Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

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The Scoop:

There are exactly 3 things that I like about winter.

  1. Cute scarves.
  2. Cute boots.
  3. Only needing to shave my legs once a week.

There might be a couple of other times each winter where you’ll hear me say “oh this is so nice,” but really that is just a coping mechanism.  I’m trying to convince myself that winter isn’t so bad, while I’m actually hating it with every fiber in my being.  Running becomes a huge chore, doing errands is a nightmare, and don’t even get me started on how I feel about cleaning the sheet of ice off my car in the dark every morning.

I actually lied though.  There is a forth thing that I like about wintertime:  homemade soup.  It’s just so… comforting.  Like the foodie way of telling yourself “hey it’s all going to be ok.”  I don’t know, soup just warms you up from the inside out, makes your house smell like heaven, and recipes typically serve a ton, so it gives you the perfect excuse to invite friends over.

Tomorrow is the vernal equinox <FINALLY> so I thought I would share a recipe that is the perfect way to say goodbye to winter and hello to spring!  It matches this time of year perfectly.  One day is blustery and spitting snow, the next day I’m running outside in a pair of shorts.  The winter weather definitely hasn’t left us for good, but the possibility of hot summer days is just beginning to hang in the air.

That’s how this soup is.  It has all those warm, comforting qualities of a big pot of wintertime stew, but it embraces the fresh flavors of the coming months.  The bright colors and the zip of lemon are just what you need to perk up after yet another way-too-chilly-to-be-March kind of day.

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The Goods:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups shredded chicken (I used half a rotissery bird)
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup of wine
  • 1 cup carrots, sliced into rounds
  • 6-8 cups chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup orzo pasta
  • 2 egg yolks
  • juice of 1 large lemon (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 Tbs fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 Tbs fresh rosemary, minced
  • 3 handfuls of baby spinach, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

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The Deets:

In a dutch oven or a heavy bottom bot, heat 1 Tbs of olive oil over medium heat on the stove top.  Add the diced onion and saute for about 5 minutes, or until soft and fragrant.  Add the minced garlic and the sliced mushroom, and saute for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently.    Add the wine and cook for a couple more minutes.  Add the carrots and 6 cups of chicken broth, and turn up the heat to bring the liquid to a boil.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the lemon juice.  I was a little weird about the egg yolk part of this recipe when I first read it, but trust me when I say that it is the perfect addition.  The egg yolks give the broth a rich, creamy texture, while still managing to stay super light.  You really can’t beat it.  Once the liquid has come to a boil, whisk one cup of the hot broth into the egg/lemon mixture to temper the eggs.  Transfer that whole mixture back into the dutch oven, whisking the whole time.  Add the shredded chicken and the orzo.  Continue cooking over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the orzo and the carrots are tender.  For the last couple of minutes, add the parsley, rosemary, spinach and desired amount of salt and pepper.  If too much broth has been absorbed by the pasta, go ahead and add a little bit more now.  Serve immediately.

The Inspiration:

This recipe is an adaptation of the Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup over at Good Life Eats.

cropped 6Happy last day of winter!  Here’s to a happy (and warm) spring!!

XOXO,

Tall One

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