August 14, 2014
Like death and taxes just a few days after we got home from our trip to Trinidad, Sean started coming down with a cold. Poor thing. Summer colds are just the worst, and my boyfriend is someone who gets sick maybe once a year on average. While there wasn’t much I could do for him besides push ibuprofen and liquids while waiting for the cold to run its course, I did also whip up a batch of my mom’s chicken soup.
I have no idea where my mom got this recipe for chicken soup, but it’s a hearty one to be sure, full of good veggies and orzo pasta (a nice change from the traditional noodles found in most chicken soups) and chicken. Normally, I would make it more during the cooler months, but whenever someone gets a cold, regardless of the time of year, this soup will do the trick. Trust me.
The recipe is quick to make, low-fat and it can be made with cooked or uncooked chicken, depending on what you have on hand. The same thing goes for the veggies – use what you’ve got in the kitchen or what sounds most appealing. Anyway, here’s the recipe for chicken soup, guaranteed to improve even the worst cold sufferer.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 c. uncooked orzo pasta
- 1 c. diced onion
- 2 c. sliced carrots
- 2 ribs celery, sliced
- 1 small zucchini, sliced
- 1 chicken breast (about 3/4 lb)
- 6 – 8 c. low sodium chicken broth (I prefer Trader Joe’s Organic Chicken Broth because it has the lowest sodium of all the store brands)
- 1 c. peas
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Optional: 1/2 c. chopped fresh parsley
- In medium soup pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add orzo and toast, stirring until golden. Remove orzo from pot and set aside. (If you don’t want to toast the orzo, stir it in with the raw chicken and cook until al dente.)
- Using the same pot, add onions, carrots and celery and saute until tender – about 3 minutes.
- Add the zucchini and saute another 2 minutes.
- Then add the chicken breast and broth, and cook uncovered for 10 – 12 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. (If using already cooked, leftover chicken, stir it in with the orzo and peas at the same time.)
- Add the toasted orzo and peas back to the soup pot and cook 5 more minutes.
- Remove the chicken and shred the meat with two forks, then return to the pot.
- Finally, add parsley, salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve into soup bowls and you’re ready for a dinner designed to cure what ails you. (Or just warm your bones too).