Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup


Hi friends! Admittedly I'm feeling sad that Monday is upon us once again. As per usual, the weekend flew by oh so quickly and last night I found myself crashing on the couch at 9:30 and trying to hold my eyes open, wondering how it got to be Sunday night again already. It's still super cold here in the tri-state area and friends...I'm OVER IT! Seriously, this is enough. I could deal with 40 degrees, I even rallied for one last snowstorm on Friday...but today it was 24 degrees and that I'm just not ok with. I guess it's good for blog purposes though because today I'm sharing this really comforting lemon chicken orzo soup! I had shared this on Instagram and on my What I Ate from last week and a bunch of people asked for the recipe. I didn't take great photos of this, but I really wanted to get this up and out since you asked! Penelope loved this soup and she even helped prep it. She ate it all last week for dinner, and couldn't wait to eat 'her soup'.

Next time, I'll update with pretty photos and also add in some greenery! I used up what I had in the fridge, but I think this would really be amplified with some fresh baby spinach, celery and even a chopped up bell pepper. Hope you enjoy!


Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
for the chicken:
1 lb skinless boneless chicken breasts
1 1/2 C low sodium chicken broth
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp paprika
Cooking spray

for the lemon orzo soup:
2 C carrots, diced
1 onion, diced
1/2 Tbsp butter
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
6 1/2 C low sodium chicken broth
juice of one lemon
zest of one lemon
1.5 C dried orzo
2 C frozen corn
1 pkg chopped spinach, defrosted (or 1 bag fresh baby spinach)
Parmesean cheese, if desired
Lemon slices for garnish, if desired

Spray the inside of a slow cooker with cooking spray. Place the chicken in the slow cooker, sprinkle with salt, pepper, onion powder and paprika. Pour about 1.5 cups of low sodium chicken broth around the chicken until it's almost covered. Cover and cook on low for four hours. When finished, shred chicken in the cooker and set aside.

Start the soup.
In a Dutch oven or stock pot, melt the butter and olive oil together over low heat. Add the chopped onions and carrots and sautée until soft. Add the remaining chicken stock, lemon juice and zest and bring to a boil. Add 1.5 cups of dried orzo and stir together. Turn heat to low/simmer and cover. Cook for 15 minutes. Add corn, spinach or any other soft vegetables you desire (if you plan to include celery or bell peppers, I recommend sautéeing those in the beginning with the carrots and onions). Let simmer a few minutes more.

When ready to serve, pour out soup into a bowl and top with shredded chicken. I don't mix these together in the pot if I'm making a big batch to last for a few days because I find that the chicken breaks down quickly. Top with a slice of lemon or parmesean cheese if desired.

Enjoy!

Rainy Day Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut squash is doused in olive oil, salt and pepper, roasted to perfection and blended with vegetable broth for a decadent yet healthy and simple soup!

 

I have been having a love affair with soup lately.

It's gotten chilly here in NYC and my office especially knows how to keep the cold air in. We have a loft-style office with high ceilings, concrete floors and a few tiny radiators along 10 foot windows {I love our office space so much} and well, most days it can end up feeling even colder inside our office than outdoors. I kind of secretly love it. I love wearing big sweaters with skinny pants and boots to work. I love wrapping myself up in a knit Nordstrom shawl if I have a chill. And I really love sipping on a piping hot cup of tea to warm up my hands and my soul.

 

And most of all? I love having a rich bowl of soup for lunch. I totally slacked on any sort of food prep this week, and so for the first time since I can remember, I ended up buying lunch this entire week {--->wallet = unhappy}. Each day I've walked up to Hale & Hearty for some of their amazing soup. They have the most intriguing concoctions, taste like they are freshly poured and they provide calorie counts for each soup. 

I just love soup so much. I find it so filling and comforting and would happily eat it for most days through the cold months.

This is not a sustainable addiction. It's a pretty $7+ a pop {we are talking meal soups here} and I tend to overindulge in the soups that are probably not the healthiest choices. My solution is to begin making my own soup, and I'm starting with this incredibly easy roasted butternut squash version.

 

I made this soup a few weeks ago and can't wait to make it again. I really took the easy way out with this one by using basic ingredients that I could just throw together and wasn't sure how it would all turn out. Luckily, it was truly delicious and will now be a staple in my soup repetoire! It's so easy, reheats like a charm, and is special enough for a holiday table. I hope you enjoy!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

1 butternut squash, peeled & cubed*

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp kosher salt (or more to taste)

1/4 tsp ground pepper (or more to taste)

4 C vegetable broth

1/2 C fat-free milk

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lay out cubed butternut squash on a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Roast for 20-30 minutes, or until squash is tender and soft.

In a medium saucepan, bring the vegetable broth and cooked squash to a boil. Remove from heat and blend thoroughly with an immersion blender (or transfer to a blender in batches to blend, then put back into the saucepan). Stir in the milk and nutmeg. Adjust seasonings to taste. 

The soup will keep for 3-5 days in a tight storage container in the refrigerator, or it can be frozen and reheated.

*I purchased a pre-cut and peeled squash at my local grocery store. More expensive, but Mama just doesn't have the time to peel and chop that thing.

So there you have it, one beautiful bowl of soup!

Are you a soup person? What is your favorite?

 

 

Cheesy Chicken Tortilla Soup + Zombie 5K

Well helloooo! How are you on this Monday? I'm not going to lie, Monday came much too fast for me :) I had a great weekend though! On Friday we went out for our good friend's birthday, Saturday I had a girls day and sleepover with my sisters and Sunday was Shaun's cousin's birthday party.

Whew! Can you tell why I'm exhausted?!

So I was reading an article on CNN about the Run For Your Lives 5K. Have you heard of this? It's a 5K in which people dressed up as zombies chase you while you are running, not to mention various spooky obstacles throughout the course. How's that for motivation?! I think this idea is so fun and kind of hilarious. It hasn't come to New York or New Jersey yet, but the next one coming up will be in Massachussetts.

You know I love zombies, so I'd be all about it.

Would you run the zombie chase 5K?

 

Meanwhile, it's supposed to be a chilly one in the northeast today and so I thought it was about time to share some soup. I realized that I never told you about this delicious cheesy chicken tortilla soup from a few weeks back.

I love this soup. It's a little high in points, but perfect for an indulgent dinner when you are still trying to keep close to your diet. It's so warm, so comforting and I'm really wish that I had a batch waiting for me today.

It's filled with cheese, chicken, bell peppers and onions and topped with a few crumbled tortilla chips and sour cream. Yum

Cheesy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Serves 6; about 1 1/2 C per serving

9 WW Points+ per serving

1 tsp olive oil
1 bell pepper, diced
1 onion, finely diced
2 Tbsp margarine
1/4 C all-purpose flour
1 C fat-free milk
3 C fat free, reduced sodium chicken broth
2 Tbsp half-and-half
1 1/2 cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
14 oz can diced tomatoes with chiles
2 1/2 C reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded
kosher salt
pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder
tortilla chips, for topping
sour cream, for topping

In the bottom of a stock pot, heat the oil over medium heat and add the peppers and onions. Saute until soft.

Next, add the margarine and melt. Whisk in the flour until combined. Cook for about a minute, but don't let it burn.

Whisk in the chicken broth and milk and bring to a light boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Once simmering, lower the heat stir in the cheese and half and half. Stir until completely melted and combined.

Pour in the chicken and diced tomatoes and mix. Season with salt, pepper and chili powder. Adjust any spices as you'd like. If you like it spicy, add some cayenne pepper.

 

Serve in bowls and top with a dollop of sour cream and 2-3 crushed tortilla chips.

So what do you think?

Do you like hearty soups like this?

Would you ever run the zombie 5K

How did you spend your weekend?

 

psst...I'm going on about my new nail polish finds on The Peach & The Pit so hop on over to check it out!