Tuscan Kale & Chicken Soup with Orzo



"Soup is a lot like a family.  Each ingredient enhances the others; each batch has its own characteristics; and it needs time to simmer to reach full flavor."
Marge Kennedy


Nothing warms the soul like a steaming bowl of soup on a chilly Autumn or Winter day.  This soup can be made entirely from scratch, if you prefer, but I wrote this recipe for those of us on the move looking for an easy way to make a belly warming meal for our family.  I love making soups when the weather starts to turn, because there is an endless list of possibilities to choose from depending on what leftovers I have in fridge & a slew of great pantry items I like to keep on hand.  I find that most home cooks have homemade chicken stock in the freezer or a few boxes in the pantry, so soup is an easy choice if you're looking to keep things simple.  How many times have you wondered what to do with those leftover chicken breasts from dinner the night before, and if you don't have any on hand there's no shame in grabbing a rotisserie chicken from your local grocer.  Vegetarians can easily make this soup as well by eliminating the chicken, using a great vegetable stock and adding more veggies.  Also, whenever I make soup I always prepare my pasta separately for a couple of reasons: 1. You don't end up with overcooked soggy noodles & 2. The pasta tends to absorb a lot of broth, so storing the soup and the pasta separately helps you retain the most broth.  If you don't like or have kale on hand, any leafy green such as spinach, escarole or Swiss chard can be used to give your soup a healthy kick.  Growing up in an Italian household, topping your soup with grated Parmesan was the icing on the cake!  A nice piece of crusty bread or even a good grilled cheese to boot, make this a meal any of us would find hard to resist.


Tuscan Kale & Chicken Soup with Orzo

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled & chopped
1 large onion diced
1/4 cup chopped parsley
8 cups chicken stock or broth
1 bunch Tuscan kale, stems removed & chopped
2 rotisserie chicken breasts, skin removed & shredded 
1 cup cooked orzo
salt & pepper taste
grated Parmesan for garnish

Heat olive oil in a large stock pot on medium high heat.  Saute celery, carrots and onions with a pinch of salt and cook for 3-5 minutes until tender.  Add chopped parsley and saute for an additional minute.  Add chicken stock to pot and bring to a boil.  Once boiling reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.  Add kale and cook for 2 minutes until it begins to wilt.  Add shredded chicken breasts and cook for an additional 10 minutes.  Add salt & pepper to taste. Add orzo to soup, ladle into serving bowl and top with grated Parmesan.       



Comments

  1. How much longer do you cooknow after orzo is added?

    ReplyDelete
  2. How much longer do you cook after orzo is added?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just until tender, I personally prefer to cook it separately so the orzo doesn't soak up all the broth. After it's cooked perfectly I drain and rinse with cold water and drizzle with a little Olive Oil. Then I can add to my soup throughout the week and the orzo doesn't get mushy. Hope that helps!!

      Delete
    2. Just until tender, I personally prefer to cook it separately so the orzo doesn't soak up all the broth. After it's cooked perfectly I drain and rinse with cold water and drizzle with a little Olive Oil. Then I can add to my soup throughout the week and the orzo doesn't get mushy. Hope that helps!!

      Delete

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