Monday, February 22, 2010

Chicken and Orzo Soup

I make home made chicken soup pretty often. Johnny and I both love it, and it makes a lot so we can have leftovers and lunches. It also freezes well, so you can make 1 big pot and have half for dinner now and half for dinner in the future!

I always use:
~12 cups stock/bouillon of choice
1 deli chicken *see note
1 onion
4 or 5 carrots
4 or 5 celery stalks
2 bay leaves

Depending on mood/what's on hand, the starch will be either:
2 potatoes
1 cup orzo pasta

Begin with your big ass pot and chop and drop the onion, carrots, celery, and potato, if using. Fill with about 12 cups of stock, or water and bouillon. Throw in the bay leaves and bring up to a simmer, letting it hang out about 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are tender.

Meanwhile, remove all the skin and bones from the deli chicken and cut the meat into bite-sized pieces. (Note: I always purchase the low-sodium option. Also look to see if your store sells them after a certain hour for a discount. My store puts them in the refrigerated area so they're not shriveling under the heat lamps and marks them down half-price after a few hours. I usually get them for $3.99, which is a better deal than buying a raw one and more convenient!)

If using orzo add once the vegetables become tender along with the chicken. Put the lid on and cook for another 10-15 minutes until the orzo has softened and the chicken has come up to temperature.

This latest batch of chicken and orzo soup was actually really exciting for me! It was the first time I cooked anything using my home made vegetable stock! Because I had kept it bland I did end up adding 1 tsp. of Kosher salt and 1/4 tsp. black pepper and it was perfect!

Both Johnny and I were really impressed with the flavor. It had tons of depth and character - tasting like it'd been simmering away for hours, instead of a quick weeknight meal!

Orzo on FoodistaOrzo


Mara @ What's For Dinner? said...

That looks so comforting and delicious! I have a chicken carcass in the freezer just waiting to make stock out of... i think that'll be this weekend's project!

sophia said...

Chicken soup...can you believe I've been craving a good homemade chicken soup for some days now? We totally have ESP.
unfortunately, I don't have a stock pot! I'm still debating whether it's worth it to just go out and get a new one!

live pura vida said...

I love making chicken soup like this. I'd rather rip apart a pre-cooked chicken than starting raw and boiling it down any day!

Simply Life said...

gosh, my husband would LOOOVE this - I really should make it! Thanks for the recipe!

Michelle said...

OOOOH i've never cooked orzo at home, but I know i LOVE it when I eat it out in restaurants. This is like a gourmet chicken nooodle soup without the noodles!!! Mmmm....perfect for this weather!

Cole said...

I love orzo, and that soup sounds pretty darn good. ;-)

Unknown said...

I love making orzo and in a soup with chicken sounds GREAT!!!

Unknown said...

This looks delicious. I often make stock in my crock pot. It seems to really increase the depth of flavor. I'd love for you to join me for Crock Pot Wednesday whenever you can.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that is cheap for chicken! Thanks for the heads up on low sodium, I wasn't aware of that :D

JEnn@slim-shoppin said...

I like how you say "Big ass pot!" I have one of those too!

Jessie said...

Your soup looks delicious! Good for you for preparing all these ingredients ahead of time - it makes cooking so much easier! :)

Jen said...

Thanks for the great idea for the stock! I will definitely let you know once I use it. I live alone, so it might be a while until I fill up some bags! But I'm very excited to be saving my scraps- it feels so "green" haha.

Alisa said...

Ooooh, that looks so delicious!I came across your site from the Foodieblogroll and I realy like what you have here. if you won't mind, I'd love to guide foodista readers to your site.Just add your choice of Foodista widget at the end of this blog post and you're all set. Thanks!