Once we get to the month of March, I am mentally done with winter. But it is still mostly cold outside so I am not quite ready to part from my (almost) daily bowl of soup! This one comes together quickly and is perfect for lunch or dinner on a busy day.
Orzo, a delicate rice-shaped pasta, works really well with the thyme-scented broth and chicken chunks, but any noodle, pasta or rice can be substituted, simply adjust the cooking time accordingly. I also love how lemon juice gives a clean, light, fresh flavor to the soup.
Makes 4 servings
- 1 tablespoon olive oil = 1 cuillère à soupe d'huile d'olive
- 1 chicken breast (6 to 8 oz.), cut into small chunks = 1 blanc de poulet (200 g), coupé en petits dés
- 1 medium onion, diced = 1 oignon, émincé
- 2 cloves garlic, minced = 2 gousses d'ail, émincées
- 2 stalks celery, diced = 2 branches de céleri, émincées
- 3 medium carrots, diced = 3 carottes, émincées
- ½ to 1 teaspoon dried thyme = ½ à 1 cuillère à café de thym
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock, preferably homemade = 1 l de bouillon de poulet ou légumes
- 2 cups water = 450 ml d'eau
- 1 cup orzo = 160 g d'orzo
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice = 2 cuillères à soupe de jus de citron
- salt & pepper to taste = sel & poivre
Heat half the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Season chicken chunks with salt and pepper, add to the pot and cook , stirring a few times, for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and keep warm.
Heat remaining olive oil in the same pot and add onion, garlic, celery, carrots and thyme. Cook, stirring a few times, for 5 minutes. Add vegetable broth and water, bring to a boil. Add orzo, reduce to a simmer and cook for 8 minutes. Remove pot from stove. Add chicken and lemon juice, stir gently. Enjoy!
Note: I often make a vegetarian version of this soup by replacing the chicken with one 15 oz. can of chickpeas (drained and rinsed). It is equally yummy!