Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Since I did not put as much chicken into my quarts as I should have when I canned chicken soup, I had lots of leftover chicken to use up.  This is hardly a problem around here, and when in doubt, into soup it shall go!  I decided to freeze what we didn’t eat to show you an easy way to preserve foods by freezing.  (Ok, truthfully, I hadn’t even cleaned out my pressure canner yet, and was kind of dreading doing so!  It’s heavy!)

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

What you will need:

Directions:

Chop veggies and add to pot.  I also added more chicken since I didn’t have enough in my quarts that I canned.                                  

Add the quart of chicken soup and bring to a boil.  Add base, and several handfuls of washed spinach or arugula.  No need to chop the spinach, it will naturally shrivel up to bite-sized pieces in the hot soup!  I’ve made this with spinach and arugula, and I would say the arugula lends a better, peppery flavor.  

In a separate pan, bring the orzo and about 2 cups of water to a boil.  You don’t want to add uncooked pasta or rice to your soup because it will soak up all your lovely stock! 

Cook it in water (or different stock or broth) and add it once the orzo is tender and the remaining water has been drained.

Bring back to a boil, add generous amounts of lemon juice.  I would say it needs about 1/2 cup.  I would start with 1/4 cup, taste it, and decide what it needs.  If it needs more lemon, add more juice.  If it needs more salt, add more base.  Add base by 1/2 teaspoons at a time, because too much base is difficult to fix!  (Learned that on lobster bisque – DOH!) Add a little pepper, and voila!  I served this on our date-night with homemade garlic bread.  (Quick recipe: leftover hamburger buns opened, spread with butter, liberally doused with garlic salt and broiled in the oven at 500 degrees until they’re browned.  Browned, not burnt to a crisp.  I almost always burn them to a crisp.)           

There was enough for four 2-cup servings from this batch.  The girls were off at the grandparent’s house and frankly, after cooking two whole chickens and making tons of soups from them, we are little tired of soup.  (*Gasp!*  I said WHAT?)  Freezing the rest of this soup was a better option!

Here is my favorite way to freeze soups:

Grab a freezer baggie.  I used a quart-sized one.  Write the contents and the date made on the baggie BEFORE filling it with soup.  (Learned that one the hard way, too)

Ladle soup into the baggie, seal it closed as close to the top of the soup as possible to eliminate as much air as you can.  Now for the clever part:  (I’m being a little ironic.  You probably already know this trick, but it took me about 6 years to figure this out.)  Clear a spot in your freezer so you can lay the soup flat.    

Once it is frozen, you can turn it upright and file it neatly under “soup”!  This is a definite space-saver!

I hope you all have a lovely Easter tomorrow!  Don’t fret over all those leftover hard-boiled eggs…  Hang on to them and stay tuned for an excellent way to turn a carton (or cartons!) of color-tinged eggs into finger-lickin’ treats!

I may have staged this shot, but he still loved the soup!

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Categories: Freezing, Low-Acid, Poultry, Soup

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3 thoughts on “Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

  1. Do you find that freezing soup with pasta in it gets gummy when you thaw it? I struggle with that and am trying to find a way around it.

  2. I do find the noodles are soggier than if cooked fresh and added to the soup, but it never deters me from freezing them. “I don’t mind a soggy noodle”, as I charmingly quoted in Erin’s podcast. (Sheesh) I plan on experimenting with uncooked noodles the next time I can soup though! My only concern is that they will absorb all the liquid in the jar, which IS something that happens to frozen soups. I almost always have to add more water/broth and base when I defrost soups. Have you experienced that too?

  3. Yes! I learned that one the hard way. Rice too!

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