Last week I was out with my husband running errands and we were trying to decide on lunch. He wanted something filling, and I wanted a really great salad. As easy as salads are to make and obtain, very few match the salads that I make myself. I knew it would not be easy to find a place to eat in which we would both leave happy. After verbally running through a list of eateries, my husband saying no to some, me saying no to others, we both compromised and settled on Panera. I ordered my salad, and after some time mulling over the menu, my husband ordered a bowl of lemon orzo soup. The ceasar salad I ordered, was not as great as the Ceasar salad I make at home, but I was expecting that. However, my husband really enjoyed his soup. I didn’t taste the soup, but it looked really good, and since he enjoyed it, I decided I would try to make it at home for him. He is such a big fan of soups in general. When I make soup, which is not often, he rants and raves, because to him, soups are a big treat. The key to any great soup is the broth. I made some broth with the leftover carcass of a roast chicken that we had for dinner. I will share that recipe and two other ways to make chicken broth with you later. For this soup use the best organic chicken broth that you can find. I used a gluten free orzo for this, you can leave it outfor a paleo version of this soup, or use a regular pasta orzo for an authentic Lemon chicken orzo soup.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Ingredients: 1lb boneless skinless chicken thighs or 4 cups of pre-cooked chicken cubed
1 cup of diced carrots (3 medium carrots)
1 cup of diced celery (4 celery stalks)
1 large onion diced
2 large cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
1 cup of spinach finely chopped
2-3 tablespoons of finely chopped cilantro
3-4 Tablespoons of Lemon juice less or more depending on your taste
6 cups of organic chicken broth
1/2 cup of orzo gluten free brand
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
2 tablespoon of olive oil
Directions: Season chicken with sea salt and black pepper and set aside. In a stock pot heat oil, add onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Saute until onions turn translucent, add chicken stock, and chicken. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. Add in orzo and cook until orzo is al dente (10 minutes), then stir in spinach, cilantro and lemon juice, turn off fire, serve and enjoy!