Last night I got one of my soup cravings and this morning I finally found a recipe that was both appetizing and only called for ingredients I already had in my kitchen. Luckily my comfort food was ready to eat by the time I received a letter in my door from our apartment complex stating they know we have an unauthorized pet…so much for our “how will they ever know we have a cat?” rationale. So, before I go in to sign a pet agreement and pay the fees to avoid a $500 fine (a bit extreme, no?), I am eating a bowl of soup and writing about it here.
Though the original recipe I found was pretty bland, the ingredients had potential. With some doctoring on my part, I am happy to say the finished product of this soup is absolutely delicious – perfect for fall. The original recipe did not call for chicken but I had 2 leftover cooked chicken breasts from a failed recipe I needed to get rid of (note to self: chicken does not belong in a Crock Pot…so dry, blegh) so I added it in and it goes perfectly, plus adds necessary protein. You can make this vegetarian by not including the chicken or gluten-free by subbing in rice for the orzo.
Ingredients (NOTE: this makes a large pot…cut in half if you want less):
- Olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb spinach, fresh or frozen, defrosted (if frozen, make sure to drain after defrosting)
- 1 – 15 oz can diced Italian tomatoes (with oregano and basil OR any other flavor that appeals to you)
- About 2/3 of a 1 lb package orzo pasta (DO NOT USE THE WHOLE BOX!…trust me)
- 2 pre-cooked chicken breasts, cut/shredded into small pieces
- 2 quarts chicken stock
- 4 cups water
- 1 tsp salt (+ any extra to taste)
- 1 chicken bouillon cube
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp each of garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, black or white pepper
- In a large soup/sauce pot, saute onions in olive oil over medium heat until tender. Add garlic and saute for 2 – 3 minutes. Add canned tomatoes, spinach, chicken stock, water, bouillon cube, and seasonings. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium, stirring occasionally.
- Add orzo and chicken and cook for 12 – 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until orzo is cooked.