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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Lemon Orzo Chicken Soup

Today was the last day of school before Winter Break.  I spent the morning making snowflakes with my students to send to Newtown, CT.  What a sad and tragic incident.  As happy as I am that vacation has started, thinking about the families that lost their friends and loved ones overwhelms me with sadness.  It doesn't help that it's been a rainy mess of a day as well.  A bowl of soup is perfect to warm the body and soul and this is my favorite soup recipe - so it should definitely do the trick.  This soup is creamy without any cream.  The creaminess comes from the egg.  That is one of the reasons I am in love with this soup.  It tastes just like one of those bad-for-me-so-I-avoid-eating-it-but-I-want-it-so-very-much-soups.  That is exactly why this soup recipe is in Elie Krieger's cookbook called The Food You Crave.  So thank you, Elie Krieger.  Whenever I make this soup, I double the recipe because I love it so much and I'll eat it for days.  It reheats perfectly.  Halve the following recipe if it's too much for you.  Also, I add 50% more chicken than the recipe calls for because I think it could use a little more chicken.  If you love chicken soup and you love lemon, then you will adore this soup.

Lemon Orzo Chicken Soup
from Elie Krieger's The Food You Crave
makes 8 servings

1.5 lbs chicken breast, cut into small bite-size pieces
salt and pepper to taste
2 medium onions, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 Tbsp thyme, finely chopped
12 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 eggs
6 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cups orzo
olive oil

In a large pot, heat a little olive oil over medium heat.  Add the chicken, season with salt and pepper, and cook until it turns white.  Remove from the pot, add a little more olive oil, and add the onions, carrots, celery, and thyme to the pot.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes.  Now add all but 2 cups of the chicken broth along with the chicken you set aside.  Turn up the heat and bring to a boil.  Turn down the heat so the soup is simmering and continue to cook for about 15 minutes.  You will then add your orzo which will need about 8 minutes to cook.  While the soup simmers, put the remaining 2 cups of chicken broth in another small sauce pan on medium-low heat.  While this gets hot, beat your eggs in a medium bowl.  Slowly whisk in the lemon juice.  When the broth is hot but not boiling, slowly add it to the egg-lemon mixture while whisking constantly.  (This will temper the egg so that your soup will become creamy as opposed to an egg drop soup once you add the egg to the pot.)  Once your orzo is cooked, take the soup off the heat and add the egg mixture.  Your soup should look creamy and taste delicious.  Enjoy!

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