We love homemade soup in my household. Really love it. So here’s a question. How do you define homemade? In terms of soup, most of us think that translates to hours of simmering on a hot stove. Using nothing but fresh ingredients. But if you get technical on the definition, here it is …homemade |ˌhō(m)ˈmād| adjective – made at home, rather than in a store or factory.
I’m here to proclaim that it’s okay to use some shortcuts and still refer to it as homemade soup. Save the hours of simmering for those cold winter days. Feel free to use that leftover rotisserie chicken and canned chicken broth on this one. It’s all good.
Be sure to use fresh vegetables and herbs. It makes all the difference. As long as they are fresh, the flavor and textures will shine through.
A note on the veggies – it is so convenient to know the approximate weight of each of those ingredients. Fresh vegetables can vary so greatly in size, that it’s difficult to judge how many of each you’ll need for a given recipe. How many carrots in 1 cup of sliced carrots? How many stalks of celery? That is why I always try to include an approximate weight of each of those ingredients in my recipes. A quick weigh-in of your trimmed vegetables on your digital food scale will remove the guesswork. And if you don’t want to be bothered with a measuring cup …go with the weight. A huge timesaver.
If you’re an experienced food-prepper (can chop fresh vegetables quickly) you can chop as you go on this one, saving lots of time. And, as always, be sure to rinse those leeks really well …to remove the hidden sand and grit.
Be sure to keep your pot covered as you sauté the carrots, celery, and leeks. It speeds up the process substantially. Especially if you tend to cut your carrots and celery on the chunky side.
Once the broth and chopped dill are added, raise the heat and bring it all to a boil. Believe it or not, you’re almost finished.
Add the orzo. Simmer until al dente. Depending on the particular orzo, the timing should be anywhere from 7 to 10 minutes. Don’t overcook the pasta as it will be hangin’ out in the broth, adding to the cooking process.
You can easily make this gluten-free by switching out the pasta with your favorite gluten-free version.
Once the pasta is just about done, add the shredded chicken to the pot. Give it a minute or so to heat through.
Gather up those soup bowls along with some crusty bread. You officially have a meal. All in under an hour.
super quick chicken orzo soup
Still homemade, with just a few shortcuts.
Make this pot of goodness in less than an hour.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 cups carrots, sliced 1/4" (about 14 ounces)
- 2 cups celery, sliced at 1/4" (about 7 ounces)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups sliced leek, white & light green part (about 7 ounces)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 (46-ounce) cans chicken broth
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill (plus extra for garnish)
- 1 cup orzo or gluten-free orzo (about 7 ounces)
- 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken breast (about 10 to 12 ounces)
Heat the olive oil and butter in a large stockpot or dutch oven with at least 5-quart capacity over medium heat. Add the sliced carrots and celery along with the salt & pepper. Cover and sauté for 5 minutes.
Add the sliced leeks and chopped parsley. Stir to combine. Cover and continue cooking for an additional 10 minutes.
Remove the cover and increase the heat to medium-high. Add the chicken broth along with the chopped dill. Mix well. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium and add the orzo. Simmer until pasta is cooked to al dente, according to package directions, for about 7 to 10 minutes.
When the orzo is just about done, add the shredded chicken breast, stir to combine and continue simmering until just heated through for 1 to 2 minutes. Serve immediately.
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