Thursday, November 3, 2016

Italian Style Roasted Chicken and Orzo Soup


About a week ago I brought you a recipe for Mediterranean Chicken Salad in which I roasted the chicken breasts.  I actually roasted 5 bone-in chicken breasts to use for various dishes, but today's recipe, Italian Style Roasted Chicken and Orzo Soup, was the main inspiration. 

You see, we had a taste of fall weather around here.  Finally! It was cloudy and cool, even a little rain.  So even when we get a hint of a change in the weather I think of comfort food, particularly soup.  So roasted chicken breasts it is.  All for one of the most comforting Italian style soups!  I have the BEST recipe for roasted chicken breasts that you must try.  You can find the recipe here

Roasting chicken for this soup gives it a deeper flavor and keeps the chicken moist and tender.  You can of course skip the roasted chicken and use a rotisserie chicken instead and it will work just fine.  But why not roast up from chicken to use in several dishes for the week?  The addition of orzo pasta, along with some Italian spices makes this chicken soup something a little more special.  The dried herbs give it a little zip and the fresh basil at the end gives the soup a brightness you can't beat. 

Italian Style Roasted Chicken and Orzo Soup is comfort food at it's best.  It's family and kid friendly and perfect for a weekend meal.  Serve up a hot bowl of soups with my Simple Garlic Cheese Bread and a simple Italian salad for a great meal.


Italian Style Roasted Chicken and Orzo Soup

2 tablespoons butter
1 large sweet onion, peeled and diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups carrots, diced
2 cups celery, diced
2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1 tsp dried oregano
1 lb roasted chicken breasts, skin removed and shredded or cut into chunks
10 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup whole wheat orzo
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black ground pepper 
Garnish:  fresh basil leaves, torn or left whole

In a Dutch oven over medium heat, add butter to hot pan.  Add onions and saute for 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds.  Add the carrots, celery, Italian seasoning, and oregano and saute for another 5-8 minutes.

Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the vegetables have softened.  Add roasted chicken breasts and the orzo.  Cook for 10 minutes until orzo is tender and chicken has warmed.  Season with salt and pepper. 

To serve:  Ladle warm soup into individual bowls and add basil. 

Note:  Recipe for roasted chicken breasts:  Roasting 101: Chicken Breasts or use a rotisserie chicken about 2 - 2 1/2 cups.

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