Monday, February 6, 2012

Recipe 30: Greek Lemon, Chicken, and Orzo Soup (for the soul)

I'd like to preface this by saying, YES.  I KNOW.  I know I haven't done a book review in...oh...2012.  I've got four coming your way: Monte Cristo, Blood Red Road, and (SQUEE) Froi!  I'll get on that just as soon as I get over the heady rush of freedom being done with The Count of Monte Cristo has afforded me! As a quick reminder, February's Dinner Train book club book is Anne of Green Gables

This is all you need to
make this soup.
No joke.  Simple!
When I was in middle school, I really really really fell for the Chicken Soup for the Soul books.  You know, specifically the stories where pets/people/relationships die horrible, slow, tragic deaths.  I should be embarrassed, doubly so by the fact that I tended to dramatically and theatrically cry while reading them, but considering my bowl cut, braces, and giant red glasses, I've got larger middle school embarrassment traumas to fry.  But even now, fully aware of what a melodramatic nerd individual I was, I think we can all admit that everyone needs a dash of chicken soup every now and then.  Even you, vegetarians (I'm trying to do Veguary, but having a hard time - it's the SUPERBOWL for crying out loud!)  If you are feeling at all under the weather, eat. this. soup.  Seriously.  It's like all the vitamin C of sucking on a lemon, but way more enjoyable!  Plus, you get some chicken, some orzo, some espinaca, etc.  It's also sinfully easy to make, particularly if you have leftover chicken on hand.  It is so easy to make, I made it a few weeks ago when my throat decided to set itself, my eyeballs, and my sinuses on fire! 

You weren't seeing things.
I used the actual recipe requirements of orzo, but have made the same with egg noodles and other pastas, though the shorter the noodle the better.  The best part about this soup is that it makes a bunch.  I froze half, which means the next time I am sick I don't have to do anything besides defrost!  Bring it on, seasonal cold and flu!  This recipe comes from the New England Soup Factory.  I always add more spinach than necessary, because I love it.  Because I am in a life-long quest to become a loveable eccentric, I chose to use blue eggs.  YES.  BLUE.  You know you are excited by their existence too (they taste the same, but will excite you twice as much).  You can probably make it vegetarian by using vegetarian stock and tofu cubes.  I bet it would be tasty!  Because of the highly acidic brightness of this soup, I recommend serving with a nice whole grain bread to tone it down just a smidge.  

Yellow is my favorite color; this is my favorite chicken soup.
This bowl choice was totally premeditated.

Greek Lemon Chicken and Orzo Soup
via The New England Soup Factory Cookbook
Serves about 6-8
Blue is GLOWING from his healthy dose of Vitamin C,
courtesy of this Greek Lemon, Chicken, and Orzo Soup!


10 cups chicken stock (2.5 qts)
1 cup orzo
4 eggs lightly beaten with a fork
2 lemons worth zest
3 lemons worth juice
1 cup coarsely chopped cooked chicken (about a pound)
1 16 oz bag fresh spinach
salt and pepper to taste


1.  Bring your chicken stock to boil in your Le Creuset over high heat; you may cover slightly but leave the lid a bit open so it doesn't boil over.
2.  When the stock has reached a boil, add the orzo and cook it for approximately 5 minutes.
3.  Stirring constantly, drizzle in your beaten eggs and continue to stir the mix for at least thirty seconds after all eggs have been incorporated; the eggs will immediately cook into threads.
4.  Add lemon juice and zest, chicken, spinach, salt, and pepper.
5.  Once incorporated, remove from heat immediately and serve to your hungry and overtasked white blood cells.  Yummmmm.

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