Spring Chicken Soup

Spring Chicken Soup with Orzo

¼ C olive oil

1 ½ large leeks, rinsed and thinly sliced

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6 celery stalks, diced

6 carrots, diced

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1 ½ t salt

1 t black pepper

5 bay leaves

2 T dried oregano

½ c fresh squeezed lemon juice

8 C chicken stock

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3 C shredded chicken

1/3 C parsley, finely chopped

2 C orzo, cooked separately

Lemon slices, very thinly cut

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In a soup pot, heat ¼ C olive oil until it shimmers. Add leeks, celery, carrots, salt and black pepper. Sauté until leeks soften. Not looking for or caramelization of veggies – just a melding of flavors and softening of texture. Add bay leaves, oregano, lemon juice and chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Just before serving, add shredded chicken and parsley. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve over orzo and garnish with a slice of lemon and some saltines.

For orzo: Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add 2 t salt and 2 C orzo pasta. Cook over a roiling boil. Stir frequently as orzo can clump and stick. Once al dente, drain and add a small amount of olive oil to prevent sticking.

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