Last week, when my roommate got sick, I made her soup. In return, she gave me…her cold. And while that acorn squash soup is wonderful, this cold is hitting me like a truck, so it’s time to bring out the big guns.
Feel-better Chicken Orzo Soup
3.5 lbs chicken half-breasts (with bone, skin, and everything)
1 can (14.5 oz) chicken broth
1 tsp minced garlic
1/8 cup white wine
1/8 cup lemon juice
2 cups chopped celery
2 cups chopped carrots
1-2 cups orzo (I used 2, but my soup is VERY full of orzo)
water (filtered, if you’ve got it)
Preheat the oven to 375. Rinse off the chicken and lightly brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with pepper and salt, and place in a foil-lined baking pan. Bake for 25 minutes. Note: the chicken will not be cooked all the way through at this point – it will finish cooking in the soup pot.
While the chicken is baking, chop the celery and carrots. When the chicken has been baking for about 20 minutes, pour the white wine and lemon juice into a large stock pot (mine is 20 qt) and place on the stove over low heat. Add the minced garlic and simmer for a few minutes.
Remove the chicken from the oven and allow to cool for a moment. Add the chicken broth, celery, and carrots, as well as a few shakes each of salt, pepper, and basil. Don’t throw out the can the broth came in yet (if you’re using broth that didn’t come from a can, you’re a much better sick person than I am, and for that you’ll have to settle for using a measuring cup for water later on).
Slice the chicken into bite-sized pieces, and add these to the pot. Discard the bones and skin. Find the chicken broth can from earlier, fill it with water, and add to the batch. Repeat six more times. I like to use filtered water because it makes me feel like I’m being extra-healthy, but tap water is probably just fine. Add the orzo to the pot. Add a dash of nutmeg, put the lid on the pot, and allow the soup to cook for ten more minutes.
Serve hot, but not so hot that the soup hurts your sore throat.
If you put a lot of orzo in this soup, it will soak up the broth and you’ll likely have to add some extra water to any leftover batches you may have. I also suggest adding a handful of fresh chopped celery and carrots (for some reason, there are never enough vegetables in my leftovers). Enjoy, and feel better!