While it is the season to party and consume rich fattening food here is a recipe to give you a very healthy food break. Great for a cold winter night meal.
Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
- 2 sweet chicken sausage (casing removed)
- 6 chicken thighs cut into bite size pieces (of course you can use breast if you prefer) Salt & Pepper the chicken pieces.
- 1 large yellow onion – finely chopped
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 medium shallot – finely chopped
- 1 yellow pepper – finely chopped
- 7 cloves of garlic – finely chopped
- 2 leeks – cleaned and finely chopped
- 2 fennel heads – finely chopped
- 7 Meyer or regular lemons (I like to use Meyer lemons when in season)
- 1 top of the fennel fronds
- 1 large sprig of fresh rosemary
- several sprigs of fresh thyme (tied together with twine)
- 2 quarts of low sodium vegetable broth (separated) *
- 1 12oz DeLAllo gluten free orzo
- 1 5oz bag Power Greens (baby kale, baby chard, baby spinach)
- 1/2 bag frozen peas
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a dutch oven, add chicken sausage meat and brown. Remove sausage to colander to drain. Add another tablespoon olive oil to dutch oven and add chicken pieces, saute to get color on the chicken, then remove and add to colander.
- Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to dutch oven, add onion, carrots, pepper, shallots, leeks, salt and pepper and saute for about 5 minutes. Add fennel and cook for 3 to 5 minutes more. Add garlic and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Add the juice of the 7 lemons into the dutch oven and then add the peels, the fennel frond, rosemary and thyme and 1 quart of the vegetable broth. Add the chicken and sausage back into the pot, cover and simmer for 1 hour.
- Remove the fennel frond, lemon rinds, fresh herb stems.
- Add 2 cups of vegetable broth and the orzo, simmer for about 15 minutes (until orzo is tender)
- Add the peas and power greens to wilt and the remaining broth from second quart. When greens are wilted your are ready to enjoy. Garnish with the trimmings of the 2nd fennel frond.
- *NOTE: you might want to have additional broth on hand as the orzo will drink up more of the broth when the leftover soup is stored in the refrigerator, so when you reheat the leftovers you might want to add additional broth.