I think because it's rainy & gloomy outside today, I'm in the mood to post another soup recipe today. This is one of our go-to comfort meals. It's easy to make and an unbelievably delicious twist on traditional Chicken Noodle Soup.
For the chicken, you can cook it at home, or purchase a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. We usually use a store-bought rotisserie chicken because it's so easy-- and really affordable, too. While roasting your own chicken at home may save you a dollar or two, I haven't found that the taste of the soup is impacted at all using one versus using the other. So if you don't have the time (or interest) to roast your own, I say go for the store-bought version.
This recipe is from the Williams-Sonoma Weeknight cookbook my cousin gave me for Christmas a few years ago.
Chicken & Orzo Soup
* 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
* 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
* 2 carrots, thinly sliced
* 1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
* 2 Tbs. minced fresh marjoram (or you can use the dried marjoram from your spice rack)
* 8 cups chicken broth (two 32 oz. boxes of broth)
* 3/4 cup orzo, pastina or other small pasta shape
* 6 oz. baby spinach
* 3 cups cooked chicken, shredded
* Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
* 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Sauté the vegetables: In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the carrots, celery and marjoram and sauté until the vegetables are softened, about 3 minutes more. Add the broth, increase the heat to medium-high and simmer for 5 minutes to blend the flavors.
Cook the pasta: Add the pasta to the simmering soup and cook until the pasta is al dente, 3 to 4 minutes, or according to the package instructions. Add the spinach and chicken and cook, stirring, until the spinach has wilted and the chicken is warmed through, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.
Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with some of the cheese. Serve immediately and pass the remaining cheese at the table. Serves 4.