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    Jen In The Kitchen: Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

    Jen In The Kitchen: Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

    I LOVE SOUP! Any time of year, I love soup! Even in the summer. Paul and I were out to dinner a couple of weeks ago and it was a very hot July evening. The restaurant (Harvey’s in Falls Church City – one of our favs!) has lovely outdoor seating, but no one was sitting on the patio that evening. The soup of the day was this delicious Red Pepper Bisque. As hot as it was outside, I could have eaten a vat of that soup. Like I said, I love soup!

    On a recent rainy summer day, I was in the mood for some soup, so I made a new recipe I wanted to share with you! It’s called Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup, and it is now in the rotation! It’s light with all the fresh summer flavors I’m drawn to when I cook – fresh herbs, lemon, greens, and of course a little cheese!

    The recipe is super easy to pull together on a weeknight, and most of the ingredients are probably already in your pantry! Do you have some of this seasoning in your pantry?

    Admittedly, I don’t use this seasoning often but it really added a punch of lemon to the chicken. You just sprinkle a little of this on 2 chicken breasts and sauté in a pan with a little olive oil for several minutes on each side. The chicken doesn’t need to cook through. It will finish up cooking when you throw it in the soup at the end.

    Next up, a sweet onion, carrots and celery all get chopped up for the base of the soup. In the past, I would always chop these by hand, but recently, I bought this handy dandy chopper.

    I friggin’ love this thing – it’s quick and I don’t have to worry about losing a finger. Because for someone who cooks all the time, I have terrible knife skills! Back to the soup…

    After the chicken cooks on both sides, remove to separate plate (dice it up once cooled). Add the wine to deglaze the pan, then add a little butter (or a lot – I used 3 tablespoons). Sauté the veggies for a few minutes and then add the garlic. Add the rest of the seasonings, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. Give everything a stir.

    Next add the chicken stock and throw the diced up chicken back in the pot.

    OK – let’s pause here to talk about chicken stock or broth or whatever you’d like to call it. I’m not saying I use homemade chicken stock for everything, but I am diligent about using homemade stock for homemade soups. There are very good stocks you can buy at the store but nothing compares to the real deal you can make at home. The color and richness of flavor cannot be  replicated. I make batches of homemade stock and freeze it in containers so I always have some in my freezer. It is worth the bit of effort!

    Back to the soup, while it gets happy, cook the orzo in a separate pot. When the orzo is almost ready, add the parmesan cheese and the heavy cream to the soup. Then add the spinach and stir until wilted.

    Add the orzo, and season to taste. I’m telling y’all, this soup is perfect for the summer (although I will be making this year round!)…

    Dream. Build. Live.

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