Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Chicken, Mushroom and Orzo Chowder with Lemon

I made this soup recently when it was stormy and rainy outside.  Something about rainy weather just makes you reach for something warm and comforting and this fit the bill.  It goes really well with a nice piece of crusty garlic bread.  Also, good to know, this soup freezes really well.  If you're going to freeze it, just chop the parsley and spinach and add it to the soup when re-heating.

1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
2 quarts chicken stock
1 large onion
1 bay leaf
1 sprig thyme
5 cloves garlic (grated)
2 carrots
1 tsp. olive oil
2 cups sliced mushrooms
5 cups fresh chopped baby spinach
1 cup fresh chopped parsley
2 tbsp. cream
1/8 tsp. cumin
2 whole lemons
1 cup dried orzo (you could sub this with white beans if you're trying to watch the carbs or want to make this gluten free)
lots of freshly cracked pepper
salt to taste

First wash the chicken well and cut it into pieces.  Place the chicken into a stock pot along with the chicken stock, bay leaf and thyme.  Allow the chicken to cook on medium high for 25 minutes.  Remove the chicken and place on a cutting board. Strain the stock and put it back into the stock pot.  While the chicken cools, dice the onion, slice the mushrooms and grate the garlic.  Transfer to a non-stick skillet and saute with a tiny little bit of olive oil ( 1 tsp.). Allow the veggies to cook on medium high heat.  Remove the skin off the chicken and begin shredding into large strips.  Add the spinach to the skillet and saute until it slightly wilts.  Transfer the chicken back into the stockpot along with the ingredients in the skillet.  Stir everything well and begin peeling your carrot.  Cut the carrot into cubes and add to the pot.  Bring the soup up to strong simmer and let it cook for 10 minutes before adding the orzo.   Add in the cumin and pepper. Squeeze the juice of the lemons and stir well. Cook until the orzo is al dente.  Finish off by adding the cream and the chopped parsley.  Remove the bay leaf and the thyme stalk before serving and add a little extra lemon to your bowl if desired.  Serve with crusty garlic bread.


Jenna said...

Looks comforting and delicious! I love the natural light in your picture. It's a rainy day here, and now I have the urge to eat soup tonight. Unfortunately, it's leftovers on the menu . . .

Kelly said...

This looks tasty! I'm adding it to my next round of menus... mushrooms don't usually make it on the grocery list, but they're going on now! :)

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