Friday, December 2, 2011

Chicken, Orzo, and Basil Soup

This soup was easy and flavorful.  I used a rotisserie chicken for the chicken- I am SO excited that my local grocery store got rotisserie chickens finally!  I love those, and now I have an easy, flavorful source of chicken for all of my many pre-cooked chicken needs. :)  Plus, I get to eat the yummy, crispy, (so bad for you) skin.  That's my favorite part.  Don't worry, I work out.  :) 

(Note- When using a rotisserie chicken, save the chicken "remains" to make homemade stock!  You can use it in recipes or freeze it for later.  It's so good.)

You can never have too many chicken soup recipes!  I had been feeling a little sick for a few days, so I made this and it was very comforting.  And we love orzo around here, so this was just a natural.  My daughter took the leftovers in her lunch for two days.  I also ate leftovers for lunch the next day and loved it.  The leftovers are wonderful- just be prepared for a bit of orzo bloat-age.  They soak up a lot of the broth, and therefore, become bloated, but that is fine with me; I just accept them, no matter their size, and add a splash of water before I warm up the soup.  Taste for salt, too.  Actually, theese photos were taken of the leftovers. 
Chicken, Orzo, and Basil Soup
adapted from For the Love of Cooking

1 tsp olive oil
1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
3 cloves of garlic, diced finely
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp dried basil
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
1 tsp chicken bouillon
5-6 fresh basil leaves, chopped (chiffonnade)
6 cups of homemade chicken stock (store bought is good too)
2-3 cups of roast chicken meat, diced into bite sized chunks
4 oz dried orzo pasta (I used a mix of white & whole wheat)

1.  Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add onion and stir until softened; add carrots, celery and garlic then stir for 60 seconds. Stir in chicken stock, diced chicken, bay leaf, dried basil, chicken bouillon then season with salt and pepper. Let simmer for anywhere from 20 minutes to 1 hour.

2.  Bring to a boil and add dried orzo pasta and cook per instructions. Taste and re-season if needed. Served with extra fresh basil to garnish, if desired.
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