Monday, November 18, 2013

Lemon Chicken and Orzo Soup

Wow,  last week was such a doozie!! Everyone was sick at my house, except my hubby.  My first-grader did not go a day of school and my preschooler missed 2 out of 3 days of her school.  I think I was in my pajamas most of that time, maybe only venturing out three whole times, only once doing my hair and makeup (sorry neighbors who had to see that, just keeping it real for ya!).

After so many days of nursing my sick ones (and my sick self) back to health all I wanted was a big ol' bowl of chicken soup.  Duh, I don't know why I didn't make it in the beginning of the week, then I could have eaten on it that whole time and not had to make a single other thing, haha!

As I stared at my big bag of lemons on the counter I remembered this soup that I had been wanting to make for years.  I mean, like it's been bookmarked in my Cooking Light Cook Book for I don't know how long; I don't know what the heck the hold up was.  

This soup is just as delicious and comforting as it looks and really is a cinch to throw together; even when you're sick!!

Lemon Chicken and Orzo Soup
olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 rib celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 chicken thighs, skins removed
1/2 cup white cooking wine
6 cups chicken stock
zest and juice of 2 lemons
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 cup orzo pasta
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

In a large stockpot, heat a small drizzle of olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add chicken thighs and cook about 3-4 minutes per side; remove to a plate.  Reduce heat to medium and heat another tablespoon or so of olive oil.  Add onion, carrot and celery.  Cook 5-7 minutes or until onion is tender and translucent.  Add garlic and cook 30-60 seconds.  Add cooking wine and deglaze the pan, letting it cook about a minute or two.

Return chicken back to pot, along with the stock, lemon juice and zest, oregano and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook about 15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.  Remove chicken from pot and bring stock back up to a boil.  Add orzo pasta and cook about 6-8 minutes.

Allow chicken to cool just long enough that it can be handled, then shred it.  Once orzo is finished cooking, add the shredded chicken back in, keeping the soup on the burner until heated through.  Remove soup from burner, take out bay leaf and stir in chopped parsley.  Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as desired.

Serve warm.  Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 5 days.  Soup will thicken upon cooling and the orzo will start soaking up the liquid.  When reheating soup, just add a little extra water.

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