Chicken and Orzo Soup (Sarah’s Soul-Warming Soup)

Hello! Wow, it has been 2 weeks?!?! Sorry for my absence – it has been an interesting two weeks. I had to finish studying for school-wide prelim exam and everything else was put to the side as my exam date closed in. The week and half after my exam…well I have been trying to catch up on everything from housework (it is amazing the amount of laundry that can pile up in a week) to work. The good thing though I can start on my dissertation now and will be able to post more recipes, more often..YAY!

I am in the process of finding the perfect whole wheat sandwich bread and tweaking a couple of recipes I have tried a few different ways. All of which I will share soon.

Today though, I share one of my all-time favorite soups. Why? 1) It is fall, time for soup and homemade bread and 2) It is raining here today (which just made me think of the Counting Crows song “Raining in Baltimore” which now I have to go play before I finish this post)and by raining I mean pouring down rain which is supposed to go on all day. So I see this as a good day to get a lot of work done, inside that is 😉

This soup literally warms my soul. I could sit over the bowl of soup and inhale all day, there is something about the smell that is calming. This could be 1) the ingredients in it or 2) one of my dear friends, Sarah introduced me to this recipe last year when I was staying with her. We made this soup together and it always makes me think of her.

I have made this soup a lot over the past year, thinking I would freeze some but it never makes it to the freezer – we eat it all up. I have varied the ingredients and it is a very flexible recipe. So make this for your family, for a friend who needs a little soul-warming, or for you on a cold, rainy autumn day.

Sarah’s Soul-Warming Soup aka Chicken and Orzo Soup

2 32-ounce containers of chicken-stock or broth (8 cups)
4 cups water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound chicken tenders or breasts cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons chopped fresh time
1 bay leaf
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped or grated
1/2 pound mushroom caps, quartered
Salt and pepper
1 cup orzo pasta
2 cups arugula or spinach (fresh), chopped
1 cup fresh basil leaves, shredded or torn
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
Grated parmesan cheese

1. In a large stock pot add the olive oil and heat over medium-high heat.
2. Add chicken and cook stirring until browned (About 5 minutes)
3. Add thyme and bay leaf, then stir in onion, carrot, and mushroom caps.
4. Season with salt and pepper (remember you can add more later)
5. Cover the pan and cook, until vegetables are tender (about 10 minutes)
6. Add stock/broth and water; bring to a boil.
7. Stir in the orzo and cook until al dente (about 8 minutes)
8. Discard the bay leaf
9. Remove from heat, add arugula/spinach and basil to wilt.
10. Add lemon peel, season with salt and pepper.
Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese.


Lindsay Lou

Source: Adapted from Everyday with Rachel Ray

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