Thursday, January 3, 2008

Nothing's Better Than a Bowl of Chicken Soup

Especially on a cold and windy day. I have been in the mood for some brothy goodness ever since the temperature dropped early this week. I am hoping it can ward off any sicknesses I may incur from my students when they come back to school on Monday (as I predict a few dozen will be infected with some kind of virus).

My soup is very easy to make. You can use whatever part of the chicken you desire (I prefer both dark and white meat), and either boil in water or roast as I did. Or you can buy a rotessirie to save on time. Having a good quality stock on hand is always good, and even better if it is homemade. I was very happily prepared in that department in that I made a huge batch of stock and froze it the last time I roasted a bird.
You can include whatever veggies you have on hand. I wanted my soup fairly simple so I only added the usual celery, carrots, onion and garlic as well as some fresh and dried herbs.
I made a HUGE batch that I plan to freeze in portions. With the temperatures the way they are, and no sign of the mercury rising in the near future, I know I'll be needing another bowl of this comforting soup soon enough.

Roasted Chicken Soup with Orzo

For the chicken:
3 chicken leg quarters
1 large chicken breast half
2 Tbs. butter softened
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. fresh pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano

olive oil for sauteeing
2 large carrots sliced
2 celery stalks sliced in half moons
1/2 large onion diced
4 garlic cloves minced
2 bay leaves
2 thyme sprigs
1 Tbs. fresh parsley chopped
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. (or more) fresh pepper
1 tsp. kosher salt
10-12 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups orzo
1 Tbs. corn starch
1/4 C. water

Preheat oven to 375
Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, and basil to softened butter and combine well. Rub all over the leg quarters and put in a roasting pan. Season chicken breast with salt and pepper. Roast leg quarters for 1/2 hour covered and another 1/2 hour uncovered. For the last 1/2 hour add the breast. Remove all meat from leg quarters and set aside. Chop up chicken breast and set aside.

Meanwhile chop veggies. Add olive oil to a large pot over med. heat. Add all veggies but garlic. Add thyme, bay leaves, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Saute until onions are soft then add garlic and saute a few minutes longer. Add chicken stock, fresh parsley and chicken meat. Heat to boiling and then reduce to a simmer. Add orzo and let simmer for about 10 minutes. make a slurry with the cornstarch and water and whisk in soup. Remove bay leaves and thyme and serve in big bowls.


Anonymous said...

I agree there is nothing better! Mmm... and yours looks great!

Jerri at Simply Sweet Home said...

I was just thinking of making some soup next week (to warm up from the cold weather). this looks excellent!