Toasting the orzo pasta doesn’t take long and gives extra richness and depth of flavour to this sustaining chicken soup.
500g skinless, boneless chicken breasts
4 cups liquid chicken stock
Extra virgin olive oil
1 cup orzo pasta (see note)
1 small zucchini, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 small red pepper, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Salt + freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
2 tsp grated lemon zest
- Place chicken and stock in a saucepan. Bring to the boil then simmer gently for 10 minutes to poach chicken. At the same time, heat a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil and orzo and cook, stirring for 2-3 minutes, until pasta is toasted golden-brown.
- Add zucchini, carrot, pepper, onion and garlic to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring regularly, for 2-3 minutes.
- Remove chicken from stock. Pour stock into soup pan. Chop or shred chicken and add to the soup with extra 2 cups water. Bring soup to a gentle boil and cook for 10 minutes or until orzo is just tender.
- Just before serving, stir in oregano and zest and adjust seasoning to taste. Serve drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.
Chef’s tip: Available from supermarkets, Orzo, sometimes called Risoni, is a small, rice-shaped pasta that has a lovely silken texture.