Orzo, Spinach, Lemon and Chicken Soup

ChickenOrzoLemonSpinachSoup

This savory soup has been known to chase away the blues, sniffly noses and mulligrubs! It takes less time to prepare than any other soup I make, has a fresh pick-me-up flavor (courtesy of the lemon juice), is healthy (no cream in this baby), and I believe could be made gluten-free just by substituting rice for the orzo. What are you waiting for? Quick, run to the kitchen and start cooking!

This soup was inspired by a recipe from the “New England Soup Factory Cookbook“, if you are going to have only one soup cookbook, it should be this one. Of course Poppy has to modify everything at least a little … so here is Poppy’s version!


Difficulty: easy-peasy!

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • (1) rotisserie chicken (pulled into smallish pieces)
  • ¾ cup orzo
  • 3 eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 2 lemons (juiced)
  • 6 ozs. baby spinach (coarsely chopped)
  • garlic salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. coarse ground black pepper (or to taste)

EasyTastyHealthy

Bring the chicken broth to a boil in your stock pot on high heat. Add the orzo, reduce the heat to medium, keeping a slow boil and cook for 5-6 minutes. Once the orzo is done, drizzle in the beaten eggs, stirring constantly until the eggs have cooked into threads. Add the chicken meat, spinach, garlic salt, pepper and ½ of the lemon juice. Why only ½ of the lemon juice, Poppy? Because all lemons are not created equal, this is where you start tweaking …(tweaking, not twerking, don’t get the two confused). Slowly add more of the lemon juice and black pepper until you get the taste you want. You can always add more lemon juice but you can’t take it out …(not even by twerking)!

ChickenOrzoLemonSpinachSoupPint

Chicken Dumpling, Black Pepper Soup

Chicken Dumpling Soup

Is there anything in the kitchen more under-appreciated or ubiquitous than black pepper? And what’s with this word, “ubiquitous”? I see it everywhere!

If you don’t like the taste of pepper then move on to the next post, there is nothing to see here. However if you enjoy a good brothy (is that a word?) soup with a little bite then keep reading.

I wish I could tell you that I made my own dumplings from scratch, roasted my chicken and created the chicken broth myself … but I would be lying big time. I took the lazy way out and still managed to create some delicious soup using frozen dumplings, rotisserie chicken and ready-made chicken broth.

EasyTastyHealthy


Difficulty: Can’t mess this up!

Ingredients:

  • (1) rotisserie chicken (use approx. ⅔’s )
  • 6 ozs. frozen flat dumplings
  • (3) stalks celery
  • (1) small yellow onion
  • (3) large cloves of garlic
  • (1) medium carrot
  • 62 ozs. low sodium chicken stock
  • ½ pint Half & Half
  • 1 tsp. hot sauce
  • coarse ground black pepper

Started by adding the low sodium chicken broth to your stockpot and bring it to a simmer. Use half of the package of frozen flat dumplings (about 6 ozs). I know the recipe calls for a lot of chicken broth, but it reduces and becomes more concentrated during the preparation, no need to add any chicken bouillon. As I added the frozen dumplings, I broke them in half … not that it affects the taste in any way, it just makes the soup easier to eat with a spoon. As the dumplings cook (about 20 minutes), dice the celery and onion and sautéed them in a tbsp. of butter and equal amount of EVOO. While the celery and onions are adding their aromas to the kitchen, finely chop 3 large cloves of garlic. Add those to the onion-celery mix when the onions are translucent. Keep sautéing while you grate a medium-sized carrot directly into the broth.

Separate the meat from the rotisserie chicken into small pieces. I didn’t want this to turn into a stew or even a chowder, so I only used about ⅔ of the chicken meat, saving one breast for another use. Add that to the broth along with the celery, onion, garlic mix and keep simmering. Add the Half & Half (you could use cream of course) and the hot sauce. Now it’s time for the black pepper to make it’s entrance. As a noob food-blogger, I didn’t measure the black pepper I added, partly because I was grinding it from my pepper mill directly into the soup. Set your pepper mill to coarse and crank at least 10 times into the broth. Let simmer for a few minutes then taste. I can tell you that I added at least another 10 turns of the pepper mill, probably more, but use your own judgement, keep tasting the broth … you can always add more pepper, taking it out is … well, impossible.

Keep simmering a few more minutes before serving, let it rest a bit then serve to your hungry family and friends.

Sidenote: My plan is to start using a decent SLR for my food photography, but up until this point all the photos you see on the blog have been taken with my iPhone 5. (I’m old enough to remember when you used phones for calling people … crazy)

Chicken-Dumpling-Black-Pepper-Soup