The past couple of weeks have been cool and rainy in the Pacific Northwest—not sure I’m ready for fall quite yet, but I’ve sure enjoyed making soup again.
Here’s a more substantial soup to meet the changing seasons. It is inspired by a small amount of roast chicken left in the fridge, just enough for an easy soup.
Earlier, I whipped up a tasty stock with reserved carcass bones left from the roast chicken. Click on this link if you are interested in making your own stock. As a heads up, this older post needs an update to include a pressure cooker version. The chief difference is in the time factor, which drops to 30 minutes under pressure rather than an hour or longer on the stove.
Armed with a delicious stock, this soup also includes a few basic vegetables and thyme. It’s thickened slightly and rounded out with a handful of orzo for added interest. I’m not a big fan of cream-based soups, but its addition transforms this simple soup into a nourishing entrée when balanced with a hearty salad.
Lacking cream, I finished my soup with a can of evaporated milk, my old standby. I learned to appreciate it while spending time in the Bahamas where it is frequently served with coffee instead of milk or cream. Unlike yogurt or milk, when heated it does not break or curdle.
It’s time for a bowl of creamy steamy chicken soup—while the weather is still cool…
Creamy Chicken Orzo Soup
3 Tbsp butter, or part olive oil
½ small onion, chop
1 medium carrot, chop
1 stalk celery with leaves, chop
½ cup orzo
2 Tbsp flour
½ tsp dried thyme
4 cups chicken stock, good quality
1 heaping cup cooked chicken or turkey, shred or cut into bites
½ tsp salt or to taste, and ¼ tsp white pepper
½ cup hot cream or evaporated milk
fresh thyme leaves
- In a soup pot over medium heat, melt the butter and add the vegetables, cooking until soft. Add the toss and toss well.
- Stir in the flour, cook 2-3 minutes.
- Slowly stir in stock and bring to a boil. Simmer 10 minutes. Add the chicken and simmer 5 minutes, or until orzo is tender.
- Add the cream and cook 3-5 minutes longer to heat and combine flavors. Adjust seasoning. Serve with fresh thyme. Serves 4.