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Friday, February 28, 2014

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup


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When you're sick or when it's chilly outside there is nothing better than a yummy bowl of soup--and this soup tops any chicken noodle soup that I have ever had! I love how the orzo pasta mixes things up from normal chicken noodle soup, and the lemon adds such a bright yummy flavor! I stuff this soup with cabbage, spinach, onion, carrots and whatever other vegetable I have on hand and my super picky, anti-vegetable husband still LOVES it.  This morning we had leftovers from this soup and leftovers from roast beef and mashed potatoes, and my husband chose to take THE SOUP to school instead of the beef.  Delicious, healthy, easy, and everyone likes it--this soup is a winner.

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Olive Oil
2 cups chicken, cubed 
1 onion, diced
1 cup carrot, diced (several baby carrots or 2-3 big ones)
1/3 head cabbage, chopped finely
2 handfuls spinach, chopped finely
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
6 cups chicken broth (I use the big boxed stuff)
1 cup orzo pasta
3 large eggs
1/3 cup lemon juice (I start there and often add more, to taste)
salt to taste (I used garlic salt)
pepper to taste (I used lemon pepper)

Optional:
Any extra vegetables that you have on hand (celery, you could try tomato, mushroom, be creative--you can also use more or less of any of the vegetables listed).
Sour cream--you can use this to thicken the soup more and make it creamy, just add it at the end after adding the egg
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Sautee the chicken until cooked through in a large soup pot in olive oil. Remove and set aside.

In more olive oil in the same pot, sautee all of the vegetables for several minutes until softened (if you were going to try tomato or mushroom, I would wait to add them).  Add the thyme and rosemary (and any softer vegetables like tomato or mushrooms) and stir.  Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.  Add the orzo and cook through on high heat (around five minutes).  

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and stir in the lemon juice.  Ladle out a cup of the hot broth (if your soup is too thick, use a chicken bouillon cube in a cup of very hot water) and mix into the egg and lemon juice.  Turn the soup down to low heat and stir the egg mixture in to thicken it. If the soup is too hot, it will start to cook and solidify the egg whites. Add the cooked chicken. At this point you could add sour cream, or be done.  Season with salt and pepper and serve!

For more great ideas
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