It's been quite a week! I was under the weather for the past few days, so I got behind on so many things. I spent today playing catch up. My husband had to work all weekend and I missed him so much. To add to the "blah" mood, the weather has cooled and today was a rainy day. I woke up this morning to find my summer vegetable garden pretty much dead and in need of clean up. I didn't get a chance to preserve my precious fresh herbs before they dried up in their pots. I guess that's why they make farmer's markets.
With E working all day and me spending most of this Sunday on errands and house chores, I decided to make soup for dinner. Soup allows me to use up several fresh ingredients from my fridge and some meat from the freezer. It also reheats well for lunch for the following few days and homemade soup is much healthier than the canned stuff, plus it makes your house smell great. As an added bonus, it's low maintenance cooking when you have other things to do.
E and I both love chicken noodle soup, but I switched it up and used orzo this time. Actually, we used orzo because the only small pasta in our pantry was an expired box of Barilla orzo. Guess what? It still tasted fine.
First off, I needed some cooked chicken. Some days I have chicken breasts left over from a grilling episode or some roasted chicken from Costco, but today I was starting from scratch. I just pulled two bone-in breasts from the freezer, thawed them, seasoned and oiled them up, and roasted them at 400 degrees for 35 minutes. You could absolutely use any pre-cooked chicken for this recipe. Just pull off the skin, remove the bones, and chop it up before dumping it into the soup.
I emptied out the produce drawer: onions, carrots, celery...
Threw in some chicken broth, water, and dry white wine...
Then I added cooked chicken and dry orzo, boiled it for a bit, and topped the pot of soup with some fresh parsley. It's always nice to add a little freshness at the end of a slow cooking pot of soup.
E didn't get home from work until 8:00, but when he did, I made us both grilled cheese sandwiches on sourdough bread. Oh. My. Goodness. Chewy, crusty sourdough bread slathered with a light coating of butter, filled with gooey American cheese and toasted to perfection. We love grilled cheese at this house, but this one took it to new heights.
I only wish I could find a way to pack this sourdough grilled cheese sandwich for lunch at the office. But this post is about soup, so here's the recipe:
Chicken Soup with Orzo
a Keeley Original
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
3 quarts of low sodium chicken stock (homemade, or boxed)
1 quart of water
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups chopped, cooked chicken
Salt and pepper, to taste
3/4 cup orzo, or other small pasta, uncooked
1/2 cup fresh parsley
In a large pot, heat oil to medium. Add onions and cook over medium heat for 6-10 minutes, until translucent. Add carrots and celery and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add chicken stock, water, and wine to pot. Bring to a boil. Add chicken. Add orzo. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Check for seasonings. Top finished soup with fresh parsley and serve, preferably with a grilled cheese sandwich.