Herbed chicken soup

Herbed Chicken Soup

For what ails you.  Even if you are not ailing, nothing beats homemade.  The perfect light meal before performing at a vocal concert.  I love fresh herbs so much I grow them in my courtyard.  They are easy to grow in California, either from seeds or seedlings in pots in a sunny spot.  Some (e.g. basil) won’t survive even mild California winters but can be raised in a sunny window in the winter if you have one.  They are also much cheaper than a bunch from the grocery section of your supermarket and much fresher.

  • 1 pound boneless chicken thighs
  • 10 cups chicken broth
  • ½ medium onion chopped
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 2 medium carrots peeled and sliced
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves slivered
  • 2 tbsp fresh marjoram leaves, stripped from their woody stems (discard stems)
  • 2 tbsp thyme leaves stripped from their woody stems (discard stems)
  • 1 bay leave (fresh or dried)
  • 6 whole peppercorns
  • ½ cup orzo or other small pasta
  • Extra chopped parsley for garnish

Put chicken and broth in a large pot and bring to boil.  Skim off and discard the foamy protein scum that collects on the surface.  Add the remaining ingredients (except orzo and parsley garnish). When the mixture comes to a boil again, turn the heat down to medium low and cover. Simmer for about 45 minutes.  Remove and discard the bay leaf.   Remove the chicken to a cutting board.  Using a fork and sharp knife, cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and return them to the pot.  Turn up the heat and add the orzo and cook for about 8 minutes more.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  Ladle into bowls and sprinkle parsley on top.  Makes about 6 servings.

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