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:
- 1 quart Versatile Chicken Soup
- Carrots, celery, any other veggies you would care for.
- I cup uncooked orzo
- Fresh spinach or arugula – about two handfuls
- 1 tsp chicken base
- Lots of lemon juice, or at least 1 whole lemon
- pepper to taste
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.
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:
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!