Monday, September 16, 2013

Lemony Chicken Orzo Soup

It's quite unfortunate that I am now the lone lover of soups and stews in our family since Jon headed out to Iowa.  So, in honor of him, and since Chicago decided to lower its' temperature to the mid-50's, I have decided to post one of many  soup recipes to come:  Lemony-Chicken-Orzo Soup, found and modified from Epicurious Magazine.  It has few more steps than other recipes but that's about it for complexity.  It's a matter of simply getting everything in place, ie mise en place.

The biggest effort for this recipe lies in chopping the leek and letting it sit in cold water for 15 minutes, then draining; and, pulling the meat off the roasted chicken you brought home from the store.

Prior to heading off for college, Jon had already made lasagna and French Onion Soup on his own, so this should be a breeze if you can focus for a few brief moments to enjoy one of your favorite flavors in the culinary world. Lemon.

Total cost (including bread, butter, and parmesan for toasting): $13 / 4 Servings

5 quart sauce pan / soup pan
Mixing bowl with ice cold water
Colander / strainer
Wooden spoon

1 Roasted Chicken, meat removed and pulled apart

2 Tbls olive oil
1 tsp butter
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 medium leek, quartered and sliced 1/4", drained in ice bath of all dirt and strained
6 cups of chicken broth (use bouillon or buy store-bough carton for convenience and ease)
1/2 cup orzo
1 lemon, juiced
Extra lemons if needed

1/8 -1/4 cup fresh dill (OPTIONAL--a powerful herb.  Use it cautiously since it has a strong flavor)
Salt & Pepper, to taste

1. Wash your hands.
2. Remove the stem from leek (thick, tough dark green areas).

3. Quarter leek and slice 1/4" thick slices. Place leek into an ice-cold water bath to remove all dirt.
4. Rinse and drain after 15 minutes.

5. Chop celery.

6. Melt olive oil and butter in saucepan and add leeks & celery.

7. Saute vegetables until soft and translucent, approx 8-10 minutes

8. Add chicken meat, chicken broth, salt and pepper.

9. Bring to a boil , cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 min

10. Add orzo and return soup to boil x 8-10 minutes until orzo 'almost done' or al dente

11. Add lemon juice

12. Add dill.  Totally optional--not critical to recipe and cheaper without.

NOTE:  Be careful using dill since it overpowers other flavors easily!!!

13. Have a crusty bread for butter or toast a few slices with olive oil & parmesan cheese.  Awesome for dipping into the soup.

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