Vegetable, Chicken and Orzo Soup

Margie Bruner - Glory Kitchenby: Margie Bruner, owner of Glory Kitchen
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Most everyone loves a brothy, soothing, chicken soup filled with tender vegetables.  This Vegetable, Chicken and Orzo Soup certainly fits the bill.  It is filled with carrots, mushrooms, english peas and tender shreds of chicken.  Instead of the typical noodle, I’ve added orzo, a tiny little pasta shaped like a grain of rice.  I used orzo just to add a different twist to a traditional soup, however, an egg noodle or even brown rice would be equally delicious in this brothy soup.

My favorite part of this soup is the surprise element of shiitake mushrooms – the Asian mushroom that has a lovely shape and even better deep, mushroom flavor.  The name “shiitake” hails from Japan, where they cultivated the popular mushroom by cutting logs from “shii trees” and placing them close to existing trees which sprouted shiitake spores.  As they became more popular, other methods of cultivating this flavorful mushroom popularized and now shiitake’s are available throughout the world.  If you are not able to find shiitake mushrooms at your local market, you can always substitute with a button or other type of mushroom.

I also like to add the English peas at the end of the cooking so they stay bright and plump.  If you boil a pea too long, it becomes dark and shriveled – not pretty!  And finally, just before serving, give it a finishing crunch by adding an additional sprinkle of Glory Kitchen’s Cairo nut & spice mix.  It adds the perfect peppery flavor and a nice texture on top.  Everyone needs to have a delicious chicken soup in their recipe archives and this one certainly fits the bill.  Serve this soup alongside a grilled cheese sandwich and you’ll have the perfect tummy warming meal.  Enjoy!

Vegetable, Chicken and Orzo Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon Cairo nut & spice mix
  • 2 chicken breasts, skinless
  • 3 carrots, peeled & sliced
  • 3 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1/2 - 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup english peas, fresh
  • 1 4oz box shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • olive oil
  • 32 ounces (1 qt) chicken stock
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups orzo, uncooked
  • 3 cups water

Instructions

  1. Add a drizzle of olive oil to the bottom of a large, heavy stock pot and heat through. Add the chopped onion and cook until translucent. Add the carrots and celery and cook a few minutes until they soften just a bit. Add all the chicken stock and water to the pot and bring it to a boil. Once the stock is simmering add in the shiitake mushrooms, 1 teaspoon Cairo nut & spice mix, nutmeg, a good pinch of salt and pepper. To the liquid, gently drop in the two chicken breasts, cover the pot, and allow to simmer for 6 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the chicken resting in the pot of hot stock for 30 minutes. Make certain the lid remains on so the heat stays trapped in the pot. After 30 minutes, remove the breasts from the stock and allow to cool completely. Once cooled, shred the chicken.
  2. Bring the stock back to a simmer, add in the shredded chicken, the orzo and the peas. Cook just until the orzo pasta is al dente to taste and no longer or they will get mushy. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, pepper or nutmeg as needed.
  3. Serve warm topped with a sprinkle of Cairo nut & spice mix and fresh herbs.

Vegetable, Chicken and Orzo Soup - Glory Kitchen
Vegetable, Chicken and Orzo Soup - Glory Kitchen
Vegetable, Chicken and Orzo Soup - Glory Kitchen
Vegetable, Chicken and Orzo Soup - Glory Kitchen
Vegetable, Chicken and Orzo Soup - Glory Kitchen