive oil and a few squeezes of lemon.

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