Friday, March 8, 2013

Lemony Chicken Soup with Orzo Pasta

 The cold weather that we had in the past few days had my soup pot working overtime.  I had some leftover rotisserie chicken from dinner so I used it to make quick stock and then this Lemony Chicken Soup with Orzo pasta.  It was a bright and flavorful way to bring some sunshine to dismal weathered day.

 To make the stock:
leftover roast chicken including any drippings from roast
1 lemon sliced
1 lemon juiced
2 carrots coarsely chopped
1 stalk celery coarsely chopped
1/2 large onion coarsely chopped
2 stalks of celery coarsely chopped
1 carrot coarsely chopped
Salt and black pepper to taste
3-4 cloves garlic coarsely chopped
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
2 bay leaves
Water to fill pot above chicken (8-10 cups)

Ingredients for Soup
2 carrots sliced
1 cup frozen peas
shredded chicken (from stock)
1 cup cream or half and half (regular milk can be substituted)
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
salt and pepper as needed
chicken bullion as needed
Orzo (See Note)

Note:  Cook orzo pasta in well salted water per package instructions.  Serve cooked orzo into bowls and top with soup.  If you are serving the entire pot of soup immediately, the orzo can be cooked in the soup.  But if you are going to serve it later or save it as leftovers, I recommend cooking the pasta separately so it does not bloat in the soup.


For Stock:

Place all ingredients into pot and boil for 45 minutes.  Taste for seasoning.  After stock has boiled and reduced/concentrated in flavor strain stock away from the ingredients using a colander.  To do this I placed a large heat proof bowl (or another pan) under a colander.  Then I pour the stock through the colander and it separated the whole pieces from the stock.  I placed the strained stock back into my soup pot and then picked out all the good chicken meat off the bone. You may have to wait until the chicken cools off so you can handle it with your hands. Discard the boiled onions, celery, carrots because their flavor has been infused into the stock and is not longer needed.  

 Note:  if you have oil on top of the stock, just skim in with a spoon before proceeding.

 For Soup:
Cook carrots and peas with shredded chicken in prepared chicken stock.  Once carrots are tender turn stove down to low and and add milk/ cream and Parmesan cheese and  stir gently.  Taste for seasoning and turn off stove.  Place orzo pasta in each soup bowl and top off with soup.   Garnish  lemon slices.  Enjoy.



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