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Soup’s On

Three shortcut recipes starring rotisserie chicken

Soup…could there be a food more synonymous with comfort? From the first autumn chill in September through the last frosty day in April, soup is guaranteed to appear in our meal plan at least once a week. Great for leftovers and packed lunches, this is the one cold-weather meal that keeps on giving, whether your days ahead are hectic or leisurely.

In particular, chicken soup is a crowd-pleaser, and recent studies have shown it’s good for more than just the soul. Experts have found that it can ease cold symptoms as well as give your body a boost of nutrients and hydration, adding to your overall wellness during these critical months. Here are three chicken soup recipes that put a new spin on your favorite recipes, but with a secret shortcut: rotisserie chicken.

 

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Serves 8

Chicken noodle soup’s about to get better with just a few ingredient additions. Lemon juice and zest give this recipe an invigorating zing, and fresh dill adds a bright herbal note. 

If you’re planning to make this soup ahead of time (or any pasta-containing soup for that matter), prepare the orzo separately, then add it in just prior to reheating. Doing so will ensure the pasta does not absorb the broth overnight and create a stew-like consistency.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
8 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
1 cup orzo pasta
2 cups shredded, cooked rotisserie chicken
3 tablespoons lemon juice (approximately the juice of 1 lemon)
1 tablespoon lemon zest (approximately the zest of 1 lemon)
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped, plus more to garnish

 

Directions:

1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add carrots, celery and onion and cook for about 5 minutes, or until onions become translucent. Add garlic and continue to cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add salt and pepper.

2. Add chicken broth and water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. 

3. Add orzo and chicken, cover, and simmer about 10 minutes or until orzo is al dente.

4. Stir in lemon juice, lemon zest and dill. Add additional salt or pepper to taste. Serve garnished with fresh dill.

 

Chicken Pot Pie Chowder

Serves 8

Creamy chicken, chunky tomatoes, sweet peas and corn…this recipe has everything you love about chicken pot pie but in a lovable soup form. Serve alongside fresh-from-the-oven biscuits, and you’ve got a recipe that’s arguably better than the real thing.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup all purpose flour
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded, cooked rotisserie chicken
1 pound red potatoes, peeled and diced (about 2-3 medium potatoes)
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup frozen peas
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper

 

Directions:

1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add carrots, celery and onion and cook for about 5 minutes, or until onions become translucent. Add garlic and continue to cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

2. Stir in flour until combined. Sauté for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Gradually add chicken broth and milk, stirring continuously, until no clumps remain.

3. Add chicken, potatoes, corn, peas, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper and stir until combined. Bring the mixture to a simmer (being careful not to let it boil), stirring frequently to ensure that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to medium-low, simmering for 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender and cooked through.

4. Add additional salt or pepper to taste. Serve with biscuits. 

 

Italian Chicken Tortellini Stew

Serves 8

If you’re looking for a flavorful tomato-based soup, try this stew. Diced tomato and heavy cream create an indulgent, rosy broth, while bounteous chicken, beans and tortellini combine for a filling entrée. Add some crusty bread with butter and you have go-to comfort food.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chicken broth
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes, with liquid
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 cups shredded, cooked rotisserie chicken
1 9-ounce package refrigerated cheese tortellini
2 cups baby spinach
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more to garnish

 

Directions:

1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook for about 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add garlic and continue to cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

2. Add chicken broth, diced tomatoes, cannellini beans, heavy cream, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes.

3. Add chicken, tortellini, spinach and Parmesan cheese. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes, or until tortellini is al dente.

4. Add additional salt or pepper to taste. Serve sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

 

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