Golden Chicken, Corn & Orzo Soup

Serves 6

1 T. olive oil
2 large ribs celery, finely diced
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 pinch saffron threads
1/2 t. dried thyme
2 qt. homemade or low-salt chicken broth
2 c. finely diced or shredded cooked chicken (I used a supermarket rotisserie chicken)
½ c. orzo
1 c. frozen corn
¼ c. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 T. fresh lemon juice; more or less to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring a medium saucepan of well-salted water to a boil over high heat.  Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.  Add the celery, onions, saffron and thyme.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to soften, 5 to 6 minutes.  Add the broth and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce the heat to a simmer, add the chicken and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.  While the soup simmers, cook the orzo in the boiling salted water until tender, 8 to 10 minutes.  Drain.

Add the drained orzo, corn, and parsley to the soup and cook just until the corn is heated through, about 2 minutes.  Stir in the lemon juice and season to taste with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice, if needed.

Trisha, – Fine Cooking, November 2005

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