Chicken and Orzo Soup

January 25, 2012 | By andrea | Filed in: Chicken, Main Dish, Quick Cooking, Recipes, Soup/Stew.

This Chicken and Orzo Soup is easy-to-make, tasty, and a great recipe for whipping up a pot of something comforting without spending hours in the kitchen.

Orzo, rice-shaped pasta, is available in most grocery stores. If you can’t find it, substitute another small-shaped pasta.

I used kale instead of spinach because that’s what I had on hand.

Garnish each serving of soup with some freshly grated parmesan cheese and serve with crusty bread. Enjoy!

Chicken & Orzo Soup
-recipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Weeknight, by Melanie Barnard

Because this simple variation on chicken-noodle soup includes so few ingredients, it is important to use the best chicken broth or stock you can find. Look for high-quality broth in the freezer section of gourmet groceries and well-stocked supermarkets. You can cook the chicken at home or purchase a rotisserie chicken from a supermarket or delicatessen.

1 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
3-4 carrots, thinly sliced
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
2 Tbs. minced fresh thyme
1 clove garlic, minced
8 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup orzo, pastina or other small pasta shape
6 oz. baby spinach
3 cups cooked chicken, shredded
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, thyme and garlic and sauté until the vegetables are softened, about 3 minutes more. Add the broth, increase the heat to medium-high and simmer for 5 minutes to blend the flavors.

Add the pasta to the simmering soup and cook until the pasta is al dente, 3 to 4 minutes, or according to the package instructions. Add the spinach and chicken and cook, stirring, until the spinach has wilted and the chicken is warmed through, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.

Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and sprinkle with some of the cheese. Serve immediately and pass the remaining cheese at the table. Serves 4.

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One comment on “Chicken and Orzo Soup

  1. This looks like a lovely cure for the winter chills. In Australia we call orzo rissoni. It’s delicious!