Spring and Summer in the Bay Area can be frustrating and deceiving. Warm and lovely during the day and then BAM, the fog rolls in and the night can be near frigid. Last week this happened and it gave me the great excuse to make a soup for dinner that was light in flavor and texture. I served it with a hunk of delicious locally made bread and a pilsner and we were happy.
Lemony Chicken and Orzo Soup
adapted from Bon Apetit Magazine
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium leek, white and pale-green parts only, halved lengthwise, sliced crosswise 1/2″ thick
1 celery stalk, sliced crosswise 1/2″ thick
12 oz. skinless, boneless chicken thighs
6 cups Poultry Stock from The Local Butcher Shop
1/2 cup orzo
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
2 lemons, sliced in half, 1 half for each serving
Season chicken with salt and pepper and bring to room temperature. Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add leek and celery and cook, stirring often, until vegetables are soft. Add chicken and stock. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer until chicken is cooked through, 15-20 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate. Let cool, then shred chicken into bite-size pieces.
Meanwhile, return broth to a boil. Add orzo add cook until al dente, 8-10 minutes.
Remove pot from heat. Stir in chicken and dill. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with lemon halves for squeezing over (it needs this brightness).