Monday, October 21, 2019

Chicken Soup for the Soul

I live on good soup,
not on fine words.
Moliere-French playwright, director, actor
Each time I make chicken soup I think of Maurice Sendak's little book Chicken Soup with Rice. The tiny volume was first published in 1962. The book has 12 rhymes and illustrations for 12 months of the year all with chicken soup as the universal theme. The rhythmic verses and repetition make the book perfect for ages 4-6. Each page ends...Happy once, happy twice, happy chicken soup with rice.
With a cold, rainy forecast for the week I declare its time for some homemade chicken soup with Orzo, for a warm satisfying meal. The following recipe was made with chicken meatballs but shredded chicken pieces can be substituted. Both recipes are included. Recipe serves 4-6 depending on the size of the bowl. 

Note: Orzo (Italian rice) does absorb a lot of liquid so an alternative would be cooking the Orzo separately and adding cooked orzo in at the lemon juice step.

 Lemon Orzo Chicken Soup with Spinach
3 large pieces of cooked chicken, shredded or diced chicken (Chicken Meatball recipe at the end of the posting)
1 cup each sweet onions, celery, carrots, diced
2 garlic cloves, diced
1-1/2 TB. olive oil
1/2 tsp. each parsley, thyme, rosemary, tarragon  
1 container 48 oz. chicken broth (low sodium) 
1 cup dried orzo
1 small-medium lemon (zest and juice) 
3 cups torn spinach leaves, stems removed 
Salt and pepper to taste
Garnish: chopped fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese

Heat oil and saute carrots, celery and onion until soft (cover and simmer on low, about 8 minutes).
Add in garlic and spices, cook about a minute.
Add in broth and orzo and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer just until orzo is al dente, about 5 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper, mix in lemon juice and zest. Add in cooked chicken pieces or meatballs with spinach leaves. Heat until spinach leaves are wilted.
Optional adding  in 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese right before serving.  

Chicken or Turkey Meatballs 
Recipe makes 15 small meatballs 
1 lb. ground chicken or turkey
2/3 cup diced onion
1 TB. minced garlic
2/3 cup Crispy Panko Italian Crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 tsp. each oregano, thyme and basil 
1 large egg

Mix all meatball ingredients and shape into 1-1/2 inch balls.
Place on parchment sheet or a silicone pad.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Turn once during the baking time.
Place cooked meatballs on a paper towel lined plate until needed. 

1 comment:

  1. I cooked a big kettle of chicken noodle soup last week as I was fighting the flu. So good on a sore throat and overall in general. Yes, I'm doing much better with some lingering symptoms. It's way too early in the season for crud. But I hear lots of folks are battling something.


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