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

Tuscan Ham, Bean and Spinach Soup

TuscanSoup

 See what I did there? Just by adding “Tuscan” to the name, this soup sounds so much more refined … unlike my “Layered Veggie Thingy”! (I’m learning)

This soup is quick and easy to throw together, lots of fiber, low in calories and full of flavor.

EasyTastyHealthy 

The Cannellini beans are the stars of this soup, packed with protein, iron, magnesium and folate they are the perfect complement to the ham and spinach. Since I don’t plan anything but my vacations very far in advance, I just use canned beans rather than soaking the dried beans overnight and cooking them.


Difficulty: Souper easy!

Ingredients:

  • (3) cans Cannellini beans
  • (1) can chili beans in chili sauce
  • 10 ozs. diced ham
  • 5 ozs. baby spinach (chopped)
  • 48 ozs. low sodium chicken stock
  • (1) tsp. minced garlic
  • (1) tbsp. hot sauce (Frank’s or similar)
  • ground black pepper (to taste)

Drain and rinse the 3 cans of Cannellini beans, add 2 of the cans to your stockpot. If there is a trick to this recipe at all, it is using a potato masher to mash the beans in the bottom of your stockpot. This will thicken the soup and change it from just being some beans floating around in chicken broth to a rich hearty bean broth.

After the beans are sufficiently smashed add some of the chicken broth and stir, making sure that none of the beans are stuck to the bottom of your stockpot, because no one likes burnt beans in their soup! Add the rest of the chicken stock, the remaining can of Cannellini beans, the chili beans with their sauce, the ham, then start warming.

If you are lucky enough to have a good ham bone by all means use it, it will kick the flavor way up, if not dicing a ham steak will suffice, which it what I did this time.

While everything in the stockpot is heating, wilt the chopped spinach in a skillet with a drizzle of EVOO. Once it is thoroughly wilted add the minced garlic and continue heating for another minute.

Add the spinach-garlic mix to the soup along with a tablespoon of Frank’s hot sauce and a generous grind of coarse black pepper. Let it simmer a few minutes then taste the broth. Add more pepper or hot sauce as needed or perhaps a pinch of chili powder or Cajun seasoning. Simmer a few more minutes then serve with a crusty bread or cornbread. Yum!

Spicy Tortellini Soup

TortelliniSoup

Did Lynyrd Skynyrd get tired of people yelling out … “Free Bird“?

Does Tony Bennett ever think … for crying out loud people, I actually sing songs other than “I Left My Heart in San Francisco“?

This is my families most requested soup … to the point I sometimes say, “Sorry, I’m making something else tonight”. And the most humbling thing … it’s not a Poppy original (and I am very proud of my humility)! I found this years ago on stltoday.com, they featured this soup from the Café Aroma in Edwardsville, Illinois. This is Poppy’s version, slightly modified from the original. Continue reading “Spicy Tortellini Soup”