Jan has come down with a cold. When Jan gets a cold she drinks endless hot honey lemons (3-4 slices of lemon, 1 tsp. honey, plus hot water). It soothes the throat and the steam clears the sinuses.
I am making her some soup tonight. To make a change from my usual cold fighting soup I am adding a Greek twist with lemon and orzo. Some honey might sneak in there as well.
At the last minute Eilene let me know that she was bringing two friends over for dinner. To make sure I had enough for all I increased some of the ingredients. I usually make enough for four hungry people so that there are leftovers. In the recipe I am including the increased amounts in ().
After Dinner Note: The honey lemon gave a nice sweet and sour taste to the soup that was very popular. The lemon rinds were a matter of personal taste. Some people liked them for the slightly bitter taste, others set them aside. In the end a third friend showed up and now there is nothing left in the pot. Four hungry teenage girls ate every scrap of vegetable and grain of pasta.
Karl’s Greek Cold Fighting Chicken Soup
2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
1 tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. Kosher salt
2 Tbs. olive oil, separate uses
1 small (large) onion, diced
12 cloves garlic, sliced
1 small lemon, sliced thin and seeded
1 (3) stalk(s) celery, diced
12 (24) petite carrots
2 (5) cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 (2) cup water
2 Tbs. honey
1 tsp. fresh rosemary
1 tsp. fresh thyme
½ (2/3) cup orzo
3 (6) oz. baby spinach
2 Tbs. Flat leafed parsley, chopped finely
1. Cut chicken breasts into small bite sized pieces. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar.
Tip: For this type of dish I cut each breast into 20-25 pieces.
2. Put the chicken in a bowl and add one tables spoon of olive oil. Mix thoroughly and let meld for ten minutes.
3. In a soup pot brown the chicken in 1 Tbs. of olive oil. Remove to a bowl and reserve.
4. Without cleaning the pot, sauté the onions until just starting to brown.
5. Add the carrots and celery. Continue sautéing for two more minutes.
6. Pull the vegetables to the sides of the pot and add the garlic to the hole in the middle. Stir-fry the garlic until fragrant, about one minute, and then mix in the rest of the vegetables.
7. Add the chicken broth, water, honey, lemon, herbs, and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat. Simmer for 20 minutes.
8. Add the orzo and simmer for 5 minutes, covered.
Note: I only increased the orzo to 2/3 of a cup because that is all I had.
9. Stir in the spinach and the reserved chicken. Simmer 5 more minutes, covered.
10. Stir in the parsley and serve.