Chicken & Orzo Soup

Making soup for dinner might seem counterintuitive while willing warmer weather to come, but when I’m in search of something comforting and heart-warming, sometimes soup is the best answer, regardless of the season.

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Monday’s events in Boston left me pretty shaken and homesick for Beantown. Thankfully everyone I know in Boston is okay, but it breaks my heart to think of the tragedy brought upon such a momentous occasion that unites Bostonians, college students, and tourists together for such an incredible feat.

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Feeling a little nostalgic and homesick, I turned to this recipe for Lemony Chicken & Orzo Soup that I saw in a recent issue of Bon Appetit. My mom’s chicken soup is one of my favorite homecooked meals. This version is reminiscent of hers, but with a springy twist from the lemon and fresh dill.

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While I slurped my soup and watched the news, I couldn’t help but think of the song “Chicken Soup with Rice” by Carole King – another favorite from my childhood. Even if for a minute, my soup transported me back to these cheerful memories and provided a sense of comfort against the horrifying images on my TV screen. Now that is some powerful soup.

Chicken & Orzo Soup adapted from Bon Appetit

makes 4-5 servings 

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil

2 leeks, white and pale green parts, halved lengthwise, sliced crosswise 1/2-inch thick

2 celery stalks, sliced crosswise 1/2-inch thick

1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs

6 cups chicken broth

Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup orzo

1/3 cup fresh dill, chopped

lemon wedges, for serving

1. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add the leeks and celery. Cook until softened, 6-8 minutes.

2. Add chicken and broth. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and cook 15-20 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken to a plate and let cool slightly. Shred chicken with two forks.

3. Meanwhile, once you’ve removed the chicken, bring the broth to a boil again. Add the orzo and cook 8-10 minutes, until tender.

4. Add in shredded chicken and dill. Stir to combine and heat chicken through, about 2 minutes more. Serve with lemon wedges.

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