Saturday, January 17, 2009
Chicken and Orzo Soup
I should have known that this was going to happen - my boss was sick, Ryan was battling a cold, I went home for Christmas and hung out with my germ-monger nephews and sure enough ... I found myself battling a cold and a sore throat over the new year.
I was supposed to pull a 5-hour shift at the cab company on the 1st, but when people started making fun of my squeaky voice, I decided to hang up the phone and head to the grocery store to pick up the fixins for some homemade chicken soup. (And yes, there's nothing wrong with soup from the can, but I was having a hankering for something homemade with lots of carrots.)
So I threw this together and I'm kind of proud of it ... I mean, chicken soup isn't no big trick - get some chicken broth (I'm still trying to perfect a homemade stock recipe), get some noodles, fix some chicken, add veggies and POOF! Chicken noodle soup. But I was happy how this turned out. And when Ryan went back to the stove for seconds, I knew it was something of a winner.
Chicken and Orzo Soup
2 1/2 T. butter
1/4 c. chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp. herbs de Provence **
4 large carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces and cooked
6 c. chicken broth
2 c. water
1 c. orzo (or any type of small noodle)
1 bay leaf
Using a heavy-bottomed saucepan, saute the onion, garlic and herbs de Provence in the melted butter for about 2 minutes, or until the onion is beginning to brown. Add carrots and celery - cook for another couple minutes. Add chicken broth, water and bay leaf. Bring vegetables to a simmer for about 10 minutes (or until the carrots are beginning to get tender). In the meantime, if you don't happen to have chicken on hand - this is the perfect opportunity to brown it in a skillet. When that's done (or darn near done), go ahead and throw it into the soup pan. Dump in the orzo and cook until tender. This seemed to take forever (15 minutes). Turn off your stove, discard bay leaf and serve. This would be fabulous with a little shaved Parmesan on top, but it's just as fine without.
**Herbs de Provence - found these bad boys at World Market and feel pretty pleased with myself. Herbs de Provence are good with seafood or ratatouille, according to the package. It is a mix of marjoram, savory, thyme, rosemary, basil, fennel, sage and lavender. It was a perfect compliment to this soup.