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Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Jan Gautro
Yield

8 servings (serving size: about 1 3/4 cups soup)

Chicken noodle soup is probably the top comfort food of all time. You'll need to start a day ahead to prepare the tasty homemade broth. A serving of this soup provides about 200 micrograms of vitamin A, just shy of one-third of the RDA.

Ingredients

  • 1 (4-pound) whole chicken
  • 2 carrots, peeled, cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 2 celery stalks, cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 1/3 cups chopped carrot
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 8 ounces uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Lemon wedges (optional)
  • Coarsely cracked black pepper (optional)

Nutrition Information

  • calories 235
  • caloriesfromfat 20 %
  • fat 5.2 g
  • satfat 1.3 g
  • monofat 1.8 g
  • polyfat 1.1 g
  • protein 21.3 g
  • carbohydrate 24.6 g
  • fiber 2.3 g
  • cholesterol 53 mg
  • iron 1.1 mg
  • sodium 679 mg
  • calcium 39 mg

How to Make It

  1. Remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken. Place chicken in a large Dutch oven. Add 2 chopped carrots, 2 chopped celery stalks, and next 5 ingredients (through bay leaves) to pan. Add 6 cups water; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes.

  2. Remove chicken from pan; place chicken in a bowl. Chill 15 minutes. Discard skin; remove chicken from bones, discarding bones. Chop chicken into bite-sized pieces; cover and chill. Strain broth mixture through a sieve into a large bowl; discard solids. Cool broth mixture to room temperature. Cover and chill 8 to 24 hours. Skim fat from surface; discard.

  3. Add enough water to broth to equal 9 cups; place broth mixture in a large Dutch oven. Add 1 1/3 cups carrot, 1 1/4 cups onion, 1 cup celery, and salt to pan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add reserved chicken, and simmer 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Keep warm.

  4. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Add pasta to pan with chicken and broth mixture; stir in parsley, rind, and juice. Garnish each serving with lemon wedges and cracked black pepper, if desired.