On a trip to Puerto Vallarta in the mid-'80s, Leslie Giffin discovered this delicious chicken and avocado soup at Chilly Willy's--a quaint restaurant by the river. The restaurant is no more, but because the soup is so quick and easy, Giffin often re-creates it for guests. Any tiny pasta can be used instead of the orzo.
7 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
1 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup dried orzo pasta
2 boned, skinned chicken breast halves (about 1/2 lb. total)
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 firm-ripe avocado (about 6 oz.)
How to Make It
In a 4- to 5-quart pan over high heat, bring broth, onion, celery, garlic, and pepper to a boil. Add pasta and chicken; return to a boil.
Reduce heat to low, cover pan, and simmer until chicken is white in thickest part (cut to test), about 5 minutes. With tongs, lift out breasts and let stand. Continue simmering soup until pasta is tender to bite, about 2 minutes more. Reduce heat to very low and keep soup warm.
When chicken is just cool enough to handle, in about 5 minutes, tear into coarse shreds and return to pan.
Stir lemon juice, parsley, and cilantro into soup. Ladle into wide bowls.
Peel, pit, and thinly slice avocado; add to bowls.