Saturday, December 26, 2009

Lemon-Chicken Soup

If I could, I would pass out bowls of this delightful soup to everyone I meet. Brothy, light and lemony, it's the perfect soup for after the holidays.

Basically, it's a chicken noodle soup, minus the noodles, with the addition of lemon to zing things up a bit. I love it. I've seen several recipes like this lately - one in Cooking Light which had Orzo pasta in it -and this recipe from Southern Living which did not. I sort of did my own thing and added some noodles, but it would be just fine without.

I hope everyone survived the holidays and has a safe and happy New Years Eve.

Lemon-Chicken Soupadapted from Southern Living

A small batch of orzo pasta, or noodles, that you have already cooked al dente
6 skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts
2 large onions, chopped
5 celery ribs, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 (1-lb.) package carrots, sliced
4 teaspoons lemon zest
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

Toppings: cooked barley, cooked green beans, lemon slices
1. Bring chicken and water to cover to a boil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; reduce heat to low, and simmer 1 hour.
2. Remove chicken, reserving liquid, and let cool 15 minutes. Shred chicken.
3. Pour reserved cooking liquid through a wire-mesh strainer into a bowl, discarding solids; wipe Dutch oven clean. Add water to cooking liquid to equal 10 cups.
4. Sauté onion, celery, and garlic in hot oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat 5 to 6 minutes or until tender. Add shredded chicken, cooking liquid, carrots, and next 3 ingredients along with your precooked pasta noodles. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook 20 minutes or until carrots are tender. Add parsley. Serve with desired toppings.