Yesterday I told you all about the 5 inches of snow we woke up to.....in April, none the less.
Winter just keeps playing peek-a-boo with us up here on the mountaintop.
Call me a spoilsport, but I just don't want to play this game any more!
Well, Old Man Winter wasn't done with us just yet....it snowed on and off during the night, and we had quite the snow storm again this morning.
It's snowing heavily again as I'm writing this post...all in all, they are predicting another 6 inches on top of what we got yesterday....and all the schools are closed up here.
Seriously, folks, I'm over it!
But since there's nothing I can do about it the only other way to handle it is to nestle in and embrace it.
And make soup. Of course.
I'm a foodie....that's what I do. Hand me any sort of situation and there's a food for the occasion.
I actually made this soup last week for the first time but I didn't take any photos.....and it was so incredibly amazing that I had to make it again just so I could tell you all how to make it yourselves at home!
It all came about last week when my sweetie and I headed off the mountain to a REAL supermarket together and I went a little bit crazy.
So many choices - oh my, the pastas! The breads! The fruits and veggies! The produce aisle alone was bigger than our entire little market up here. Wow, I had forgotten what a real market is like.
I picked up some lovely organic whole wheat orzo and I woke up one morning just knowing that I was going to turn it into a creamy chicken orzo soup.
I dream about food....it's like the food network is playing in my head all night long.
I might be a little bit weird.
Anyway....I started with a good old standard chef's mirepoix: chopped onion, carrot, and celery, pretty much in equal amounts.
I used one red onion, a handful of baby carrots, and two stalks of celery. Because that's what I had.
Side note: I'm now officially out of both onions and garlic.....that never, ever happens in my house, and I have to say I'm starting to panic since I'm housebound with the snow today!
I sauteed the veggies in a little olive oil over low-med heat until they started to get soft and the onions translucent, about 10 minutes or so.
I used my absolute favorite pot, that I still adore to bits & pieces and reach for every single time. Love, love, love this pot. It's worth every cent and then some.
Did I say LOVE?
I still had the chicken broth simmering in the crockpot so I strained some of that broth for use in this soup. For this recipe, I used about 6 cups of broth.
Note: Check out this post if you want to find out just how I make my chicken broth. It's not quite the same each and every time but this is a good tutorial, regardless. I have also been known to add a bit of fresh sage and fresh curry leaves, some mushroom stems, a parmesan rind, and two chicken carcasses instead of one for even more flavor.
I covered the pot at this point and let it simmer on low for about a half hour to let all the flavors develop.
Then it was time for the orzo.
This was about a half package of whole wheat organic orzo that was left from the soup I made last week. I threw in the whole thing.
At this point I also added about a cup and a half of cooked, chopped white meat chicken that I had in the freezer.
I'd love to show you the photos but they were all blurry...hmmmm.
I put the lid back on the pot and let it simmer for about another 10 minutes or so while I set the table.
Starting to look pretty darned good, if I do say so myself!
Now it's time to make it creamy....without adding cream.
Because let's face it, this is a pretty healthy soup for the most part with the home made broth, chopped veggies, whole wheat organic orzo, white meat chicken....so why add cream if we don't need to?
The secret is to make a little slurry out of some fat free milk and Wondra if you have it....or all purpose flour if you don't.
I would guess I used about a quarter cup of Wondra and a full cup of fat free milk. Whisk it up until smooth....I use what I call my "bouncety whisk" which is the same one I use when making scrambled eggs.
What do you call it?
Drizzle the slurry into the soup, stir it up, and let it simmer for another five to ten minutes to thicken.
If it doesn't get as thick as you would like, make a little more slurry and repeat the process.
Then it's time to taste the soup and season it to your liking.
My chicken broth has a ton of flavor so it doesn't need much in the way of seasoning.
I seasoned my soup very simply with a good sprinkle of Vermont Country Seasoning and some freshly ground pepper. Perhaps about a half teaspoon of each, maybe a little more. Taste and adjust as needed. Remember, you can always add more but it's very hard to fix a soup that you have over seasoned so start with just a little and work your way up.
Next I added a cup of shredded cheddar to finish it off. I just love cheese in a creamy soup.
I would prefer to use organic shredded cheddar but my little market doesn't carry it and I didn't remember to look for it when I was in the big market off the mountain. Oh well.
Let me tell you, this soup is fantastic. Just the thing for a snowy evening.
I don't know why I didn't get a photo when I ladled it into bowls....probably because I was too busy drooling over the soup. Oh, and my back was done at that point....I needed to sit. Ouch.
It was the perfect meal for a snowy April evening.
And there's a batch in the freezer ready for a quick meal in the future.
This recipe made two hearty servings for dinner plus three for the freezer....and two more servings sent home with my sweetie for his lunch today and tomorrow.
I wonder if Lucy will like it?