At a motorway service station on our way to visit Granny, my daughter bought a pot of chicken and brown rice soup from Pret, and loved it! She hasn’t stopped talking about it since and asked me to try and replicate it at home.
I like to make a big batch so we can freeze leftovers. It takes an hour or so out of my day so I may as well try and make the most of the time but I found that the brown rice made the leftovers go stodgy, so here’s my alternative version with orzo pasta.
It’s had the thumbs up from my daughter.
One word of caution….don’t skip the herbs! We did this once and the soup was so bland, the herbs make all the difference!
Chicken & Orzo Soup
- 4 chicken thighs
- 10 g butter
- 3 carrots diced
- 4 sticks of celery sliced
- 1 onion diced
- 2 cloves of garlic crushed
- 2 pints of reduced salt chicken stock
- 2 sprigs of rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- 150 g orzo pasta
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the chicken thighs and cook on both sides until brown, remove from the pan and put on a plate until later.
- Add the diced onion to the pan and sauté in the remaining melted butter scraping off any brown bits from the bottom of the pan, this contains lots of flavour.
- When the onions start to look translucent add in the crushed garlic stirring continuously, don’t let it burn
- Pour in the 2 pints of reduced salt chicken stock and bring to the boil.
- Add in the carrots, celery, rosemary sprigs and bay leaf and bring back to a simmer.
- Return the chicken thighs to the pan, cover and simmer for 20 mins.
- After 20 mins remove the chicken thighs from the pan and place to one side
- Add in the orzo pasta and cover with a lid and continue to simmer for a further 7 to 10 mins.
- Meanwhile shred the chicken thigh meat into strips removing any fatty pieces.
- When the orzo pasta is has cooked, remove from the heat, add in the shredded chicken and stir through.
- Remove the bay leaf and the rosemary stalks and your chicken soup is ready to serve.