The past week or so I’ve been dealing with a slight head cold that just won’t go away. Today was a chilly, windy day, and I decided what better to cook than chicken soup. Normally I go old school with making the broth from scratch, using buttery egg noodles, and cooking a whole chicken, then ripping off the excess meat for a hearty soup. Not today though. Today I opted for something a little out of the ordinary.
All this really means is I wanted to use up the spices, veggies, and meat I was running low on so I can restock next time I go grocery shopping. The end result: Italian Chicken Soup. Here’s the recipe 🙂
ITALIAN CHICKEN SOUP
- 1 cup sliced carrot
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup diced zucchini
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cups dry orzo (or any other small pasta you have. Ditalini or pastina works great too)
- 1 14 oz can of crushed tomatoes with basil and oregano (a more favorable subsitue would be a 14 oz can of fire roasted petite diced tomatoes. The reason I used crushed is because that’s what was in my pantry )
- 4 cups organic baby spinach
- 1 parmesan cheese rind (this is optional)
- 8 cups organic low-sodium chicken or veggie stock (I used chicken)
- 2 organic boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil and butter in a soup pot over high heat. Once the butter begins to foam, add the diced onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add zucchini, carrots, & celery, and cook for 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook one additional minute.
- While the veggies are cooking, put the 2 chicken breasts in a smaller pot and cover completely with water. Bring the water to a boil (this poaches the meat) and simmer for about 20-30 minutes. (The amount of time to cook these through really depends on the thickness. I used 2 huge thick breasts, but smaller ones will take less time. Just take them out and cut in half or pierce with a fork to check doneness) Once finished cooking, let the chicken cool slightly and then shred.
- Place the shredded chicken, can of crushed tomatoes, thyme, oregano, parsley, basil, rosemary, & parmesan rind into the soup pot. Cook for 5 minutes to combine the flavors.
- Add 8 cups of stock and orzo. Cook for about another 15 minutes or until orzo appears done.
- Once the orzo has softened, add the 4 cups spinach. Using a spoon push down the leaves so they are incorporated into the soup. Taste and add salt & pepper as necessary.
- Remove cheese rind from pot before serving. Make sure to save some grated cheese and a crusty roll to have alongside the soup.