We all know that any type of Chicken soup is comforting and warms the soul in the dead of winter. While staring out at all the snow last week, I was inspired to a try a slight twist on the classic. Even though I did not make my own broth, it is still loaded with vitamins, low-fat and healthy.
3 teaspoons olive oil
8 oz. skinless, boneless chicken breast, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
2-3 teaspoons of fresh thyme or 1-1.5 dried thyme
4 cups of low-sodium chicken broth*
2 cups water*
½ cup orzo (rice shaped pasta; whole wheat or blend if you can)**
Juice from 1 lemon
Rind from the lemon, diced
2-3 teaspoons parsley, chopped
Salt & black pepper
Begin by heating 1.5 tsp. oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook it about 4-5 minutes, stirring often. Once cooked through, remove and add remaining 1.5 teaspoons oil to the pot. Add the carrots, onion and celery, garlic and thyme and cook over medium heat until tender. Turn the heat to high and then add the chicken broth and water (add only one water if you like less ‘broth’) and add the orzo and turn heat down to a soft boil for 9 minutes, stirring occasionally. I then turn the heat down to low and add in the juice and rind of a lemon, parsley and season to taste.
* You could also use 6 cups of broth if you prefer. I simply utilized one standard box of broth which is 4 cups and then used 2 cups water.
** Be advised that Orzo, being pasta, somehow seems to multiply like mice, so if you add extra, be sure to add more broth/water or you will have a thick stew.