Thursday, May 19, 2005

Toasted Orzo Chicken Soup

Toasted Orzo Chicken Soup (Adapted from Rachael Ray)

4 cups chicken broth or stock
16 ounces (1 pound) boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup dry orzo pasta
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 carrot, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
2 shallots, finely chopped
salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 small zucchini, shredded
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups water
1 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons fresh grated lemon zest

In a medium saucepan, add chicken broth (or stock) and chicken - bring mixture just to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer and cook until the chicken is done, about 12 to 14 minutes.

In a Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add orzo and cook, stirring, until golden brown, about 2 to 4 minutes. Remove and transfer mixture to a small bowl.

Add oil into the pot and allow to come up to temperature. Stir in carrot, bell pepper and shallots - season with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes. Stir in shredded zucchini and garlic - continue cooking until the vegetables have softened, about 3 to 4 more minutes.

When the chicken is done, transfer meat to a plate to cool slightly. Skim and discard any foam or fat from the broth and pour into the Dutch oven. Shred (or dice, if desired) chicken and add to the pot with 2 cups water and orzo. Bring mixture to a boil and cook until the orzo is just tender, about 5 minutes. When there is about 1 minute left, stir peas into the pot to heat through. Remove from the heat - stir in parsley and lemon zest to serve.

Makes about 4 servings.

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  1. Joe,

    Love your blog! Congrats on your new home. I just made this soup recently as well and really loved it! Enjoy your meal.

  2. Joe, I made the toasted orzo chicken soup last night and it was a huge hit! I doubled it for leftovers, but now the orzo has absorbed most of the broth! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Karen - Thanks!

    Melissa - The bane of pasta that sits in broth! It does continue to absorb, making it a bit softer the next day too. It will loosen up when reheated, but we just added a bit more broth when we had the leftovers. Yo