Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

This was surprisingly heavy, in a good way, even though it's soup and it has so much lemon.  It was delicious and not terrible for you, I don't think.  It looks long but it's really easy to make.

When I made it I followed the recipe and cooked the chicken separately, but I actually think it would be pretty much the same if you just baked the chicken in the oven or wherever with some salt, pepper and lemon juice on top.  That is a lot easier and results in fewer dishes/requires less groceries (I bought celery and it really didn't add much, and now I have to come up with a use for the rest of the celery I have)

Chicken ingredients (all optional except the chicken):
1 lb chicken - about 1 1/2 large-ish boneless skinless breasts
1 cup water
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 stalk celery, cut into thirds
 Half a lemon, slice
Handful fresh parsley
3 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper

Soup ingredients:
Shredded chicken (see above)
Olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1/3 cup white wine (I didn't have any so I didn't use it)
3 carrots, sliced into rounds
6 cups chicken broth
3 egg yolks
2 - 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 - 3/4 cup orzo pasta, uncooked (I used 3/4 cup but I think 1/2 might be better, it absorbs too much broth)
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
1 1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme
2-3 large handfuls kale, chopped (the recipe said spinach but I had leftover kale -- I think it makes the soup a lot heartier because it doesn't cook down so much.  It was good)

If you're going all out, cook the chicken in the pressure cooker with all the ingredients -- probably about 10 min with the pressure on.  You could also probably just steam it with the lid on a pot.  But none of this is worth it and next time I'll just cook it in the oven while I do the other stuff.

Saute the onion in some olive oil on medium / high heat so it turns a little brown.  Add the garlic and cook for a minute.  Add the white wine and cook for another minute.  Add the carrots and chicken broth, and bring that to a boil.

Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks and lemon juice.  When the broth is boiling, add a cup of it to the yolks/lemon juice really slowly, whisking while you pour.  Then add everything back to the soup.  By this time the carrots should be pretty soft.

Add the pasta and cooked, shredded chicken to the soup along with the parsley, thyme, kale, and salt and pepper to taste.  Cook for a minute or so until the orzo is done.  Serve.

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