Welcome to Soup Week!

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SOUPWEEKWelcome to Soup Week! We got the idea to share our favorite soups during our harrowing survival of Clusterflake 2014 here in Birmingham. By harrowing survival, I mean Josh spending the night under his desk at the office and me sleeping soundly in my bed under a very warm quilt. 😉

Because the storm quickly brought the city to a standstill, very few folks were able to go grocery shopping. Fortunately, my pantry and freezer were full of mischievous ingredients, so I was able to serve as an impromptu soup kitchen for my friends. Since we have a couple of months of winter left, this is a perfect opportunity to share some of those with you. Check back each day for some of our favorite soups, and a few ideas to make them your own. Up first—Lemony Chicken and Orzo Soup…quick, easy, and guaranteed to ward off the chills!

All photos by Ray Hydrick

Lemony Chicken and Orzo Soup
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 32oz box of chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1 cup of orzo
2 medium bone-in chicken breasts, baked and shredded (recipe at bottom) or use a store-bought roasted chicken
2 tablespoons dill, roughly chopped
2 cups kale, shredded
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
2 lemons, cut in half

Soup ingredient lineup

Soup ingredient lineup

In an 8-quart pot, heat oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add onion, carrots and celery. Stir to coat in oil. Cook until tender. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes.

Instagram of the “holy trinity” – Ray was playing with filters again

Add chicken stock, chicken and bay leaves to the pot. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add pasta and kale. Stir to combine and cook for 10 minutes. Add dill and salt and pepper to taste. Squeeze half a lemon over each serving.

Kale Cutting Tip:

1. Remove the large stem of the middle of the leaf — it is tough and will not soften in time.

That stem is tough

That stem is tough

2. Stack the leaves on top of each other and roll them like a cigar.

This looks nothing like a cigar

This looks nothing like a cigar

3. Cut the leaves in 1/2 inch strips — the big word for this is chiffonade.

Kale ribbons!

Kale ribbons!

Simple Oven-Roasted Chicken Breasts
2 bone-in chicken breasts
1 teaspoon olive oil
salt and pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 375°. Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake for 25-30 minutes (times may vary with size of chicken breasts) or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°.  Let chicken rest for 10 minutes.  Remove skin and shredded meat with fingers or two forks.

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