Recipe: Revamping the classic chicken noodle soup

chicken_soup_1The tulips and daffodils may already be in full bloom, but boy, this spring weather has been downright rainy and chilly.

I keep getting false hope for weekend barbecues, spring rolls, summer salads and backyard frisbee weather. Last week, I even bought hamburger buns during a  bout of wishful thinking in the neighborhood market. Kind of like the infamous "If you make it they will come" notion that we all remember from Kevin Costner's Field of Dreams. (Remember -- the baseball ghosts?) However, Mother Nature doesn't seem very impressed with my four-pack offering of onion buns.

Regardless, I'm trying to stay positive! This will most likely be the last month of making all of my favorite winter soups and warm meals, before they're laid to rest again until October. And believe me -- I am taking full advantage of this food-filled farewell. And besides, come August when I've eaten enough salad and turkey burgers to make any person want to scream from boredom, these are the dishes that I'll be missing.

So if you're also in need of a warm soup to make the spring's rain and hail and clouds a little easier to swallow each day, now's the time! Last Sunday as April remained true to its well-known nursery rhyme, I was in the kitchen (wearing layers) and making a delicious chicken noodle soup.

Typically when I make chicken soup, I use rice noodles rather than egg. However, for this last seasonal batch, I chose to use orzo and it was a great middle ground for the egg noodle lovers in the house and for the lone rice noodle fanatic (moi).

Like egg noodles, orzo will soak up some of the liquid so take caution in how many you add, but I love their small size and so did my visiting nieces -- who had a hard time believing that they were actually eating noodles and not rice!

Chicken Orzo Soup


1 tbsp. of butter
1 medium onion, chopped
3-4 carrots, chopped
3-4 celery stalks, chopped
1/2-1 cup of dry orzo
1-2 lbs. of shredded chicken
40-60 oz. of chicken broth
Fresh herbs, salt and pepper, seasonings of choice


Heat butter over medium-high heat in a soup pot. Once the butter has melted, add in your chopped onion, carrot and celery. Saute until tender, about 5-8 minutes. Add the chicken broth and shredded chicken; bring to a boil. After the soup has begun to boil, bring it down and let it simmer for 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how long you'd like. Once you have finished simmering the soup, add in the orzo and let it cook until the pasta is al dente. Serve with warm bread and enjoy.

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