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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

How To Stay Warm in Minnesota... Eat Soup!

Minnesota is having the perfect weather right now.  The mornings are a bit chilly, the afternoons warm up nicely to a sunny70 degrees (no humidity) and the evenings cool off, which to me is the perfect soup eating weather!

 Well, when my mom and I began tossing dinner ideas around, there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted soup.

Now for me, the hard part is always figuring out which kind of soup I am actually hungry for.  The fact that I landed on wanting soup for dinner was a bit scary, usually I take forever to decide on dinner!  I am the type of person that will crave something one minute and the next minute I have changed my mind to something completely opposite!  Sometimes there is no pleasing me.  When there is this type of decision that needs to be made, I am the type of person that likes to turn to a good old cookbook.  And my mom has about a million cookbooks, and in no time I had a spread of her coobooks out, covering the kitchen island.  I mean we had Taste of Home


The Mayo Clinic and William Sonoma Cook Book 

and a trillion other William Sonoma ones.  
To be honest I have the hardest time looking through cookbooks, because of all the wonderful pictures.  I mean you can get hungry just flipping through a cookbook.  If only I could make my pictures look like a cook book!
Keep reading to find out what delicious soup I ended up preparing!
Drum role please...
I ended up making a Chicken and Orzo Soup out of the Mayo Clinic cook book.   Since I have cooked out of the Mayo Clinic cookbook before I knew I would need to add my own spices to fit with my love of intense flavors.  The great thing about spices is you can add a ton of flavor, but not add tons of extra and unwanted calories!  Are you ready for the recipe?  

Chicken and Orzo Soup
Slightly Adapted from the Mayo Clinic Cook Book 
Serves 6 (huge servings)!

3 1/3 Cup Low Sodium Chicken Broth 
5-Cups Water
8 Oz. Orzo (Dry)
4 Carrots Shredded
2 Scallions Thinly Sliced 
4 Oz Skinless Chicken Breast (I had pre-cooked chicken from another recipe and used that)
2 Tablespoons Fresh Cilantro (I used way more)
1 Tablespoon Grated Fresh Ginger
1/2 Teaspoon White Wine Vinegar

What I added:
There was Broccoli in the Fridge I threw that in (about 1/2 a head)
I also added Pepper, Garlic (lots) and Lemon Pepper.  I thought the hint of lemon brightened up the soup!

Here is what you will do:
This soup is extremely easy and takes about 20 minutes!  How great is that?
Ready here it goes... 
First get your water, and your chicken broth boiling.  When the liquid reaches a nice rolling boil go ahead and dump in the dry orzo. 
Simmer the soup for 6 minutes or until the orzo is completely cooked. At this point you get to throw everything else into the pot that means your veggies, seasoning and white wine vinegar, yes even the chicken!  
I used a chicken breast that had been cooked and then frozen.  I placed the frozen chicken into the soup, and once the chicken was thawed I simply shredded it and returned the shredded chicken to the soup!  And just like that dinner is ready!  
On the side I served a salad and some bread for soaking up the broth!  
Perfect for a cool crisp evening in Minnesota.  I would make this soup again.  Maybe next time instead of cilantro I will add Basil!  I just love fresh basil.  I will have a great salad recipe for you tomorrow!
Have a fabulous evening and remember to live Happily Ever Healthy!