Monday, December 13, 2010
Lucious lemon chicken soup
I was perusing through the recent Mary Janes Farm magazine at the grocery store when I came upon a section of soup recipes. Lots of soup recipes. Among them a recipe for a soup I came to love when we lived in Detroit except this recipe called for orzo instead of the white rice in the Greek Lemon Chicken Soup. (Many of the restaurants in the suburb where we lived were owned by Greek families and this soup was quite popular.)
So, this magazine was put in my cart with the explanation to my husband (aka: watcher of the budget) that it had a lemon chicken soup recipe in it. "Buy it," said he...
With a snowstorm on the way, I defrosted two whole chickens from the deep freeze last week. Whole chickens on sale are one of the bargains of the meat counter. I usually bake both, remove the meat, and make chicken soup from the remainder of the chickkies. This time, I baked one of them to serve that night and simmered the other chicken with an onion for chicken stock... just for this soup.
I let the stock sit overnight in the frig so the fat would come to the top (my mother never threw away chicken or bacon fat... they just didn't do that in her day).
It didn't take long at all to assemble the rest of the soup and it was very good when I tried some of it at the end of the cooking time. However, I put the lid on the ancient Le' Cruset dutch oven and let it sit awhile before warming and serving for dinner. It went from good to absolutely luscious and delicious as the lemon zest had married with the orzo and the milk and... well, all I say is you have to make this soup. I like it even better than the Greek chicken rice soup of Detroit restaurants!
I had planned to add a picture but it was all eaten quite too quickly to get the camera out. Of course, as usual, I will add this to my recipe blog where you can click on Soup on the sidebar and get the recipe any time. I promise to add a picture the next time I make it (which will be soon).
Also... although I started with a whole chicken and made my own stock, I believe this would be just as good with a nice quality chicken broth and perhaps the meat from a rotisserie chicken, should you decide to make this at the last minute some day and you stop at the grocery on the way home.
Here is the Lemon Chicken Soup with orzo recipe as was written in Mary Janes Farm magazine... Add 3/4 cup orzo pasta to 4 1/2 cups boiling chicken broth, continue to boil for 5 minutes. Add 1 cup diced cooked chicken, 2 T lemon juice, 1 T. lemon peel, 1 T. minced fresh dill, and 1 T. minced fresh parsley. Slowly add 2 cups milk, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4.
My Notes: I used zest of one whole lemon, juice of half a lemon, about 1/3 tsp. dried dill, and no parsley. I'd double the recipe if you are not serving anything else with the soup.
This would be amazing with Stephanie's lemon scones (although I would leave out the blueberries to serve it with this soup)... recipe here.
My version of this recipe on the recipe blog is... here.