What's For Dinner: Chicken and Orzo Soup

On Sunday, D braved the sleet and snow to cook beer-can chicken on the grill for dinner, so yesterday I used the leftovers to make a chicken orzo soup. Step one was making the chicken stock, which took about four hours. Once the stock was done, the soup itself was a snap to put together. In all, the soup took about 40 minutes, though I lengthened the simmering time and held off on adding in the orzo until D had arrived home from work so that it wouldn't be overcooked. 

In the past I've added egg noodles to my chicken soup, but now that it is springtime, I wanted something a little lighter. Hence, I opted to use orzo (a pasta shaped like rice). The addition of fresh dill at the end of the cooking period gives this chicken-and-vegetable-filled soup a sweet and tangy flavor, helping to lend it a little springtime flair.

Chicken and Orzo Soup (printer-friendly version)
makes 4-6 servings

1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 leek (white and light green parts only), finely chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 cup chopped mushroom
1 clove garlic, minced
6 cups organic chicken stock
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups cooked shredded organic chicken
1/4 cup fresh dill
1/2 cup orzo

1. Add the olive oil and butter to the bottom of a medium stock pot and heat over medium-high heat.
2. Add in the carrots, leek, celery, and mushroom. Saute until beginning to soften, 3-5 minutes.
3. Stir in the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. 
4. Add in the chicken broth and shredded chicken. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10-20 minutes.
5. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper and add in the dill.
6. Stir in the orzo and cook according to the manufacturer's instructions.
7. Spoon the soup into bowls and serve immediately.

(inspired by this bon app├ętit recipe)