Saturday, August 21, 2010

Toasted Orzo Chicken Soup

I am back with some cooking after all the fun vacation photos. I still have some more to share but wanted to get back into the cooking. This recipe is from Everyday with Rachael Ray, one of my favorite cooking magazines.

* One 32-ounce container (4 cups) chicken stock
* 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast pieces or tenders
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 3/4 cup orzo pasta
* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
* 1 small zucchini, finely chopped
* 1 carrot, finely chopped
* 1/2 small red bell pepper, 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

1. In a medium pot, bring the chicken stock and chicken to a simmer. Lower the heat and poach the chicken for 12 minutes.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.

I made the whole recipe because I knew I would love it and because I knew I could freeze it if I got sick of it.

So here are the ingredients. You need some chicken, peas, carrots, red pepper, lemon, orzo, garlic, zucchini, butter, shallot or onion, and some chicken stock. I actually used some turkey stock I had made.

Bring the stock and the chicken to a simmer. I am using this fabulous vintage Pyrex Flameware pot. When it starts to simmer lower the heat and cook the chicken for about 10-12 minutes.

While that cooks...

Measure out the orzo and the peas.

Zest the lemon and chop the parsley.

Chop up the veggies. Doesn't that look delicious! I used yellow carrots instead of the usual orange ones.

Once your chicken is done, get it out and shred it up. Save the stock!

Now it is time to really get this soup going.

Heat the butter over medium heat in a dutch oven or soup pot. Get the Orzo in there and toast it for 3-5 minutes stirring often to get it nice and evenly done.

Get it out of the pan after toasting.

Stir in the veggies and cook those for 8 minutes.

Get the orzo back in, add the chicken, stock and 2 cups of water. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the orzo is done to your liking.

Stir in the peas for the last minute, just to heat them through.

Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon and the parsley and you are ready to eat!

Yum-o as Rachael Ray would say. This recipe is great for any of you home gardeners out there who might be harvesting right about now. You could do this with any number of vegetable combinations.


  1. That does look great! I love orzo. - missy

  2. Starred for safe keeping!

    I actually think the majority of my starred items are YOUR posts!

  3. That looks so good! I think soup should be a food group -- it's definitely one of my favorites.

  4. I love your blog and this looks so good!

  5. First timer here :) I love orzo, even as in cold salads.

  6. Although I know I'm not the only person dining alone, sometimes it just feels that way. So glad to discover this blog and I love the recipes and photos ! Thanks. Nancylee

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  8. Where have you been? I miss your posts.

  9. We take it for granted we can prepare and eat at home and look after ourselves - and maybe one day a home delivery service will be just the ticket -

  10. Very nice, thanks for the information.

  11. I love making soups and being creative.

    This soup has intrigued me.

    I think I will make it tonight.

    any cookbooks out in your name yet?
    I only have a few as I like to do my own thing most the time but I might be tempted to buy yours.

  12. A pretty good article, could provide a new information to me. Glad to find a blog like this. Thank You