You ever open up your pantry and stand there for what seems like an eternity trying to decide what to make for dinner?
It happens to me more often than not. I’ve constantly got those gears churning in my head in the kitchen, trying to decide what to make with the haphazard ingredients I have laying around in my pantry and fridge. I can come up with some real duds, but a lot of the times I come up with some fantastic.
I made this soup dinner with things I already had on hand. I’ve got a random assortment of pasta and grains in my cupboard: wild rice mix, couscous, Israeli couscous, and orzo. Orzo works just fine in a soup, so I thought I’d go down that route.
This soup ended up pretty good. It wasn’t my favorite thing of the week, but it sufficed when I was needing a big ol’ hearty bowl of soup. Anybody else feeling the need for more soups in their life right now? I think it’s that comforting aspect that we’re seeking.
You really can throw whatever you want into soups, too. Wilted celery? Chunk it in there. Half a can of chicken broth? Add it. Close to fading spinach? Time for soup! I really should make soups more often–they’re the best recycler we have.
Italian Chicken & Orzo Soup
Zesty Italian chicken soup with zucchini, carrots, orzo and fresh basil.
- 1 lb. chicken breast
- 2 TBS. Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 TBS. olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 carrots, shredded
- 2 zucchini, cut into half moons
- 1 cup uncooked orzo
- 1 (14.5 oz) can crushed tomatoes
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
- Shredded parmesan and fresh basil, for topping
- Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a large pot. Season chicken with Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Add chicken to pot and cook until browned and cooked through, about 4-5 minutes per side. Remove to a cutting board and cut into bite-size pieces.
- Heat remaining olive oil in pot and add onion and garlic. Saute until tender and fragrat, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in carrots and zucchini. Add tomatoes, orzo, chicken broth and red pepper flakes. Bring mixture to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Let mixture simmer for 8-10 minutes or until orzo is tender. Stir in cubed chicken and fresh basil. Serve topped with Parmesan and basil.