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A Summer Soup


First I would like to say thank you for the feedback on my article last week. To my friends and family who shared the article I really appreciate it. I’m glad that it made an impact and hopefully makes everyone think a bit before they speak or judge.
I’d also like to say that while this weekend is the unofficial kick-off to summer — please take a minute, this Memorial Day, to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of our freedom. We all know freedom isn’t free and not everyone makes it back home to their families. Please keep them in your thoughts this weekend. Also, if you are celebrating this weekend, please do so responsibly. Cabs, Uber, DDs…be safe out there!
Now…let’s eat!
There is a local restaurant, that shall remain nameless, that used to serve one of the best soups I have ever had — hands down. They seem to have stopped serving it and that made me sad. So I hit the internet in search of a copycat recipe and I got lucky to find an amazing one on my first try.
I really like this soup this time of year. It isn’t a heavy soup so it’s not too much in warmer weather.
So here is an amazing recipe for…
Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
• 1 large onion diced
• 2 medium carrots cut into rounds or dice
• 2 stalks of celery cut into half moons
• 3 garlic cloves minced
• juice and zest of 1.5-2 lemons
• 1 large chicken breast shredded or diced into bit size pieces (So, side note here. This is what the recipe ‘calls’ for. What I actually do is shred up a rotisserie chicken.)
• 8 cups of chicken broth — make sure you use broth and not stock, stock is too heavy for this soup
• 1 handful chopped Italian parsley
• 1/4 cup orzo pasta or any other small pasta like ditalini or stars
• 1 cup baby spinach leaves
• Better Than Bouillion as necessary
• salt and pepper to taste
We start simply enough with a large pot and 1 tbsp of butter in it over medium heat.
Add all the veggies to the pot with 3 cloves of garlic minced on a microplaner. You want them to sweat: Medium heat, covered with lid, no caremalization. Let that happen for about 10 minutes until fragrant (Word of warning, watch your veggies you can go from sweat to burn in very little time).
Add 8 cups or 2 quarts of chicken broth.
Go ahead and add the juice and zest of 1.5 lemons. I like mine super lemony so I added in the juice and zest of 2.
Let the soup come up to a simmer. In the meantime, measure out 1/4 a cup of orzo and chop up a handful of Italian parsley.
Once the soup has reached a simmer, add the orzo and your shredded chicken to the soup. If you are using raw chicken, you can just roast off the chicken for 20 minutes on 450-degrees in the oven with the skin on and bone in sprinkled with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Then remove the skin and shred with your fingers or two forks. You can also cut into cubes. You can also just add raw chicken breast to the soup when you pour in broth.
And then add the magic ingredient. Better Than Bouillion. I put in 2 tablespoons. Just whatever you do remember, it reaches its ultimate flavor when it boils. So add, stir, allow to boil and taste. Otherwise you can end up with a pot of salt.
Once the orzo is cooked, about 15 minutes, turn the heat off. Add a cup of baby spinach and the chopped parsley.
Mix well to combine.
Don't forget to taste for seasoning and lemon.