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Chicken Orzo Soup



Serves Four

1 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
2 Tbs. minced fresh thyme leaves, (removed from stems)
8 cups no or low sodium chicken stock
3/4 cup orzo, (a small oval shaped pasta)
6 oz. fresh baby spinach, stems removed
3 cups cooked chicken, shredded
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


First begin by sautéing the vegetables. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the carrots, celery and thyme leaves and sauté until the vegetables are softened, about 3 minutes more. Add the stock, increase the heat to medium-high and simmer for 5 minutes to blend the flavors.

Add the pasta to the simmering soup and cook until the pasta is al dente, 3 to 4 minutes, or according to the package instructions. Add the spinach and chicken and cook, stirring, until the spinach has wilted and the chicken is warmed through, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Ladle the soup into warm bowls and garnish with some of the cheese. Serve immediately with remaining cheese at the table.

Bettina Tolin is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Austin, Texas. She has cooked in the kitchens of the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island, Florida. She is currently the Executive Chef and General Manager at Marcello’s Italian Restaurant and Bar in Port Isabel, Texas.
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