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Toasted Orzo Chicken Soup | www.tasteandtellblog.com

Is anyone else as tired of the winter as I am? I’m usually ok until after Christmas, but then I start itching for Spring. And this winter hasn’t even seemed that cold to me – but it’s just dreary and drab every day. I could use some sunshine!!

But the thing I do love about winter is the fact that we can eat lots of soup. (Not that warm weather stops me from eating soup…) One day last week, I was tired of the chilly weather, and craving something that was full of veggies. And this soup recipe popped right out at me. I’ll admit, I liked it just ok the night I made it, but once it sat overnight – the leftovers were fantastic! Even though the pasta has soaked up a lot of the liquid, but still – it was great as leftovers. And I totally forgot to add the parsley and lemon peel at the end, and from reading other reviews online, I really wish I wouldn’t have forgotten that step. But this may be making another appearance on my table, because most of these ingredients are pantry staples for me. Perfect for a night when I don’t have anything else planned on the menu!

Toasted Orzo Chicken Soup
from Every Day with Rachael Ray February 2010

Serves 4

Total cooking time: about 30 minutes

One 32-ounce container (4 cups) chicken stock
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup orzo pasta
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small zucchini, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 shallots or 1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
salt and pepper
1 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

In a medium pot, bring the chicken stock and chicken to a simmer. Lower the heat and poach the chicken for 12 minutes.

Heat a dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add the butter to melt. Add the orzo and cook, stirring, until deeply toasted, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add the EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, to the dutch oven. Add the zucchini, carrot, bell pepper, shallots and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, 7 to 8 minutes. Return the orzo to the pot.

Remove the chicken from the stock. Skim and discard the fat from the stock; transfer the stock to the dutch oven. Chop, dice or shred the chicken and add to the soup with 2 cups water. Bring the soup to a boil and cook until the orzo is just tender, 5 minutes. Add the peas during the last minute of cooking. Turn off the heat; stir in the parsley and lemon peel. Serve immediately.

Others who have made this recipe:

Soup’s On
Pots & Pins
Walkin’ on Sunshine

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14 Responses to Toasted Orzo Chicken Soup

  1. Sophie says:

    I am so ready for sunshine! And some of this soup… but I'm the type that still enjoys soup in the summer, so I'm still ready for warmer weather :).

    Lemon peel in soup, that sounds so cool. So far I've only used a squeeze of lime.

  2. Tessa says:

    Looks wonderful! I agree. Soup is always great – but especially when it's chilly! Thanks for the reicpe.

  3. Sook says:

    I haven't tried using orzo in soup! Sounds amazing.

  4. Kim says:

    I like the idea of toasting the orzo (which is one of my favorite pasta shapes). Looks great!

  5. Valerie says:

    Looks so pretty with all those colors in it. I have orzo so I might be able to try this soon.

  6. teresa says:

    i'm SO ready for spring. feb is one of the hardest months of the year, in my opinion! this looks like the perfect soup to warm bodies and spirits.

  7. kat says:

    Interesting idea to toast the orzo. We are in the midst of another 10 inches of snow, I am so ready for spring

  8. How To Eat A Cupcake says:

    Mmmm looks OH so delicious! 🙂

  9. Katerina says:

    I love orzo, but I never cook with it, thanks for the reminder.

    Soup does tend to get better the next day!

  10. bridezillabakes says:

    Winter hasn't seemed too cold here, either — but it sure has been cloudy! I didn't even realize how dark it was until my boss commented that we were about to set a record for consecutive cloudy days…. yuck. Today finally was bright sunshine — with a snowstorm predicted tomorrow!

    This soup looks great, and you're right — the ingredients are common for us! A great recipe to use in a pinch!

  11. Emily says:

    Mmm I've been eating soup like crazy lately. This looks so good! I love orzo and peas.

  12. Joanne says:

    I am SUPER sick of winter. All I want is a little sun…

    Soups and stews are definitely some of winter's few redeeming qualities. This looks delicious!

  13. grace says:

    i've been done with winter for about…2.5 months now. 🙂
    toasted orzo, eh? i'm sure that adds a dimension all its own. excellent.

  14. Octovus says:

    Very yum, we made it and enjoyed it greatly. W homemade chicken broth from a carcass off a lemon-salt-paprika roast chicken we made the other day. The flavour really grew on us as we ate! Of course, keep in mind that leftovers, the orzo will soak up the stock overnight and it becomes quite thick the next day.

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