Jan 6, 2016

Getting Cozy

First, Ellie Krieger's chicken orzo soup (add baby kale and baby spinach, leave out the orzo, cause I'm getting all skinny up in here).  With homemade chicken stock, and the shredded chicken from the stock chickens.

Now, there is nothing much better than curling up with a mug of hot soup and a good book on a chilly winter afternoon.  So, to go along with your soup, two excellent and light memoirs.
 Samantha Ellis is a British playwright of Iraqi Jewish descent.  That aspect alone is fascinating.  The premise of the book is going through the lessons she learned over the years from female protagonists of her favorite books, from Anne of Green Gables to Valley of the Dolls.  I'd read most of her choices, and those I have missed made me want to check out immediately.  If you are a reader, you will thoroughly enjoy this.  However, I'd say the flip is also true, so if you are not much reading, skip it.  It will be really boring.
 Next, a fun memoir with recipes from Amelia Morris, a writer and blogger living in LA.  I picked this up on a whim at the library, never having encountered her blog.  Love her accessible writing style, and what she has to say.  It's a light easy, read, but I stayed up entirely too late finishing it.  It will make you want to eat some soup, I promise.

Now some recipes.  First, the stock- from barefootcontessa.com:

Chicken Stock (Makes 6 quarts)

Copyright 2002, Barefoot Contessa Family Style by Ina Garten, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, All Rights Reserved

Photo: James Merrell
3 5-pound roasting chickens
3 large yellow onions, unpeeled and quartered
6 carrots, unpeeled and halved
4 stalks celery with leaves, cut into thirds
4 parsnips, unpeeled and cut in half (optional)
20 sprigs fresh parsley
15 sprigs fresh thyme
20 sprigs fresh dill
1 head garlic, unpeeled and cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns 
Place the chickens, onions, carrots, celery, parsnips, parsley, thyme, dill, garlic, and seasonings in a 16- to 20-quart stockpot. Add 7 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, for 4 hours. Strain the entire contents of the pot through a colander and discard the solids. Chill the stock overnight. The next day, remove the surface fat. Use immediately or pack in containers and freeze for up to 3 months.

Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo

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.

Serves 4
Serving size: 1 ½ cups

Per serving: Calories 280; Total Fat 10g (Mono fat 6g, Poly fat 1g, Sat fat 2g); Protein 26g; Carbohydrates 22g; Fiber 2g; Cholesterol 39mg; Sodium 291mg.

Source- elliekrieger.com

Sorry for the cutting and pasting- getting this post out on my lunch break, while watching Rob Lowe and Fred Savages's new comedy, Grinder, which is surprisingly funny.  They are both just so damn likable.

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