Thursday, October 25, 2012

Lemon Chicken and Orzo Soup

I LOVE SOUP! I get so excited when the temperature drops and it becomes "soup weather".  Don't get me wrong... I dislike winter, snow, cold, everything associated with winter (except Christmas and my daughters birthday of course) but fall weather, to me, is perfect and it just screams "SOUP".

Years ago while visiting Temple Square in Salt Lake City with my family, we stopped in to a little french bakery that we love, just thinking about it makes me want to go there, okay back on subject...  They serve a lemon and rice soup that is beyond incredible.  I don't know if I've ever tried anything like it since.  Although I've tried to replicate it I just haven't found success.  This soup however, is a very close contender.  It is DELICIOUS!
Lemon, Chicken & Orzo Soup:

Serves 4 to 6

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into fine matchsticks (or diced)
1 small celery stalk, diced
1 small onion, finely chopped
6 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh spinach
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1 cup gluten free orzo
salt and pepper
8 cups chicken broth (or water if you prefer)
Zest and juice of a lemon

In a large pot (4 quart or more), heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the carrot, celery and onion pieces. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken breast, the spinach, oregano, orzo, broth and season with salt and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, half covered for about 30 minutes or until the orzo is al dente.
Remove the chicken breast from the soup. Let cool enough to handle and shred it into pieces. Return the shredded meat to the pot. Add the lemon juice and zest, stir and serve.

*I changed things up a bit, knowing I had errands to run and needed to convert this recipe to the crockpot, I skipped the olive oil and just put the carrot, celery, onion and chicken in the crockpot, topped with oregano, salt and pepper, and chicken broth, with a splash of lemon juice too.  I left that to cook for about 6-7 hours, then pulled out the chicken, shredded it, added it back to the crockpot, and then added the spinach, orzo and lemon juice/zest.  I replaced the lid and let it cook for an additional hour or so until the orzo was done.  I really cannot say enough good about this soup, it was so delicious!

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