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Chicken Orzo Soup

by elyn_ryn

This recipe for Chicken Orzo Soup makes a large pot of soup with about 15 one-cup servings. Although it is a dairy-based soup with half and half, it is not really a cream soup. It is delicious if you slow cook your own whole chicken with this Baked Chicken and Herbs recipe and use the chicken stock that it makes. Or you can use a store-bought rotisserie chicken and buy chicken stock for use. Either way, it is delicious and an easy-to-make soup.

What is Orzo?

If you aren’t familiar with orzo, it is pasta that looks like a seed. When it cooks in this recipe, it absorbs the chicken stock and grows in size. It is tempting to stir in a whole box or bag of orzo because, at first, it looks as though there is not enough in the soup. Avoid this temptation because the orzo will continue to absorb liquid after you finish cooking it. When you add too much orzo, you will find that the orzo will absorb the soup until there is none left to eat! The recipe calls for one cup. I would only add up to another 1/4 cup of orzo if you want soup with a lot of orzo. Trust me, I have added two cups before to this soup recipe, and the orzo absorbed all the liquid!

Difference Between Chicken Broth and Chicken Stock

Chicken broth is made from simmering chicken meat in water. Stock is made by simmering chicken bones in water. Many times, vegetables and herbs are also added when making either stock or broth. They will impart more flavor to the finished product. Chicken stock has a more natural taste from the simmered bones; broth usually has to rely on salt for flavoring. Another difference is that chicken stock is simmered for a longer time than broth which contributes to chicken stock’s richer flavor. Finally, homemade stock can be thicker than broth because gelatin is released from the bones during cooking. This is most noticeable when you cool homecooked stock in the refrigerator. It becomes thickened, whereas broth remains liquid.

Homemade Chicken and Stock

To impart the most flavor to this chicken orzo soup, I suggest using a slow cooker for cooking both the chicken and stock (using the Baked Chicken and Herbs recipe). Then use this chicken and stock (supplementing with store-bought chicken stock) to make the soup. This is the best method for the most delicious soup. Do note that it is best to cook the chicken and stock the day before making the soup.   

Print Recipe
Chicken Orzo Soup
Chicken soup made with chicken stock, herbs, half and half, and orzo pasta
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. Add the chicken stock to a large pot. Bring to a boil.
  2. Add the salt, rosemary, thyme, oregano, garlic, carrot, and orzo. Reduce the heat and simmer for 9 minutes or until the orzo is tender.
  3. Add the butter, half and half, pepper, hot sauce, and chicken. Heat until butter melts and the half and half is hot. Do not boil. Remove herb stems before serving.
Recipe Notes

Baked Chicken with Herbs and Homemade Stock

Try making homemade chicken stock for this recipe by using the slower cooker to bake a whole chicken.  Click here to go to Baked Chicken with Herbs recipe. If you use chicken stock from this recipe, you do not need to add the herbs, garlic, or butter listed in this recipe.  Supplement homemade stock with store-bought stock if necessary.

Orzo

If you like a lot of orzo in your soup, add an additional 1/4 cup.  Do not add too much because the orzo absorbs liquid the longer it sits in the soup, which can make your soup dry up.

Salt

If your chicken stock is salty, you may not need to add any salt.

Yield

This recipe will make 15 or more 1-cup servings.

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