Monday, April 4, 2016

Healthy Creamy Chicken Orzo Soup - Just the Thing for a Spring Snowstorm

Yesterday I told you all about the 5 inches of snow we woke up to.....in April, none the less. 

Sigh. 


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?

Anyway......


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. 

I served the soup with some amazing Cheesy Garlic Biscuits that my daughter made from this recipe. 

Via
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? 

















44 comments:

  1. You've sure gotten your money's worth out of that pot! Well, hate to say it, but it's warm here. Sun is shining. I'm sitting here in shorts and a T-shirt, my standard fare.
    Brenda

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, that's just mean!! Are you out on your patio enjoying the sunshine? I'm just getting ready to get up off my chair and put some more wood on the fire! Vacation day....yayyyyyyy!!

      Delete
  2. I'm drooling right now! We have very light flurries right now and I can't think of anything better than soup to warm us up. Thank you and hope that back of yours feels better soon!! (maybe if old man winter had some of your soup he'd be in a little better mood) ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wonder if you'll get anything other than flurries, Patti...and it is STILL snowing here! It hasn't stopped since I woke up this morning - yikes! This is going to take forever to melt....and my sore back is NOT going out there to shovel - that's going to be all on my daughter, who is home from work today for a 'snow day!'

      Delete
  3. OH man that stinks! i know how u feel. I am so itchy for spring. i want to plant things and permanently enjoy the nice weather. I am SO OVER WINTER!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm heading to my lower level to plant some more seeds for the summer garden, Ellen....that's going to have to tide me over until this stupid weather sorts itself out!!!! :)

      Delete
  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Since we had no winter, I'm a bit jealous! I'd trade places with you for about a week!
    That soup looks so good...and those biscuits!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome - come on over and grab a shovel - my back won't let me!! It's so bizarre because this is pretty much the ONLY winter we had all winter - except for some super cold temps here and there, the snow was non existent! However, do I want it in April when I'm ready to garden? Ummmm, NOPE!! :)

      Delete
  6. Yep in Oklahoma it is warm today. I'm about to go start planting my garden. I'm not going to plant maters yet because I still think we may have another frost. Brrr. The good news about your snow storm is that the ground will be nice and moist when you get ready to plant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Valerie, you are so sweet and so positive and thank you so much for reminding me of the bright side! You are so right - it's been such a dry year and the gardens really, really need the moisture in any form!

      Delete
  7. Yum, this looks sooo good! No snow here, but cold weather is back. Hope you feel better soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, eek, sorry - how cold? It's about 20 here all day and the snow is still coming down - I can't believe it, this is WAY more than they predicted!!!

      Delete
  8. I am so sorry about all that snow you have in April! Here in northern IL today, it's only 34 degrees and snow flurries. And dark and depressing looking. At least the snow isn't sticking to the ground though!
    Your soup looks delicious - I would love a big bowl full of that right now! I agree with you about the Le Creuset pot - they are the best. My sisters-in-law gave me one for Christmas a couple of years ago, plus I won a Le Creuset frying pan in a blog giveaway a few years ago, and they are the best cooking pots and pans I've ever had.
    From one healthy foodie to another, you don't have to use fat free dairy products anymore. Now they're saying that full fat is actually the way to go. (I know, take this expert info with a grain of salt! They change their minds every 10 years.) The thing is with fat-free dairy products is though, that they are filled with chemicals and stabilizers to make up the difference for the fat being taken away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. PS- No, I have not read that Dean Riddle book yet! I have such a huge "to read" pile right now.

      Delete
    2. I must check the carton on that milk....I guess I figured since it's organic they aren't using fillers and junk in the fat free milk...but I'll give it a look. Thanks, Melanie! And I hear you loud and clear about the book pile....I have about a hundred books in my kindle to read....and many, many 'real' books to get to as well! Maybe when I retire....some day. :)

      Delete
  9. OK, now I am hungry! Soup on a snowy day, priceless!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so right, Carole - it's just the thing that's needed on a snowy day!

      Delete
  10. Looks good, Deb. Oh my God, that Lucy. She kills me. lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She's such a pretty kitty! My sweetie spoils her rotten - she must have 20 little mice lined up on his staircase!

      Delete
  11. Oh, I could have used that soup yesterday too! We got about the same amount of snow and tonight is going down into the teens! What? I am not surprised though....it happens every year. Thanks for the recipe!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh no, you're in the same boat as me - sorry!!!!!

      Delete
  12. It was certainly cold enough for soup. It looks delicious! I have to say that I have been really excited with our warmer NC weather...heavenly!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure you are...I'd be pretty excited to have your NC weather also!! :)

      Delete
  13. The soup looks great. SO do the biscuits! Im hungry now! Thanks for sharing your soup. Stay warm.
    Lisa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not letting up, Lisa, we have about another week of cold weather ahead of us - booooooo!!

      Delete
  14. We fast forwarded our seasons this year, so I'd take a little cold for a few days.
    But not now-my garden is growing!
    Thanks for sharing this recipe, my friend!
    xo
    Jemma

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you will be posting some garden updates soon - I can't wait to see the progress, farmer Jemma! :)

      Delete
  15. The soup looks delicious. Oh my you REALLy got the brunt of the snowstorm there!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We really did, Deb. Slammed. And it was snowing again a few minutes ago.

      Delete
  16. We are kind of having the Spring one day winter the next here in Illinois too. I am over it and want those nice temps to stay. That soup looks and sounds so good. Love your kitty and her three mice on the steps how cute is that. Made me smile today. Have a great new week ahead.
    Kris

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thinking of you and your new pup, Kris - hoping things are looking happier in your world!! Hugs, friend - xo

      Delete
  17. I LOVE the idea of "Spring Snowstorm Food" because spring has a way of playing dirty tricks on us every year. This looks yummy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It sure does, Pattie - mean, nasty, rotten tricks!

      Delete
  18. YOur soup looks so good! That Lucy, what a cute face...I think I'm in love. :) Our high today was 50 but we are expecting to hit 80 by Friday...freaky weather.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Holy smokes, 80??? We could use those temps here to get rid of all this snow and ice!

      Delete
  19. YOur soup looks so good! That Lucy, what a cute face...I think I'm in love. :) Our high today was 50 but we are expecting to hit 80 by Friday...freaky weather.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi - just come across from Dewena's blog.
    Snow ... goodness!
    Soup is just the thing and your recipe looks good!

    Keep warm

    All the best Jan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Jan, and thanks for visiting - I love meeting new blog friends!!

      Delete
  21. When the snow flies - make soup. Usually in Colorado we would be having lots of snow so I feel guilty here in Missouri but I think I can get over it. Sunday it is supposed to be 69 but 50's tomorrow. Later next week warmer so I will be outdoors. I hope your seeds are coming along well all cozy inside where it is warm. Your soup looks delicious and with hot bread - there is nothing better!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nothing to feel guilty about, Bernideen - enjoy your warm temps at your beautiful new home!

      Delete
  22. Lucy is adorable! Soup looks good...I would have to substitute a non-wheat product...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You could also use rice, Donna, that would work!

      Delete
  23. Soup sounds delicious! Cute kitty. Sheila

    ReplyDelete

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking time out of your busy day to leave a comment...I truly love reading your comments and I try to respond to each and every one of your sweet comments right here on my blog page!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...