This is by far one of my favorite soups. The lemon is just enough to taste, the orzo is delicate and the chicken adds needed umami to the palate. The original recipe is much longer, using a whole chicken and cooking each part individually. I used chicken breast, which I browned, cooked the pasta and vegetables together in the broth, adding the chicken at the end to finish it’s cooking. On a crisp fall day, when you’re not ready to give up pieces of summer, make this soup. Enjoy!
1 pound chicken breasts
2 bay leaves
9 cups chicken broth
1 1/3 cups chopped carrot
1 1/4 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
2 teaspoons salt
8 ounces uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Lemon wedges (optional)
Coarsely cracked black pepper (optional)
Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add olive oil until hot. Dry the chicken breast with paper towel and add to pot. Cook until each side has browned but not cooked through and then remove. Set aside. Add a touch more oil to the same pot and then add the celery, onion and carrots to the pot. Saute for 3-4 minutes, just enough to get some of the essence. Add broth, bay leaf and bring to a boil. Add orzo and cook for about 10 minutes on a light boil. Meanwhile, cube chicken. Add chicken and reduce heat to medium-low until cooked through. Stir in lemon, lemon rind and parsley. Remove bay leaves before serving.
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light