When life gives you lemons, make soup.
Wait, that doesn’t sound right. Actually, it sounds exactly right. Carry on.
Where I live, lemonade weather is fading fast, and soup weather is upon us. So, when I was thinking of a lemon-y recipe post for September, an annual tradition during the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Million Mile Run-Walk-Ride month, this soup immediately sprang to mind.
I first found this recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks, Ellie Krieger’s The Food You Crave. And I really do crave this soup. It’s absolutely perfect anytime, but with the addition of the lemon (and thus Vitamin C), this truly does help me get over a cold. Just in case you want to tuck this one away for the coming season of a certain f-word that we don’t need to talk about.
4 teaspoons olive oil
8 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into small chunks
Pinch of salt, plus more to taste
1 medium onion, diced (about 1 ½ cups)
2 stalks celery, diced (about ½ cup)
1 medium carrot, diced (about ½ cup)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup orzo, preferably whole-wheat
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with the salt, add it to the pot, and cook, stirring, a few times, until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a dish and set aside.
Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the pot. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and thyme and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add 5 cups of the broth and bring to a boil. Add the orzo and let simmer until tender, about 8 minutes. Turn the heat down to low to keep the soup hot but not boiling.
Warm the remaining 1 cup broth in a small saucepan until it is hot but not boiling. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs. Gradually whisk the lemon juice into the eggs. Then gradually add the hot broth to the egg-lemon mixture, whisking all the while. Add the mixture to the soup, stirring well until the soup is thickened. Do not let the soup come to a boil. Add the cooked chicken to the soup. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Serving size: 1 ½ cups
The broth is incredibly creamy and flavorful, and I love the whole wheat orzo instead of traditional rice or pasta. Go for the fresh thyme, too, it really makes a difference.
Yay soup! And yay for this month of kicking pediatric cancer in the butt! The month is almost over, but there are still a few days to log miles and make donations. We truly appreciate all of you joining us on this #journey2amillion.
P.S. I can’t take pictures while I cook, it completely messes with my flow. Plus, my 100 year old farmhouse kitchen has terrible lighting, hence the ‘before’ and ‘after’ shots.