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Not Chicken Noodle Soup

Since getting in the habit of making my own stock from roasted chicken, I’ve been experimenting with soups. Last night’s fare received 5 thumbs up, so I'm sharing, in case it gets cold enough to actually merit a pot of soup:


½ red onion, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 tbsp Olive Oil

2-4 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb chicken sausage, cooked (I use bulk sausage, but you can sub beans or meat substitute for veg option)

1 tsp thyme

1 tsp dried oregano

2 quarts stock

1 cup orzo (or other small) pasta

1 bunch of kale, chopped in 1” strips, stalks removed

Salt and pepper to taste


In a stock or soup pot: Sautee onion, carrot, and celery in olive oil over medium low heat until the celery and onions go translucent, stirring occasionally (~10 minutes). Turn the heat down if they start to brown. If your sausage or protein is not already cooked, you can do that while the veggies cook down. After the veggies are soft, add the garlic, thyme and oregano and cook for a few minutes more.  Add one quart of water and chicken (protein of choice), and bring to a simmer over medium high heat.  Add 2 quarts of stock and bring to a boil. Add 1 cup of orzo pasta, and after the soup starts to boil again, reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Let simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally (this is usually when I clean up all the dishes and dispatch dishes and drinks to the table to be set) (or chop the kale) (don’t forget the drinks, or else you’ll have to get up after you’ve just started eating) (and no one likes to do that). After the orzo is cooked, add the kale, and cook only until soft, 1 or 2 minutes. Turn the soup to low heat and season with salt and pepper. Because there were so many greens in the soup I didn’t feel the need to serve salad, but salad would still go nicely with this soup. We enjoyed ours with well buttered garlic toast.


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I'm not very good in the kitchen, but I always cook from scratch and appreciate a recipe that doesn't have to include packaged items. Thanks for posting it. I just made the soup along with a loaf of french bread for our lunch today, and I think it'll be a hit here, too.

I make a soup similar to this with a touch of fresh squeezed lemon to give it some brightness. It gets raves.

Looks identical to my family's favorite Chicken Soup! They love the orzo instead of noodles and I started adding something green and leafy when I wanted it to have more nutrition--I add spinach, kale, chard...depends on what I have on hand. This soup is such a great, easy way to get a bit more bang for your buck from a whole chicken purchase--Roasted Chicken one night, Chicken Soup the next! Yum.

I too have fallen in love with the roasted chicken then chicken soup meals. My 3 year old loves alphabet noodles so I usally do those though I like rice. Maybe I will try a little orzo too. Greens and lemon are great additions, will have to try this too! I always put lots of (fresh ideally) thyme in my broth and lots of fresh veg in the final soup. Thanks for the ideas!

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